State Advocacy for Nuclear Disarmament (StAND)

Reseach project funded by ÖAW Doc

September 18, 2023

The Austrian Academy of Science will fund Katja’s research project “State Advocacy for Nuclear Disarmament (StAND)” via its DOC Fellowship Programme. In coming years, Katja will investigate the reasons why states advocate disarmament. We will issue regular updates on the results of this project in the coming months and years. Congratulations to Katja for this big achievement!


State advocacy for nuclear disarmament has played a crucial role in promoting the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Yet, scholars have devoted surprisingly little effort to systematically theorize what drives states to advocate this cause. This project aims to address this gap by developing an integrated theory of why states advocate nuclear disarmament. It addresses two key questions: first, who are the states that have advocated nuclear disarmament, and second, why have they done so at certain points in time (and why not)? This project uses a mixed-method approach and proceeds in three phases to examine these two questions from 1945-2023. The first phase of this project involves identifying state advocates using quantitative text analysis and panel data based on three criteria: the frequency of statements about disarmament in multilateral forums, the prominence of nuclear disarmament in these statements, and the measures taken by states to promote nuclear disarmament. The second phase of this project explores causal pathways explaining state advocacy for nuclear disarmament using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fs/QCA) to identify four types of cases: (1) typical cases, (2) deviant cases, (3) logical remainder cases, and (4) unexplained cases. Using process tracing, elite interviews, and archival research, the third phase of this project analyzes these cases in depth to identify the relationships between additional explaining variables. Ultimately, this project will develop a theory explaining why states (do or do not) advocate nuclear disarmament at certain moments.