Forgoing the Bomb But Not the Technology: Understanding the Relationship Between Bolivian Foreign Policy and Nuclear Technology

Keywords: Bolivia; nuclear weapons; nuclear technology; Tlatelolco Treaty; Latin America


Nuclear technology remains a critical point of interest for many states in the post-Cold War era either as they enhance their weapons arsenal and/or advance on the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. This can become problematic for smaller states that greater powers are suspicious of. Using Bolivia as a case study this article seeks to understand how Bolivia has accommodated the three pillars of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty into its foreign policy in an attempt to elude suspicion and develop atoms for peace. This investigation is undertaken by using desktop research that seeks to understand Bolivia’s stances toward nuclear weapons as well as its desires (and how it seeks to fulfil these desires) of obtaining peaceful nuclear technology. The findings suggest that Bolivia is fully compliant with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and is not discriminatory in the selection of its partners both at home and abroad as long as they share mutual interests and yield the best possible outcome for Bolivia. Furthermore, this research also reveals that Bolivia has been tactful in its alliance and partner formation so that those chosen help to elevate Bolivia’s international status. In conclusion, it is unquestionable that Bolivia has created some remarkable opportunities for itself thanks to its tactfulness; however, Bolivia also faces some key domestic economic realities that could hinder its ambitions. 


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Sven Botha, University of Johannesburg

Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg