Challenges to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The effectiveness of a given treaty hinges on states acknowledging the necessity of membership in that treaty, its functioning as intended, and its members preferring the treaty's continued existence. A number of challenges threaten the effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). These include continuing proliferation efforts, nationalism, great power competition, the spread of nuclear technology, the increasing burden on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and polarization among NPT member states. This article models the mechanism that underpins the NPT and then assesses the effects of the identified challenges.
When the various challenges work together within the NPT mechanism, effectiveness is likely to decrease in the foreseeable future unless the international community adopts specific measures. We conclude by offering policy recommendations intended to strengthen the NPT.