MEMBERS' activities

The Evolution of the IAEA: Using Nuclear Crises as Windows of Opportunity (or Not)

  • AUTHORTrevor Findlay, Belfer Center
  • Mar 13, 2013

This seminar considered how the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reacted to nuclear crises. Broadly, the IAEA's evolution might be characterized as "punctuated equilibrium," in which a succession of global nuclear crises has disrupted the normal slow pace of the IAEA's development. The IAEA often appears not just to have weathered such crises, but to have successfully leaped through windows of opportunity presented by them. This has resulted in periodic expansions of its mandate, capabilities, and resources. The 2011 Fukushima disaster appears to be a puzzling exception, raising the question of what concatenation of factors needs to be present for the IAEA to take advantage of nuclear crises. Professor Findlay examined the major nuclear crises faced by the IAEA, including Fukushima, in search of preliminary hypotheses. The answers could have important policy implications for the IAEA and its member states.

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