I have conducted this project as my doctoral and post-doctoral research at Princeton University (2002 to 2008) and then at Northwestern University (2008-2012). This project has lead to various publication including my first monograph Fallout: Nuclear Diplomacy in an Age of Global Fracture (Chicago University Press, 2014), and a various articles on the creation of the European Union as a foreign policy actor, or on the expert knowledge practices found in the design of a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.
While many Baby Boomers still recall crouching under their grade-school desks in frequent bomb drills during the Cuban Missile Crisis, thus far, we have succeeded in preventing such catastrophe, and this is partly due to the various treaties signed in the 1960s forswearing the use of nuclear technology for military purposes. In Fallout, I explain why some nations agreed to these limitations of their sovereign will—and why others decidedly did not. I build my investigation around the 1968 signing of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which, though binding in nature, wasn’t adhered to consistently by all signatory nations. In particular, I look at Europe’s observance of treaty rules in contrast to the three holdouts in the global nonproliferation regime: Israel, India, and Pakistan. I show that who wrote the treaty and how the rules were written—whether transparently, ambiguously, or opaquely—had major significance in how the rules were interpreted and whether they were then followed or dismissed as regimes changed and evolved. The book not only provides a new perspective on world diplomatic history, but, more significantly, draws important conclusions about potential conditions that could facilitate the inclusion of the remaining NPT holdouts.
In this project, I have also conducted "policy experiments", designed to test whether past legal templates, like the Euratom Treaty, could serve as good reference points to organize discussions in other regions. This more policy-oriented side of my work has also lead to various policy papers, high level policy seminars and even draft treaties prepared for diplomats.