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Distributive Justice and Treaty Efficiency: Impact of Dual-use Research Restrictions on bwc Implementation

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This article evaluates the security value of controls over biotechnology transfers and of new restrictions on the spread of scientific results: to what extent do they improve the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (bwc)? Although the questions of justice that have plagued the bwc regime since its creation in 1972 have been analyzed extensively, the effects of current controls over dual-use research and the propagation of scientific results on the implementation of the bwc have not been fully addressed. It is argued that although controls over biotechnology transfers increase security because they delay covert programs by creating integration challenges, controls on the spread of scientific results have no security value. They instead may lead to a decreased implementation of the bwc.

Affiliations: 1: Biodefense Program, School of Policy, Government and International Affairs, George Mason University4400 University Drive, Fairfax, va


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