1st Edition

The Politics of Nuclear Non-Proliferation A pragmatist framework for analysis

By Ursula Jasper Copyright 2014
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the puzzle of why some states acquire nuclear weapons, whereas others refrain from trying to do so – or even renounce them.

    Based on the predominant theoretical thinking in International Relations it is often assumed that nuclear proliferation is inevitable, given the anarchic nature of the international system. Proliferation is thus often explained by vague references to states’ insecurity in an anarchic environment. Yet, elusive generalisations and grand, abstract theories inhibit a more profound and detailed knowledge of the very political processes that lead towards nuclearisation or its reversal.

    Drawing upon the philosophical and social-theoretical insights of American pragmatism, The Politics of Nuclear Non-Proliferation provides a theoretically innovative and practically useful framework for the analysis of states’ nuclear proliferation policies. Rather than reccounting a parsimonious, lean account of proliferation, the framework allows for the incorporation of multiple paradigms in order to depict the complex political contestation underlying states’ proliferation decisions. This pragmatist framework of analysis offers ways of overcoming long-standing metatheoretical gridlocks in the IR discipline and encourages scholars to reorient their efforts towards imminent "real-world" challenges.

    This book will be of much interest to students of nuclear proliferation, international security and IR theory.


    1. Introduction  2. Debating (non-)Proliferation  3. A Pragmatist Framework of Analysis  4. Switzerland – The Ambivalent Neutral  5. Libya – The Stateless State  6. Conclusion


    Ursula Jasper is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS), Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of St Gallen, Switzerland.