Nuclear norms in global governance: A progressive research agenda

Maria Rost Rublee, Avner Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We argue that the framework of norms has generated a progressive research agenda in the field of global nuclear politics, providing important insights that traditional realist and materialist analyses ignore or dismiss. These insights are not on the margins of nuclear politics; rather, they answer central questions about nuclear non-use, possession, and the nonproliferation regime at large. These findings are not a fluke; instead, they stem from the powerful analytical framework of norms, which provides complexes of linked propositions about actor expectations and behavior in global nuclear politics. This article examines three of those propositions: the importance of the logic of appropriateness, the role of norm contestation, and the changes brought about by norm entrepreneurs. Finally, we identify other norms-related ideas that can further illuminate the dire policy crises facing global nuclear governance, as well as specific areas of nuclear politics that would benefit from norms-related scrutiny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-340
Number of pages24
JournalContemporary Security Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • constructivism
  • global governance
  • Norms
  • nuclear disarmament
  • nuclear nonproliferation
  • nuclear proliferation

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