The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents,

“Nuclear Commerce and U.S. Nonproliferation Policy:
Lessons from Controversial Nuclear Assistance by Allies”

with Jayita Sarkar, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar, SIWPS
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard University

Moderated by Robert Jervis
Member, SIWPS
Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics

Dr. Sarkar’s paper is available upon request by emailing Arastoo Taslim

When and under what conditions is U.S. nonproliferation policy successful towards allies that supply controversial nuclear assistance to third party states? This paper, through focused comparison of four cases of nuclear assistance since the 1970s, investigates the challenges posed by allied suppliers and the nuclear industry to U.S. nonproliferation policy. It highlights the presence of a multi-layered policy harmonization process— between the supplier government and its nuclear industry, and between the United States and the allied government— in order to attain U.S. nonproliferation goals. The empirical evidence indicates that nonproliferation preferences of the political-bureaucratic elites in the supplier state constitute the key causal variable in determining policy outcomes with respect to continuing nuclear assistance. These preferences determine the policy outcome on nuclear supply especially following exogenous shocks that cause reassessment of proliferation risks and prior policies.

Jayita Sarkar is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. She is completing a book manuscript on Franco-Indian nuclear relations and U.S. nonproliferation strategies, and concurrently, working on her second book project on nuclear commerce and U.S. nonproliferation policy towards allied and semi-allied states. The latter has been funded by the Stanton Foundation, Harvard Kennedy School, and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Dr. Sarkar was formerly a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at Harvard prior to which she worked for U.S., European and South Asian think-tanks on contemporary security issues through research positions held at the Henry L. Stimson Center, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, and the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis. Her single-authored peer-reviewed articles have been published in Cold War History, The International History Review, Critique Internationale, and Strategic Analysis. Dr. Sarkar holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute Geneva in Switzerland.