Case Study: Biological Weapons Verification

Caroline Fehl

in Living with a Reluctant Hegemon

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608621
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731730 | DOI:
Case Study: Biological Weapons Verification

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The verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention is the subject of the last case study. In the negotiations over this agreement, European advocates of intrusive verification were ready to weaken key provisions to win US support. When the new Bush administration rejected even the watered-down draft, they abandoned the initiative altogether. The chapter argues that effectiveness concerns explain the concessions made in the original negotiations, since a loss of US support threatened to alienate key third countries suspected of BWC violations. After the US rejection, however, European decision-makers had to choose between two equally unattractive outcomes, a protocol with limited membership and an abandonment of the process. That they preferred the latter option was explained in part by their fear of competitive disadvantages for European biotechnical companies, and in part by the strong norm of transatlantic consensus that prevailed on this ‘hard security’ issue.

Keywords: biological Weapons Convention; protocol; verification; compliance; biodefence; biological warfare; biotechnology; pharmaceutical industry; nonproliferation Disarmament

Chapter.  12779 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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