Controlling Weapons of Mass Destruction : An Evaluation of International Security Regime Significance

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: This dissertation conducts an in-depth examination of the three weapons of mass destruction control regimes: the nuclear non-proliferation regime, the biological weapons control regime, and the chemical weapons control regime (NBC weapon control regimes). By examining a number of key indicators, this study investigates the specific ways each regime makes or does not make a difference in its respective issue area. This is done by employing what is referred to as the "five Cs" evaluation framework of coverage, compliance, change, counterfactuals, and over-all consequence. The empirical examination of the NBC regimes reveals how all three regimes — even the relatively ineffectual biological weapons control regime — have to varying degrees meaningfully influenced the problems they were created to address. It is demonstrated that regimes can matter functionally and normatively as standard setting instruments, points of reference, assurance mechanisms, forums for interaction, policy tools, and for their overall issue area impact.Finally, the results generated by these efforts are comparatively analyzed. Can anything be learned about the ingredients or properties that may be associated with regime efficacy? Can insights be generated and lessons learned that will aid thinking about how to design regimes in a manner that will optimize their influence? The study concludes that it is indeed useful to consider applying general institutional solutions — such as equipping a regime with an international organization to carry out monitoring and verification duties — to regimes with similar goals such as arms control. The study also demonstrates that the "management" and "enforcement" approaches to compliance should be seen as complementary elements instead of competing alternatives. The measures suggested by these approaches should be merged to provide a continuum of measures to promote compliance as well as deter and detect non-compliance. International organizations, such as the IAEA and the OPCW, are well suited to perform and carry out the valuable tasks identified by these two approaches. Even so, those looking for easy answers are warned that these features are no panacea, and may perform better in some issue areas than others due to discrete factors such as the technology in question and differences in the various behavioral complexes and institutional settings.

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