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Contested World OrdersRising Powers, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Politics of Authority Beyond the Nation-State$
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Matthew D. Stephen and Michael Zürn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843047

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843047.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

The Contestation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Regime

The Contestation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Regime

(p.202) 6 The Contestation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Regime
Contested World Orders

Harald Müller

Alexandros Tokhi

Oxford University Press

The nuclear world order, and more specifically the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), represent since their very creation objects of contestation. This chapter argues that it is the institutionalized power inequality between state parties that creates conflict among them over the distribution of security, economic, and developmental benefits. In that respect, states with growing economic importance and heightened security interests are most likely to contest the status quo, but not necessarily the BRICS states as these are not bound by a common interest or agenda within the regime. To analyse the contestation of the NPT, the chapter adopts a mixed method approach. Through a qualitative content analysis of states’ statements at major institutional gatherings, the chapter identifies four central conflict lines and actors’ preferences regarding the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Linear regression analysis is used to assess the relative influence of different actors groups on the intensity and type of contestation. Results show that the majority of state parties actively and constructively engages with the institution by pushing for institutional reform, recognizing in principle the legitimacy of the institution. Voicing criticism and exposing weaknesses of the institution was the least frequent form of contestation.

Keywords:   rising powers, nuclear non-proliferation, contestation, NPT, nuclear disarmament

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