Department of National Security Affairs - Department of National Security Affairs
Dr. Rupal Mehta: Delaying Doomsday: The Politics of Nuclear Reversal
Dr. Rupal Mehta will be giving a talk titled “Delaying Doomsday: The Politics of Nuclear Reversal” on Thursday, 27 February 2020 at 1200 in Glasgow Hall, RM 322.
Scholars and practitioners have long debated about the conditions under which states that have embarked on nuclear weapons programs choose to stop their pursuit. Dr. Mehta’s talk is based on her recently published book, Delaying Doomsday: The Politics of Nuclear Reversal. The book centers its theoretical analysis on how the international community bargains with proliferators to encourage reversal. It outlines a new theory of nuclear reversal that provides a systemic examination of the important role that external incentives—sanctions and rewards can play in nuclear negotiations, especially when the threat to use force remains on the table. Specifically, she argues that nuclear reversal is most likely when states are threatened with sanctions and offered face-saving rewards that help them withstand domestic political opposition. Underlying these negotiations is the shadow of military force. The possibility of military intervention incentivizes states to accept the agreement offered by the United States and end their nuclear pursuit. To test these implications, Mehta’s study has employed a unified, multi-method observational research design to identify patterns of behavior over time among all proliferators. In addition to quantitative analyses that systematically explore nuclear reversal historically, the book incorporates three in-depth case studies comparing the Indian, Iranian, and North Korean nuclear programs, using original interview and archival data.
Dr. Rupal Mehta is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
For more about Dr. Mehta, click here.
For more about her book Delaying Doomsday, click here.