Sarkar Publishes in TNSR on GOP’s Nonproliferation Approach

Jayita Sarkar, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, recently published an essay as part of a Policy Roundtable in the Texas National Security Review entitled, “The Reagonomics of Nonproliferation in GOP Behavior.”

The roundtable examines President Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy legacy and its influence on the Trump administration and the GOP. Prof. Sarkar’s essay examines the interrelationship between economic and security-driven factors that have historically influenced U.S. nonproliferation policy, and how that might influence the current U.S. administration’s policies.

The summary of the essay is as follows:

American nuclear nonproliferation policy is a combination of economic and security imperatives. Since the early Cold War years, the GOP’s policy response to the international threat of nuclear proliferation has been pro-business/pro-market marked by the intrinsic struggle to strike the right balance between trade and controls. While the Trump administration’s nonproliferation policy might seem unique, I argue that it is far from it. In fact, there are more similarities than differences between the current Republican administration and that of Ronald Reagan when it comes to nonproliferation. Although the second decade of the 21st century is comprised of political and economic realities that are distinct from the new Cold War and the stagflation of the Gipper’s era, a look back at the Reagan administration’s policies may help identify key converging patterns that unite Ronald Reagan with Donald Trump and shed light, at least in part, on the Republican “nuclear” grand strategy. In the era of Trump, however, the balance between trade and controls, and economics and security, is harder to attain since the incentives driving such balance are not abundant.

Jayita Sarkar, an historian by training, is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. Her expertise is in the history of U.S. foreign policy, nuclear proliferation, the global Cold War, South Asia and Western Europe. Her research has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Cold War Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, Cold War HistoryInternational History Review, and elsewhere. Dr. Sarkar has held fellowships at MIT, Harvard, Columbia and Yale universities, and obtained a doctorate in International History from the Graduate Institute Geneva in Switzerland.