Shoring Up the Non-Proliferation Regime: An analysis of the diplomatic strategies for dealing with nuclear non-compliance
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis aims to determine the most effective ways to deal with nuclear non-compliance usingdiplomacy at regional and multilateral levels. Recent exposure of clandestine and dual-usenuclear weapons developments has revealed the need for diplomatic engagement in cases ofextreme non-compliance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).Due to the anarchic structure of the international system there is limited international authority toenforce treaty compliance or to deal with clandestine nuclear activities. This thesis takes anapproach that seeks to deal with the problem of illicit nuclear development, while workingtowards an international security structure that has decreased reliability on nuclear weapons.Taking the lessons learned from past cases will inform current challenges to the non-proliferationregime and work towards a uniform approach while the regime is in a transition phase. Thisthesis applies Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) to explain international securityinteractions from a regional perspective and to rationalise nuclear diplomacy. RSCT helpsestablish what levels within the international security structure motivate illicit nucleardevelopment and what level is then most appropriate in dealing with such actions. To establishthe parameters of debate, this research examines past diplomatic strategies to resolve cases wherestates failed to adhere to international obligations in the frrst nuclear crisis with the DemocraticPeople's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iraq, Libya and Ulaaine. This research then considersthe factors that contributed to the 2009 breakdown of the Six-Party Talks - the strategyemployed to deal with the second North Korea nuclear crisis from 2003 . This exploration allowsus to discern where multilateral diplomacy experiences obstacles and to then evaluate thepossibilities for multilateral engagement for the Islamic Republic ofIran (Iran). Lessons learnedin these cases provide understanding ofthe factors that exacerbate and mitigate compliancenegotiations. This research gives insight into the possibilities for and limitations of regional andmultilateral diplomacy to deal with Iran's illicit nuclear developments and future noncompliancecrises.