INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY MECHANISMS AND THE CHALLENGE OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM, 1998-2012

INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY MECHANISMS AND THE CHALLENGE OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM, 1998-2012

ABSTRACT

Many strategic experts aver that in the 21st century, the most threatening phenomenon to civilization is nuclear terrorism. The study examined this challenge against the background of a global nuclear renaissance, with corresponding dangers to the security, stability, and peace of the globe. We had subjected to scrutiny two pivotal international regulatory mechanisms – the IAEA, and the NPT – put in place to check the spread of nuclear weapons and by extension nuclear terrorism. We had posed three research questions as follows: (1) Do the statutory provisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) undermine its enforcement capacity against nuclear terrorism? (2) Are there impediments to the enforcement capacity of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to act as an effective international regulatory mechanism against the unapproved spread of nuclear technology? and (3) Do the statutory limitations of both the IAEA and the NPT regulatory mechanisms constitute a threat to global security?  We adopted two theories – the theory of power politics, and the theory of discontent and frustration – to aid the analysis of generated data. Being a qualitative and non-experimental research, we adopted the observation method of evaluating extant literature, and the explanatory single case ex-post facto design, which expressed itself in a Logical Data Framework. We found, that indeed, (1) the statutory provisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) undermined its enforcement capacity against nuclear terrorism; (2) there were impediments to the enforcement capacity of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to act as an effective international regulatory mechanism against the unapproved spread of nuclear technology, and, (3) that the statutory limitations of both the IAEA and the NPT regulatory mechanisms constitute a treat to global security.   The findings would have immense strategic implications, especially in this era of globalization. We, consequently, made recommendations, with emphasis on the restructuring of the UN, especially in relation to the greater empowerment of the IAEA and NPT to enable both to become more effective as international regulatory mechanisms in the fight against nuclear terrorism.