Research proposal: “The Latin American Non-Proliferation Experience: A Model for Export?”
This research aims to study under what conditions are Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs) established, taking the Latin American experience of non-proliferation as a model.
The “Latin American experience” refers to two milestones that occurred in this region. The first one was the Treaty of Tlatelolco of 1967, which established the first Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in a populated region. The second was the creation of the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), a bilateral safeguard regime, which both nations adhered to in the early 1990s that completed the Latin American NWFZ.
The “Latin American experience,” though it remains a paradigmatic model, is not completely exceptional due to other regions that have successfully negotiated NWFZs including Africa, Central Asia, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Most of these regions have recognized the Latin American precedent and have taken the Tlatelolco Treaty as a model. Even the attempts that have been made to promote a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East have been based on the Latin America Tlatelolco Treaty.
Given the Latin American experience and its “lessons” for other regions, this thesis aspires to answer the following questions: 1) What underlying conditions help to support the creation of NWFZs? 2) What makes the precedent of Tlatelolco and ABACC valuable? 3) Why do regions prefer to negotiate regional denuclearization agreements in addition to the Non Proliferation Treaty?
This research will adopt the method of structured, focused comparison in order to compare different NWFZs, using the Latin American experience as a reference and analyzing their establishment and consolidation. In doing so, this research will try to find the relevant conditions and patterns related to the establishment of regional security regimes such as NWFZs.