Bargaining for test ban treaties
in Curbing the spread of nuclear weapons
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The earliest specific international arrangement, at least indirectly, to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons is the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963. The negotiation of the treaty—originally designed to be a comprehensive ban on all nuclear testing—began essentially in 1955, when the Soviet Union unbundled such an agreement from a general and complete disarmament package, starting thereby an unpicking of the all-or-nothing position on nuclear arms control and disarmament they had taken over the Baruch Plan, vestiges of which remain in the wording of Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Bargaining theory has something to add to the understanding of arms control. To take the bargain between the superpowers first, the surplus to be created was a slowing down of the arms race between them. This chapter explores bargaining for test ban treaties and discusses the Threshold Test Ban Treaty signed by the United States and USSR. It also looks at the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.


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