The economic strategies of U.S. nonproliferation policy during the Nixon-Ford years

Sarkar, J. (2021) The economic strategies of U.S. nonproliferation policy during the Nixon-Ford years. Journal of Global Security Studies, 6(1), ogaa009. (doi: 10.1093/jogss/ogaa009)

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Much of international relations scholarship attributes the United States’ commitment to prevent the global spread of nuclear weapons as the outcome of US national security interests. Yet, US nonproliferation policy comprises a compelling set of economic goals and strategies, beyond economic sanctions. Without incorporating economic factors and actors, and their convergence with the Cold War US national security state, the understanding of US nonproliferation policy remains incomplete. The 1970s challenged US postwar economic preeminence through the “Nixon shock,” the end of dollar convertibility to gold of the Bretton Woods system, and the 1973 oil price shock. Concurrently, the United States’ market share in terms of global nuclear reactor sales declined while those of West European suppliers like France and West Germany increased. This essay argues that US nonproliferation efforts, which in the Nixon-Ford era took the form of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) after India's 1974 nuclear explosion, were guided as much by security concerns about proliferation as by Washington's aim to reclaim its market share to protect US nuclear industry against West European competition.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sarkar, Dr Jay
Authors: Sarkar, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Journal of Global Security Studies
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):2057-3170
Published Online:18 February 2020

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