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The Role of Justice in Compliance Behavior: Germany’s Early Membership in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Regime

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image of International Negotiation

Compliance is a central concept in both the study and practice of international relations, and the body of literature is correspondingly extensive. Although justice has already been shown to play an important role in international negotiations, its potential impact on actors’ compliance behavior has not been sufficiently explored to date. We examine the relationship between the two concepts, and posit that actors’ perceived justice considerations with a regime influence their compliance behavior. To illustrate the importance of including justice considerations in the study of compliance, we investigate Germany’s behavior as a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty during the 1960–80s. The empirical illustration exemplifies how a member’s justice contentions, borne of an unjust regime, can lead to contested compliance and regime conflict. The case illuminates the need to broaden our understanding of compliance and its complexity in both conceptual and practical terms.

Affiliations: 1: Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)Baseler Straße 27–31, 60329 Frankfurt am; 2: Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)Baseler Straße 27–31, 60329 Frankfurt am MainGermany


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