"That so many questions readily spring forth after reading the book is a sign of its strength rather than weakness. Despite a century of available data on norms against the use of WMDs, Rublee is breaking a good deal of new ground...Nonproliferation Norms is therefore not only an accessible and engaging read, but an important book that should become a touchstone for further research on non-proliferation."
—Journal of Human Security
The nuclear nonproliferation movement has created an international social environment that exerts a variety of normative pressures on how state elites and policymakers think about nuclear weapons. Within a social psychology framework, Rublee examines decision making about nuclear weapons in five case studies: Japan, Egypt, Libya, Sweden, and Germany.
In each case, Rublee considers the extent to which nuclear forbearance resulted from persuasion (genuine transformation of preferences), social conformity (the desire to maximize social benefits and/or minimize social costs, without a change in underlying preferences), or identification (the desire or habit of following the actions of an important other).
The book offers bold policy prescriptions based on a sharpened knowledge of the many ways we transmit and process nonproliferation norms. The social mechanisms that encourage nonproliferation-and the regime that created them-must be preserved and strengthened, Rublee argues, for without them states that have exercised nuclear restraint may rethink their choices.
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