Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Can a state’s nuclear status influence its behavior in dyadic relationships? The present study examines the role played by nuclear status on the proliferating state’s level of hostility and cooperation towards other states in dyadic relationships. The study builds on the existing literature by looking at the behavior of states prior to becoming nuclear weapons states by strictly examining states with nuclear weapons development programs. This phase in the nuclear process is lacking in the current literature on nuclear weapons. Hostile behavior is measured based on the level of hostility in militarized disputes between states attempting to develop nuclear weapons and other states. Cooperative behavior encompasses diplomatic representation/exchange, joint-IGO membership, and formal agreements between states attempting to develop nuclear weapons and other states.
The dissertation contains six points of argument about the behavior of states as they move to establish nuclear weapons development programs. The first argument deals with nuclear status and hostility, where it argues that a change in nuclear status increases proliferating states level of hostility in dyadic relationships. In addition, the second argument deals with nuclear status and cooperation, where it argues that a change in nuclear status decreases proliferating states level of cooperation. The next four points of argument examine the interaction effect between nuclear status, state behavior, security problem, and security commitment from a nuclear patron. In terms of security problem, the study argues that when nuclear status changes hostile behavior decreases a when security problem is present. On the other hand, the study argues that when nuclear status changes cooperative behavior increases a.when security problem is present. Finally, in terms of security commitment, the study argues that a change in nuclear status is associated with an increase in the hostile behavior of proliferating states when they have a security commitment. With respect to cooperative behavior, the study argues that cooperation increases when proliferating states have a security commitment.
In attempting to test these arguments, the study applies a quantitative approach to 16 states with nuclear weapons developing program between 1930 and 2001. The study looked at state behavior before and after establishing a nuclear program for the purpose of developing weapons. In addition, recognizing the inherent limitation of quantitative analysis, the study also conducts one in-depth case study analysis and one minor case study analyses by applying a process tracing approach, to North Korea and Iran, respectively. The results provided mixed support for the arguments made in the study, where the study found that hostile behavior decreased when nuclear status changes. Additionally, the study found that hostility decreased when security problem or security commitment were present. On the other hand, the study found that cooperation decreased when nuclear status changed. When testing the interaction effect, the study found that cooperation increased when proliferating states had a security commitment from a nuclear patron. The case study analysis of North Korea and Iran, further confirmed several of the findings found in the quantitative section of the study.
Zakaria, Patty, "Understanding The Behavior Of States As Their Nuclear Status Changes" (2015). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1325.