Journal Article - St Anthony's International Review St. Anthony’s International Review

Beyond Carrots and Sticks: The Role of Status Ambitions and the NPT's “Double Standard” in Nuclear Arms Control Negotiations

| May 2015

This article examines why India walked away from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). After having spent years strongly advocating for a test ban accord, India changed course in the aftermath of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) indefinite extension in 1995, becoming the most outspoken opponent of the CTBT. This article argues that India's reversal cannot be explained by the conventional wisdom about (non-)compliance in nuclear arms control negotiations, which usually highlights the power of material interests. Since there was no development in the nuclear realm that might have compromised India's interests prior to its decision to change course, these theories fall short of explaining India's sudden opposition to the CTBT. The same holds true for the influence of norms. This article instead argues that perceived disrespect precipitated India's decision to abandon the treaty. India criticized the NPT as biased because it enforced non-proliferation without obligating the nuclear superpowers to disarm. Similarly, New Delhi believed the NPT's indefinite renewal made a mockery of a proud country's political claims.

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For Academic Citation: FIkenscher, Sven-Eric. Beyond Carrots and Sticks: The Role of Status Ambitions and the NPT's “Double Standard” in Nuclear Arms Control Negotiations.” St. Anthony’s International Review, vol. 11. no. 1. (May 2015):
111-134
.

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