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Explaining the non-proliferation regime: anomalies for contemporary international relations theory

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  • Smith, Roger K.

Abstract

This article reconciles common policy usage with scholarly definition. The system of cooperation on non-proliferation has often been termed an international “regime,” but there has not been any systematic effort to determine if this is actually true. The discussion also attempts to reconcile the formation and maintenance of this system of cooperation with contemporary international relations theory. The central argument is that the system of international cooperation on non-proliferation does constitute a regime, but that such a regime presents a serious anomaly for contemporary theory. The article concludes that power and egoistic self-interest are inadequate to account for the regime's formation and maintenance. The inadequacies of both the hegemonic stability and functional theories point towards another independent variable that needs central consideration in regime analysis: knowledge and learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Roger K., 1987. "Explaining the non-proliferation regime: anomalies for contemporary international relations theory," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 253-281, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:41:y:1987:i:02:p:253-281_02
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