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Atomic Assistance: How "Atoms for Peace" Programs Cause Nuclear Insecurity

Overview

Nuclear technology is dual use in nature, meaning that it can be used to produce nuclear energy or to build nuclear weapons. Despite security concerns about proliferation, the United States and other nuclear nations have regularly shared with other countries nuclear technology, materials, and knowledge for peaceful purposes. In Atomic Assistance, Matthew Fuhrmann argues that governments use peaceful nuclear assistance as a tool of economic statecraft. Nuclear suppliers hope that they can reap the benefits of ...

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Atomic Assistance: How

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Overview

Nuclear technology is dual use in nature, meaning that it can be used to produce nuclear energy or to build nuclear weapons. Despite security concerns about proliferation, the United States and other nuclear nations have regularly shared with other countries nuclear technology, materials, and knowledge for peaceful purposes. In Atomic Assistance, Matthew Fuhrmann argues that governments use peaceful nuclear assistance as a tool of economic statecraft. Nuclear suppliers hope that they can reap the benefits of foreign aid—improving relationships with their allies, limiting the influence of their adversaries, enhancing their energy security by gaining favorable access to oil supplies—without undermining their security. By providing peaceful nuclear assistance, however, countries inadvertently help spread nuclear weapons.

Fuhrmann draws on several cases of "Atoms for Peace," including U.S. civilian nuclear assistance to Iran from 1957 to 1979; Soviet aid to Libya from 1975 to 1986; French, Italian, and Brazilian nuclear exports to Iraq from 1975 to 1981; and U.S. nuclear cooperation with India from 2001 to 2008. He also explores decision making in countries such as Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, and Syria to determine why states began (or did not begin) nuclear weapons programs and why some programs succeeded while others failed. Fuhrmann concludes that, on average, countries receiving higher levels of peaceful nuclear assistance are more likely to pursue and acquire the bomb—especially if they experience an international crisis after receiving aid.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In a world where officials presume there is a clear, bright line between generating nuclear electricity and producing nuclear weapons, Fuhrmann's book is a sorely needed slap of reality. His thesis, captured in the book's title, certainly is timely: . . . even purported proliferation-resistant nuclear power plants can produce nuclear weapons-usable plutonium and their fresh fuel can be used to accelerate weapons uranium production."—Henry Sokolski, Nonproliferation Review (March 2013)

"Matthew Fuhrmann's Atomic Assistance makes a critical contribution toward improving our understanding of the causes and effects of peaceful nuclear assistance. Policymakers, scholars, and students will all benefit greatly by reading this important book."—Dan Reiter, Chair, Department of Political Science, Emory University, author of How Wars End

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801478116
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,320,751
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Fuhrmann is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

List of Abbreviations xvii

Introduction: Unintended Consequences in International Politics 1

1 Definitions and Patterns of Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation 13

Part I Atoms for Peace

2 Economic Statecraft and Atoms for Peace: A Theory of Peaceful Nuclear Assistance 33

3 The Historical Record: A First Cut 49

4 Nuclear Arms and Influence: Assisting India, Iran, and Libya 81

5 The Thirst for Oil and Other Motives: Nine Puzzling Cases of Assistance 110

6 Oil for Peaceful Nuclear Assistance? 129

Part II Atoms for War

7 Spreading Temptation: Why Nuclear Export Strategies Backfire 143

8 Who Builds Bombs? How Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Facilitates the Spread of Nuclear Weapons 180

9 Have International Institutions Made the World Safer? 207

Conclusion: What Peaceful Nuclear Assistance Teaches Us about International Relations 239

Notes 257

Index 309

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