Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Aysegul Aydin

Second Advisor

Janet Donavan

Third Advisor

Priscilla Craven

Abstract

Nuclear arms have revolutionized the ways by which human beings are able to harm one another. Omnipresent in the status quo is a nuclear tension, and whether subtly or more overtly, this tension underlies a great many international relationships. While Westphalian paranoia and neorealist power perceptions encourage populations to continue placing their faith in nuclear umbrellas and deterrence strategies, scholars and activists increasingly claim that without the realization of universal disarmament, humanity concedes to the inevitability of future nuclear detonation.

New disarmament initiatives concentrate heavily on the implications of nuclear weaponry in a sense that supersedes the security of only particular sovereign populations. Rooted in constructivist theory that stresses the importance of processes and relationships to the international system, these new initiatives seem to be gaining momentum. As the world continues to globalize, transnational cultural interactions may be stimulating the development of increasingly worldly identities more prone to support disarmament campaigns. Not only are we witnessing a pivot toward a more holistic devotion to the global good and global identities, but we are also seeing increasingly frequent normative attacks on nuclear legitimacy and a transition toward international collective security architecture, both of which seem to manifest as a result of the identity shifts themselves.

The following research utilizes a qualitative, interview-based model and will discuss the future feasibility of disarmament initiatives with a particular concentration on constructivist perceptions of the international system.

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