Economic Sanctions and Nuclear Non-proliferation: A Comparative Study of North Korea and Iran
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The history of using economic sanctions to curb nuclear proliferation has had mixed results. The goal of this research project is to determine why economic sanctions are more effective in some cases than they are in others. The two case studies, North Korea and Iran are examples of the failures and successes of economic sanctions, respectively. In order to understand it is the disparity in outcomes of economic sanctions, a framework of four factors was designed. This framework consists of: limited political contestation within the sanctioned country, economic versus security vulnerability, and the international cooperation mounted against the target state. In Iran’s case, the limited contestation under an authoritarian regime, the desperate need to get oil and gas exports on the international market, relatively low-security concerns, and a coordinated international campaign of economic sanctions explain why the sanctions have thus far prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In North Korea’s case, the absolute nature of its authoritarianism, the insular command economy, high-security concerns, and countries like China and South Korea shielding North Korea from economic sanctions are the reasons why economic sanctions have fallen short in stopping North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons. Future studies of other cases can test this framework of analysis.
Cite this version of the work
Kallen Morrison (2021). Economic Sanctions and Nuclear Non-proliferation: A Comparative Study of North Korea and Iran. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16666