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The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: a study in post Cold War multilateral arms control negotiations

Johnson, Rebecca (2004) The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: a study in post Cold War multilateral arms control negotiations. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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A Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) had been on the arms control agenda since 1954, the subject of intermittent bilateral or trilateral talks that achieved only partial measures. The end of the Cold War provided renewed public pressure and political impetus for banning nuclear explosions. This thesis analyses the context and processes of the multilateral test ban negotiations that opened in the Conference on Disarmament in 1994. Combining participant-observation and contemporaneous notes with extensive use of documentary sources, unpublished materials and interviews, the study explores the dynamics of the CTBT negotiations in light both of regime theory and post cold war concepts of multilateralism, highlighting the role of civil society actors as well as states. Providing historical background and rich detail on the negotiating process from 1994-1996, the thesis examines the causal factors, strengths and weaknesses of the outcomes in four key areas: prenegotiations, scope, verification and entry into force. Focusing on the strategies and mechanisms by which actors with competing expectations and interests reached agreement, two types of convergence are explored: distributive, encompassing both imposed and managed divisions of gains and losses; and integrative, in which expectations of what would constitute an acceptable agreement are expanded or changed through cognitive strategies and the shaping of norms and interests. The thesis shows that whilst sharing a general objective of a CTBT, governments had significantly different views on what a test ban should encompass and accomplish, particularly with respect to broader concepts of nonproliferation and disarmament. While nuclear interests played a major role in determining a state's expectations and negotiating posture, other factors were important in reaching convergence. These included: knowledge and ideas; civil society engagement; norms and regime values; partnerships and alliances; internal policy cohesion or division; and the level of domestic and international political attention and support. By choosing to incorporate transnational civil society as a principal unit of analysis, along with states, the thesis contributes to a fuller understanding of how governments' calculations of what constitutes self-interest and security can be influenced and shaped, opening up alternative solutions for agreement than might have been initially envisaged.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2004 Rebecca Johnson
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Collections > LSE History of Thought theses
Supervisor: Sims, Nicholas

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