The Nuclear Renaissance and International Security
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They probe critical issues relating to the nuclear renaissance, including if and how peaceful nuclear programs contribute to nuclear weapons proliferation, whether the diffusion of nuclear technologies lead to an increase in the trafficking of nuclear materials, and under what circumstances the diffusion of nuclear technologies and latent nuclear weapons capabilities can influence international stability and conflict. The book will help scholars and policymakers understand why countries are pursuing nuclear energy and evaluate whether this is a trend we should welcome or fear.
question could acquire the know-how to make nuclear weapons, since “the same people that help you design and build nuclear reactors have many of the skill sets you will need if you are going to build a nuclear weapon” (Murphy 2007). There is also an expectation that these skills can affect the politics in the neighborhood: Even if the majority of new nuclear plans never come to fruition, mere highlevel discussion of the nuclear energy option can lead neighboring states to develop nuclear
Happen? 67 and economic prosperity for the aspirant country. As well, sales of nuclear technology provide suppliers with potential leverage over the buyer nations that, in turn, become indebted to them for a long period and may have to rely heavily on these suppliers to maintain and operate the facilities. As a result, it is to the advantage of both buyers and suppliers to hype the power, prestige, and ambiguity associated with nuclear technology. Is acquisition of nuclear energy technology a
promising. The counterpoint to this pessimism might be the non-finding about domestic regime type in Gourley and Stulberg’s analysis of the drivers of nuclear power plant construction. They find that two drivers matter a lot: the size of the domestic economy, and energy security (defined as dependence on imported energy sources).4 Politics is notable by its absence: Neither a standard scale of democracy–authoritarian regime type nor an indicator of regime durability seems to matter for nuclear
power plant construction. Yet this non-finding can be taken a number of ways. It could mean that the domestic politics of nuclear energy does not really matter on the assumption that, if it did, democracies should be different from nondemocracies in their propensity to rely on nuclear energy. But the non-finding is equally consistent with the possibility that domestic politics matters everywhere. What the analysis shows is a lack of difference between regime types on one particular indicator of
develop the bomb. This result emerges, Montgomery argues, because certain countries are unable to utilize technologies provided from foreign sources. In particular, neopatrimonial regimes, which are characterized by personalized rule and little or no accountability to domestic actors, take shortcuts by importing dual-use nuclear technology without having the capacity to absorb it properly. The result is that these countries end up taking longer to build nuclear weapons than they otherwise would