The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Problem: Diagnosis and Treatment

  • J. Simpson


Nuclear non-proliferation policies have now been discussed, and in some cases implemented, for almost forty years. They have been of both a unilateral national and multilateral international character, the latter based either solely on the actions of the nuclear-weapon states and their industrial allies, or on an attempt to obtain a much wider consensus between suppliers and recipients of nuclear-energy material and technology. However, the nature of the acts of nuclear proliferation that they have attempted to prevent, or at least delay, have not remained static over this period: both the definition of nuclear proliferation and its technical and political context and motivations have been subject to slow yet subtle changes. Thus any comprehensive evaluation of the existing non-proliferation system must focus both on policies for non-proliferation and on the changing nature of the activity they seek to control. For one of its most important characteristics is that its international safeguarding arrangements seek to monitor only the use made of certain materials with a military potential (i.e. plutonium and enriched uranium), rather than directly prevent the construction of nuclear weapons.


Nuclear Weapon Nuclear Explosion Fissile Material Nuclear Proliferation Nuclear Disarmament 
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Notes and References

  1. 30.
    See especially J. D. Singer, ‘The Level of Analysis Problem in International Relations’, in K. Knorr and S. Verda (eds), The International System: Theoretical Essays ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961 ) pp. 77–92.Google Scholar

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© John Simpson and Anthony G. McGrew 1984

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  • J. Simpson

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