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Exploring ‘Accommodation’ to Understand the Behaviour of Rising Powers in the Global Nuclear Order: The Cases of India and Brazil


First put forth by Hedley Bull in the 1970s, the notion of ‘accommodation’ is an often-neglected approach to understanding the role, rights and responsibilities of emerging nuclear powers from the Global South in the nuclear order. The existing literature looks at the avenues and conditions through which the institutions of the nuclear order grant accommodation. However, analysis of the demands raised by rising powers at various stages of the nuclear order's development is severely lacking. The cases of India and Brazil, two rising powers with advanced nuclear capabilities, highlight some of the demands of accommodation raised by these states during the early development of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) – a cornerstone agreement in the global nuclear architecture. Two important demands – namely, regional security considerations in the global system and the adoption of the principle of mutual obligations and responsibilities – have shaped these states’ behaviour vis-à-vis the NPT.
Keywords: global nuclear order; accommodation demands; India; Brazil; Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty