Scott Sagan Article Analysis & notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
John Haines

Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons? : Three Models in Search of a Bomb - By Scott D. Sagan Having an answer to the question, why do states build nuclear weapons? Is crucial for - predicting the long-term future of international security - Current foreign policy efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Surprising how Little information has been focused to examining alternative answers because - The answer to this proliferation puzzle is agreed upon by the U.S. policymakers and most international relations scholars. - It is that states will develop nuclear weapons when they face a military threat to their security that cannot be met through alternative means; if they do not face such threats, they will willingly remain non-nuclear states. Central Purpose of this article - Challenge this perception about nuclear proliferation. - He says that view focusing on national security considerations as the cause of proliferation o Insufficient because nuclear weapons programs also serve other objectives. Argument of Security put forward by states motive build weapons - Explains cases of nuclear weapon proliferation by security interests only. Nuclear Weapons - are more than tools; are objects of political importance in domestic debates and internal bureaucratic; international normative symbols. - He suggests 3 frameworks to build or refrain from developing nuclear weapons: - The Security Model, ; The Domestic Politics Model, ; The Norms Model, If his arguments correct, - Sagan says that next to security aspects, domestic or norms factors can trigger military nuclear proliferation and restrain. o Thus only paying attention to the security issues is inadequate. The Security Model - His argument is that states build nuclear weapons to increase national security against foreign threats, especially nuclear threats -:L9K9K080.:7L9240O$,J,3411078,30[5O,3,9L431473:.O0,7Z0,5438574OL107,9L43L3 accordance with the tradition of Realism. According to neorealist theory in political science, - states exist in anarchical international system and thus - Rely on self-help to protect their sovereignty and national security. He says two policies - strong states and weak states - 1) Strong states pursue a form of internal balancing by pursuing self-sufficient policies to develop own nuclear weapons. - 2) Weak states - join alliance with a nuclear power, and hope - provide prevention guarantees. o Some weak states have no options other than doing this. This model, as an explanation for nuclear weapon proliferation, leads to an international system - forces states to a policy of balance of power and status quo
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