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Bargaining on Nuclear TestsWashington and its Cold War Deals$
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Or Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702931

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702931.001.0001

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The Paradox of Hegemony

The Paradox of Hegemony

(p.16) 2 The Paradox of Hegemony
Bargaining on Nuclear Tests

Or Rabinowitz

Oxford University Press

The aim of this chapter is to offer a theoretical framing of American willingness to reach bargains on nuclear tests through the ‘Paradox of Hegemony’, to be examined as the background to the case studies. The main question which drives this pursuit is why were American decision-makers willing to compromise the NPT and its declared non-proliferation agenda by reaching nuclear bargains which undermined the treaty’s principles, tacitly acknowledging and accepting nuclear weapons possession outside the club of the first generation proliferators? According to Bruce Cronin’s ‘Paradox of Hegemony’, an inherent tension exists between a state’s role as a system’s hegemon, obligated to adhere to the system’s institutions and norms, and its role as a great power, in pursuit of national-domestic interests, and thus hegemons are constantly torn between these two conflicting vectors.

Keywords:   Paradox of Hegemony, nuclear tests, NPT adherence, non-proliferation, role strain, Bruce Cronin, institutions

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