Leaders and Laggards: When and Why do Countries Sign the NPT?

Author
Christopher Way, Karthika Sasikumar
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
Abstract
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) was concluded at the end of the 1960s, a decade which saw the drama of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the height of the nuclear arms race between the superpowers, and the entry of France and China into the club of countries that had tested nuclear weapons. The basic bargain underlying the NPT allows countries to surrender their right to develop nuclear weapons in return for access to international assistance in civilian nuclear technology. Five countries (the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, and China) that had tested nuclear devices before 1 January 1967, were conferred the status of Nuclear Weapon State (NWS) by Article IX. All other signatories (Non Nuclear Weapon States or NNWSs) pledged to abjure the development and diffusion of nuclear weapons technology.
Topic
International Relations, Globalization, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
Political Geography
United States, China, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union, Cuba