The Watchdog Without a Bite: Argentina, Brazil, OPANAL, and Nuclear Nonproliferation in Latin America, 1973–1990
Advisors: John H. Coatsworth (Columbia), Tanya Harmer (LSE)
My dissertation examines how the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), based out of Mexico City, dealt with Argentina and Brazil's nuclear programs, the two most advanced in Latin America, between 1973 and 1990. During this time neither Argentina nor Brazil were full adherents to the 1967 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, commonly referred to as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which made Latin America the first inhabited region in the world to ban nuclear weapons. My dissertation concludes that OPANAL played an important role in ensuring that Argentina and Brazil were incorporated into Latin America's nonproliferation regime despite their non-adherent status under Tlatelolco, while OPANAL simultaneously served as a platform through which Argentina and Brazil could engage other countries around the world on nuclear issues.