Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lisa Koch

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This thesis explores the reputation that the United States has for supporting and promoting three norms related to nuclear weapons: nonproliferation, non-use, and deterrence, while simultaneously examining the impact that United States actions can have on the saliency of the norms themselves. Ultimately, the United States has the ability to considerably impact the saliency of international nuclear norms, and has encouraged other states to accept and abide by them. However, there exists a disparity between the words and actions of the United States. In effect, the United States may “talk the talk” by expressing support and attempting to influence other states to abide by nuclear norms, but has shown a reluctance to “walk the walk” by failing to demonstrate behavior that is in full accordance with the norms. This disparity between words and actions has the ability to damage the United States’ reputation as a leader of nuclear norms, and can ultimately diminish their saliency to the international community.