Nuclear capabilities

Nuclear Proliferation and the Quest for Prestige

States and leaders pursue nuclear technology, including weapons technology, for military and economic reasons. But other, immaterial reasons, also appear as reasons for establishing national nuclear programs. Anedoctal evidence and statements from leaders suggest enhancing one country’s prestige or status was a motive for developing nuclear technology. This means that leaders of these countries considered nuclear technology not only for defensive purposes, but also for status-enhancing purposes. Nevertheless, does acquisition of sensitive nuclear technology actually increases international status? Moreover, once states acquire sensitive nuclear technology, can states increase their stock in the international community by cooperating with the nonproliferation regime and being perceived as responsible custodians of nuclear technology? From this research, we expect to find whether there is any correlation between nuclear technology acquisition and international status, and whether, as a nuclear actor, being perceived as a responsible party to the nonproliferation regime also increases international status.