Nuclear weapons and non-proliferation: Is restraint sustainable?

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Title Nuclear weapons and non-proliferation: Is restraint sustainable?
Author O'Neil, Andrew Kevin
Journal Name Security Challenges
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Kokoda Foundation
Abstract Predictions of nuclear proliferation since the 1950s have proven to be almost wholly unreliable.Not only has the widely held expectation that the international system would be populated by a 'nuclear-armed crowd' failed to come to pass, the degree of restraint exercised by nuclear capable states has undermined one of the most powerful tenets of realist international relations theory—that states in an anarchic international system will inevitably opt for the most powerful military capabilities they are able to acquire. A range of factors account for proliferation restraint, including the norms promoted by the non-proliferation regime, the role of extended deterrence, and a genuine moral aversion to nuclear weapons on the part of national leaders. One of the key policy related questions of our time is whether this restraint is sustainable in the twenty-first century. This article challenges some of the alarmist predictions about proliferation and argues that the disincentives for states acquiring nuclear weapons will remain robust in spite of the dramatic expansion of nuclear energy worldwide and the difficulties confronting the non-proliferation regime.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.securitychallenges.org.au/ArticlePages/vol5no4O%27Neil.html
Copyright Statement Copyright 2009 Kokoda Foundation. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 5
Issue Number 4
Page from 39
Page to 57
ISSN 1833-1459
Date Accessioned 2010-03-26
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Asia Institute
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject International Relations
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/30906
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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