2022 Undergraduate Fellow Spotlight: James Cummings

James Cummings is a rising Sophomore at Middlebury College intending to major in Political Science. He is specifically interested in American Constitutional Law, US-Russia relations, and how the legacy of the Soviet Union affects those relations. A course on nonproliferation taught by Professor Lewis from the Monterey Institute sparked his interest in nonproliferation studies and the CNS fellowship.  His other academic interests include Biology and Data Science, especially when applied across disciplines. James interned with the Big Life Foundation in the greater Amboseli ecosystem of Kenya, where he helped establish an elephant monitoring database. Outside of the classroom, he is a member of the Middlebury Consulting Group, and the Club Ice Hockey team, and enjoys working in the pottery studio.

Final Presentation: Nuclear Cooperation with non-NPT Nuclear Weapons States

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Nuclear cooperation with nuclear weapons states which have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty calls into question the framework and norms of the Non-Proliferation regime and serves as an example of what happens when the strategic interests and non-Proliferation obligations of major powers conflict with each other. The United States legitimized its Nuclear cooperation with India by getting Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) approval in 2008. China claims its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is ‘grandfathered’ in by an agreement that predates their NSG membership. While the Indian NSG waiver degraded the NSG norm of full-scope safeguards as a prerequisite for nuclear cooperation, China’s unapproved trade with Pakistan highlights the weaknesses of the NSG as a non-binding, informal, nationally implemented group. By comparing the United States’ nuclear cooperation with India to China’s cooperation with Pakistan I hope to determine how different strategies of cooperation with non-NPT nuclear weapons states impact the non-proliferation regime.  I will go on to determine the possible strategies available as the NSG continues to deal with India and Pakistan’s bids for membership.