Iran's And North Korea's Nuclear Intentions: Applying William Potter's Theory

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Iran's and North Korea's Nuclear Intentions: Applying William Potter's Theory



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Theoretical framework1

Problem statement2

Research questions2


The study of international regimes4

North Korea's violation of the NPT regime: calculated defiance and noncompliance5

Norm Internalization: Signing on to the NPT as an Act of Expediency6

Learning from History: Nuclear Weapons to Enhance Security and Bargaining Leverage6

The case of Iran: outward adherence to the nonproliferation norm and projection of ambiguous intentions8

Iran's deviations from the NPT: measured acceptance of the norm & deliberate pursuit of policy of nuclear ambiguity9

Complexity of Norm Internalization: Discrepancy between Actions and Words10


Overview of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Approaches11

Research design12

Case study13

Data collection and sampling15

Data analysis15

The quantitative approach15

Research Approach16

Likert Scale17

Ethical Consideration17




More than half a century ago, President Dwight Eisenhower (1953) made his Atoms for Peace speech at the UN General Assembly, proposing to share nuclear materials and information for peaceful purposes with other countries under the guidance of a new international agency (Abrahamian 2007). That speech has been considered as the major building bloc based on which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also referred to as the world's. Atoms for Peace organization, was created in 1957 within the United Nations (UN) system. Today, the agency has the dual responsibility to work with its member states and multiple partners worldwide to facilitate safe and peaceful nuclear programs while preventing the development and spread of nuclear weapons (Levin & Han 2002).

Theoretical framework

There are two key theoretical frameworks based on which this research seeks to explain the respective policy choices of the North Korean and the Iranian governments. The issue of noncompliance with the NPT is to be framed by regime theory while the question of the different dynamics of nuclear negotiations is to be explained based on the framework of interstate bargaining model in conjunction with the theory of complex interdependence (Kim 2009). As acknowledged earlier, however, these two questions are closely connected with each other given that what motivated these states to deviate from regime norms in the first place would make a considerable impact on their decisions in the course of multilateral negotiations later on (Keohane 2005).

First of all, North Korea and Iran have differences in major objectives for deviating from the NPT regime, which have differently affected each government's stance on multilateral nuclear bargaining with the major powers (Katzman 2010). For instance, if a country develops nuclear weapons with an explicit option to use them as a bargaining chip to increase its security and economic conditions, as in the case of North Korea, its attitude in nuclear nonproliferation ...
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