Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Taking a Walk on the Supply Side: The Determinants of Civilian Nuclear Cooperation

| Apr. 01, 2009


When and why do states transfer nuclear technology, materials, and knowledge to other states for peaceful purposes? This question is important given the recent finding that countries receiving nuclear aid are more likely to pursue and acquire nuclear weapons. Fuhrmann argue that countries provide civil nuclear assistance for three strategic reasons: to strengthen their allies and alliances, to strengthen their relationship with enemies of enemies, and to strengthen existing democracies and bilateral relationships with these countries (if the supplier is also a democracy). Fuhrmann tests these arguments using statistical analysis and a new data set on more than 2,000 bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation agreements signed between 1950 and 2000. The findings offer robust empirical support for his argument and very little support for the competing explanation rooted in norms and nonproliferation. This article enhances scholarly understanding of how and why nuclear weapons spread and encourages further research on the supply side of nuclear proliferation. It also has broad implications for the literatures on norms and international cooperation.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Fuhrmann, Matthew. Taking a Walk on the Supply Side: The Determinants of Civilian Nuclear Cooperation.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 53. no. 2. (April 1, 2009):

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