Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Political Science


Political Science

Major Professor

Michael G. Huelshoff

Second Advisor

Christine L. Day

Third Advisor

Stephen E. Wright


This dissertation investigates factors that predict compliance with international regimes, specifically the Non-Proliferation Regime. Generally accepted in international relations literature, is Krasner’s (1983) definition that regimes are “sets of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given [issue] area of international relations.” Using institutionalization as a framework, I hypothesize that compliance is a function of the respect for which a nation has for the rule of law. I investigate the NP regime through the lens of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, a mandate for member nations to enact domestic legislation criminalizing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Using NP regime compliance and implementation of UNSCR 1540’s mandates as dependent variables, I test the hypotheses with the following independent variables: rule of law, political competition, and regional compliance. I also present qualitative case studies on Argentina, South Africa, and Malaysia. The quantitative results of these analyses indicated a strong relationship between rule of law and regional compliance and a nation’s compliance with the overall NP regime and implementation of UNSCR 1540. These results indicate a nation will institutionalize the NP norms, and comply with the specifics of implementation. The results of in-depth analysis of Argentina, South Africa, and Malaysia showed that predicting an individual nation’s compliance is more complex than descriptions of government capacity or geography. Argentina and South Africa, expected by the hypotheses to exhibit low to medium compliance and implementation, scored high and well above their region for both measures. Malaysia, expected to score high in compliance, scored low. Findings thus reveal that rule of law is probably less influential on individual cases and regional compliance and cooperation better predictors of a nation’s compliance with a security regime.


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