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date: 16 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Historical institutionalism as an explicit tradition has largely remained on the sidelines in international security scholarship, with some exceptions. The chapter begins by reviewing the sources of resistance to the tradition in security studies. We then apply its analytical toolbox to two empirical realms at different levels of analysis: divergent regional security paths in East Asia and the Middle East; and the evolution of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. These cases show the utility of historical institutionalism in spanning sub-national, regional and international levels of analysis; its value for examining the role of critical junctures for evolving security arrangements; and its timely applicability beyond topical, geographical, and ontological foci that have been standard fare in security studies.

Keywords: international security, developmental pathways, non-proliferation, critical junctures, incrementalism

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