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What is the effect of alliances on nuclear proliferation? On the one hand, theories of assurance contend that states with a powerful ally can forego indigenous nuclear capabilities. On the other hand, critics argue that external reliance violates the "self-help" principle in world politics and cite evidence of nuclear ambitions among numerous U.S. allies. To resolve this debate, the speaker proposes a theory of alliance coercion and tests its predictions against evidence from the West German case.

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