Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Middle East Studies

Reader 1

Seo Young Park

Reader 2

Lara Deeb

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© 2015 Danica P. Harootian


This project examines the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war in 2013 and places the disarmament process in the context of the international nonproliferation regime and the history of United States weapons of mass destruction (WMD) policy. Additionally, I argue that U.S. policy on WMDs does not operate by a fixed set of standards; rather, cultural assumptions about a state and its weapons (such as the USSR, Iraq, Israel and their WMDs) are used to justify nonproliferation action. I present weapons as a mode of Othering that the U.S. and the nonproliferation regime employ to justify the designation of an enemy state. This analysis also examines the “myth of neutrality” of humanitarian intervention and applies these concepts to nonproliferation intervention.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.