ABSTRACT

Switzerland’s nuclear weapons ambitions have received only scant attention from the international research community. When they are considered at all, these ambitions are mostly refracted through a realist security prism. The rise and fall of Switzerland’s nuclear efforts is explained by reference to the country’s security environment. I argue, however, that we can gain more comprehensive insights by looking at the case through the pragmatist-interactionist framework previously elaborated. The subsequent analysis consists of two broad parts. The first part encompasses a contextualization and historiographic reconstruction of Switzerland’s nuclear weapons research program. The second part provides an actual analysis of frames and narratives that were prominent in the nuclear weapons discourse between 1958 and 1969.