Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Best Senior Thesis in International Relations

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Second Department


Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

Reader 2

Scot Gould

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Henrietta N Toivanen


How might new technical verification capabilities enhance the prospects of success in future nuclear arms control negotiations? Both theory and evidence suggest that verification technologies can influence the dynamics of arms control negotiations by shaping and constraining the arguments and strategies that are available to the involved stakeholders. In the future, new technologies may help transcend the specific verification challenge of high-security warhead authentication, which is a verification capability needed in future disarmament scenarios that address fewer warheads, limit new categories of warheads, and involve nuclear weapons states other than the United States and Russia. Under these circumstances, the core challenge is maintaining the confidentiality of the classified information related to the warheads under inspection, while providing transparency in the verification process. This analysis focuses on a set of emerging warhead authentication approaches that rely on the cryptographic concept of zero-knowledge proofs and intend to solve the paradox between secrecy and transparency, making deeper reductions in warhead arsenals possible and thus facilitating future nuclear arms control negotiations.