The indefinite extension of the NPT was unexpected because it was not the preferred course of action for most of the countries. The introduction presents the puzzle of extension in light of the contemporary literature. It surveys the existing explanations for indefinite extension. The realist explanation focuses on raw power of the US to coerce recalcitrant parties, but ignores that the US would never be able to coerce all opponents. The institutionalist explanation can explain why the NPT did not end, but it is unrevealing about the length of the extension. The constructivist explanation can provide an explanation about a minimally just solution but cannot explain why other, arguably more just solutions were not adopted. The introduction also offers the plan for the book.
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