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Atomic Marketplace: Nuclear Proliferation and Multipolarity

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Atomic Marketplace: Nuclear Proliferation and Multipolarity

Seminar
Series: Project on Managing the Atom Seminar Series
Open to the Public - Fainsod Room, Littauer-324
March 23, 2016
10:00-11:30 a.m.

Speaker: Eliza Gheorghe, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

Related Projects: Managing the Atom, International Security, Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Description:

Since the discovery of fission in 1938, 60 countries have sought to use atomic energy: of these, 31 developed nuclear weapons programs. Nuclear proliferation progressed in fits and starts: some periods saw non-proliferators excelling at slowing down the spread of nuclear weapons, while on other occasions, aspirants had the upper hand. In this MTA Seminar, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Research Fellow Eliza Gheorghe will argue that the differences in the pace of proliferation can be explained by the polarity of the nuclear market. Multipolarity advances nuclear proliferation because it gives aspirants leverage in their negotiations for atomic assistance. In a multipolar nuclear marketplace, aspirants obtain nuclear transfers with more ease by employing the age-old strategy of playing suppliers off against each other. When suppliers coordinate and forge a cartel-like structure, proliferators have a harder time manipulating suppliers. Gheorghe will test these arguments by analyzing nuclear negotiations and transfers throughout history, and I found that proliferation depends on the ability of nuclear aspirants to exploit tensions among suppliers. Gheorghe will also examine the implications for non-proliferation and nuclear export controls policy in the context of a growing interest in nuclear power among developing countries.

Contact:

MTA Project Coordinator
Project on Managing the Atom 79 John F. Kennedy St, Mailbox 134 Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Email: joshua_anderson@hks.harvard.edu
Phone: 617-495-4219
Fax: 617-495-0606