Do Arms Control Treaties Work? Assessing the Effectiveness of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
The authors of this article analyze Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to assess if it achieves its intended mission; as many scholars have conflicting opinions about it. However; there is a limitation that the authors had to overcome as the treaty was not designed to be investigated for causal connections so to resolve this limitation; similar treaties were analyzed. Furthermore; data from 1970 to 2000 were studied for evidence of the role played by the NPT. In this regard, two hypotheses were presented, one was the “optimist hypothesis” which stated that NPT has helped in the reduction of nuclear proliferation. The second was the “pessimist hypothesis” which stated that there is no relationship between NPT and nuclear nonproliferation. The study was aimed to find which hypothesis was true and bring this debate to an end (Fuhrmann & Lupu, 2016).
The research methodology was designed to weaken the existing assumptions surrounding the NPT and nuclear nonproliferation and for this reason, a three-stage research methodology was designed. The first stage is designed to help in gathering the data on each state’s probability of joining the NPT yearly; this stage was named W-NOMINATE. This process of measuring the probability also revealed each state’s preference in the treaty commitment; the process is further aided by collecting data on other universal treaties. In the second phase of the research, the “Treaty Commitment Preferences” are used to search for match pairs that have the probability of joining the NPT. The third research stage applied logit models to the match pair data to test the two hypotheses presented earlier. Variables were also considered and addressed during the W-NOMINATE stage to minimize assumptions. Research further suggested that the former leaders of rebel groups were more eager to seek nuclear weapons and would negate the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty. The data is presented in the form of tables and figures with Table no. 4 displaying the main results of the research which shows that NPT ratification is negatively associated with the pursuance of nuclear weapons and technology. It further strengthens the Optimist Hypothesis by proving that the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty does reduce nuclear proliferation. These results were possible to achieve after predicting and controlling every variable that presented itself during the research phase. Every variable was given its coding in the logit model and accounted for in the final result.
The study included extensive research which was divided into three phases to achieve variable control. The authors presented two hypotheses as the study was not based on proving one wrong but finding which one was correct. The detailed research methodology allowed them to overcome the limitation that was stated earlier as it allowed the authors to take into account every variable at play. This helped in finding the answer that the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty can have the desired effect of controlling nuclear activity. The Optimist hypothesis was supported by these findings and made the study successful. This proves that treaties work in achieving the goals that are expected of them and help in resolving complex issues. This study can serve as a blueprint for future studies of similar scope as the research model developed for this study will make it easier for the researchers to gather relevant data.
Fuhrmann, M., & Lupu, Y. (2016, May 3). Do Arms Control Treaties Work? Assessing the Effectiveness of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty 1 | International Studies Quarterly | Oxford Academic. https://academic.oup.com/isq/article/60/3/530/2469879?login=true