Using the inputs into the inter-sessional meetings of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention to enhance conceptualization of effectiveness for the regime to control biological weapons

  • Richard Guthrie

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis seeks to find greater understanding in how to understand the concept of ‘effectiveness’ in a regime such as that to control biological weapons which has at its core an international treaty, the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Previous work in this field has been highly theoretical and this thesis identifies: limitations in existing theories as applied to this regime; gaps between theory and practice; and limits to common perceptions of issues within the regime.In order to create a new conceptualization of effectiveness, definitions for four dimensions — Threat Ambition, Coherence/Engagement, Availability/Opportunity, and Resilience — were developed to sit within a new framework of assessment for evaluating effectiveness within the regime to control biological weapons.Limitations were also identified in policy analysis techniques focused on influences towards particular outcomes as these bring with them a severe analytical limitation as correlation does not equate with causation. However, an analysis of hindrances/obstacles to particular outcomes brings with it a means of analysis that allows for a separation of influences and identification in which circumstances certain influences may have been critical to a particular outcome. This is the inspiration for a new analysis tool — a conjectured generic idealized policy decision — which is then tested for the first time.Triangulation between the two analytical techniques, the framework of analysis to understand effectiveness within the regime to control biological weapons [the top-down approach] and the conjectured generic idealized policy decision to see how the regime impacts upon national policy processes [the bottom-up approach], indicates both have potential for further potential as analytical tools.
Date of Award22 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorBill Durodie (Supervisor)

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