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Title: Nuclear entrepreneurs : drivers of nuclear proliferation
Author: Braut-Hegghammer, Malfrid
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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What determines whether states pursuing nuclear weapons ultimately acquire them. More specifically, why do so few states stay committed to their nuclear weapons programmes over time. Theories of nuclear proliferation have not accounted for the causal role of external systemic factors and domestic agents in defining the political sustainability of nuclear weapons programmes. The efforts of entrepreneurial alliances between nuclear bureaucrats and governmental sponsors determine whether states remain committed to pursuing, and thus acquire, nuclear weapons. These alliances employ three causal mechanisms in seeking to secure their states' commitment to their nuclear weapons programmes: linking nuclear weapons with external threats, overcome resistance to investing in a nuclear infrastructure, and institutional 'insulation' from domestic critics. The entrepreneurial alliances are enabled and constrained by the economic and security environments facing their states. The entrepreneurial alliance hypothesis is tested in a series of case studies. First, the hypothesis is applied to detailed analyses of Libya and Iraq's nuclear weapons programmes. The hypothesis is tested as an explanation for why these states pursued nuclear weapons yet failed to acquire them. Furthermore, these cases facilitate process-tracing of the causal mechanisms and processes determining the outcomes of each state's nuclear weapons programme. Then, the hypothesis is applied to a corroborative analysis of four smaller case studies: India, Pakistan, Egypt and Australia. These cases include two authoritarian and two non-authoritarian states comprising two successful nuclear weapons programmes (India and Pakistan) and two that failed to cross the nuclear weapons threshold (Egypt and Australia). The entrepreneurial alliance hypothesis is found to provide a strong and unique explanation for what determines whether states pursuing nuclear weapons ultimately cross the nuclear weapons threshold. This framework identifies the determinants of the political sustainability of a nuclear weapons programme and what factors influence a state's prospects for acquiring such weapons.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available