skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Evolution and resilience of the nuclear nonproliferation regime

This paper introduces the concept of systems resilience as a new framework for thinking about the future of the nonproliferation regime. Resilience refers to the ability of a system to maintain its vital functions in the face of continuous and unpredictable change. First, I make the case that the nonproliferation regime can be viewed as a complex system. Next, I discuss key themes from the literature on systems resilience and apply them to the nonproliferation system: the difference between resilience and stability; the need for evolution to maintain function; the importance of functional diversity; and the concept of the adaptive cycle. I show that most existing nonproliferation strategies are aimed at stability rather than resilience and that the current nonproliferation system may be over-constrained by the cumulative evolution of strategies. According to the literature on systems resilience, this increases its vulnerability to collapse. I argue that the resilience of the nonproliferation system can be enhanced by increasing international participation in setting the nonproliferation agenda, developing general international response capabilities, focusing on non-coercive approaches to decreasing demand, and applying systems thinking more rigorously to nonproliferation.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Senior Scientist, Retired, Sandia National Laboratories, 13013 Arroyo de Vista NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22280423
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1596; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: Short course on nuclear weapon issues in the 21st century, Washington, DC (United States), 2-3 Nov 2013; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; DEMAND; EVOLUTION; NON-PROLIFERATION POLICY; PROLIFERATION; STABILITY; VULNERABILITY