The Challenge of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

The Challenge of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

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ISBN: 978-1-4128-1490-4
Pages: 301
Binding: Paperback
Publication Date: 11-30-2010
Also available as:
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In the more than sixty years since the advent of nuclear weapons, there has been little meaningful progress toward nuclear disarmament. Some countries have nuclear weapons, while other states are forbidden to acquire them, a status quo that lacks rational basis and cannot be sustained. In this remarkable collection, scholars and policy analysts argue that humankind has a choice: either allow nuclear weapons to continue to proliferate throughout the world or move toward their complete elimination.

The vast majority of people on the planet would surely opt to abolish nuclear weapons. But decisions about nuclear weapons are not made by the public, but by small groups of political elites. Consequently, in a world with nuclear weapons, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a small number of individuals, whose perceptions, communications, and judgment determine whether there is to be a future.

The contributors to this volume provide historical perspective on nuclear weapons policy; explore the role of international law in furthering the prospects of nuclear weapons abolition; consider the obstacles to abolition; present a path to achieving a nuclear weapons-free world; and look beyond abolition to consider issues of post-abolition sovereignty and general and complete disarmament. The goal of a nuclear weapons-free world can be awakened by an engaged citizenry bringing pressure from below in demanding action from political leaders. This book contributes to this awakening and engagement.

Editorial Reviews

“An invaluable resource for anyone who cares about the abolition of nuclear weapons—one of the pivotal problems of our age.” —John Polanyi, Nobel Laureate

“I am confident that this book will make an important contribution to breaking through the current deadlock on the nuclear issue by offering new ways of thinking and new policy options.” —Daisaku Ikeda, Founder, Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research

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Table of Contents

List of Acronyms 

I. The Challenge of Abolition
1. The Challenge of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons 
David Krieger
2. Abolition of Nuclear Weapons:
Political Apathy and a Possible Way Ahead
Laxminarayan Ramdas
3. Abandoning Disarmament? The New
Nuclear Nonproliferation Paradigms
Wade L. Huntley

II. Historical Perspectives
4. Roots of the Upcoming Nuclear Crisis 
Daniel Ellsberg
5. The Relationship between Nuclear 
Disarmament and Nuclear Nonproliferation
Sverre Lodgaard

III. The Role of International Law
6. International Law, Nuclear Weapons,
and Twenty-First Century Insecurity
Ved P. Nanda
7. Nuclear Weapons and Future Justice 
David Krieger

IV. Obstacles to Abolition
8. Putting Nuclear Weapons in Context: 
The Hidden Architecture of U.S. Militarism
Jacqueline Cabasso
9. The New U.S. Doctrine of Preemptive 
Warfare and Its Implications for Nuclear
Deterrence and Disarmament
Erika Simpson
10. The United States and the Undermining 
of the Nonproliferation Regime
Stephen Zunes

V. The Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World
11. A Nuclear Weapons Convention: Path 
to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World
Jürgen Scheffran
12. The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention 
Ronald McCoy

VI. Citizen Empowerment
13. Overcoming the Politics of Fear: Citizen 
Empowerment and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
Kevin P. Clements
14. A World Free of Nuclear Weapons 
Douglas Roche

VII. Beyond Abolition
15. Sovereignty in a World Free of Nuclear Weapons 
Douglas B. Shaw
16. Nuclear Disarmament and General and 
Complete Disarmament
Randy Rydell


Appendix A. Confronting the Desire to Arm: Josei 
Toda’s Declaration for the Abolition of NuclearWeapons
Tatsushi Arai

Appendix B. Remember Your Duty to Humanity: 
Joseph Rotblat and Nuclear Weapons Abolition
David Krieger

Appendix C. Thirteen Practical Steps for Nuclear 
Disarmament (Excerpt from the Final Document
of the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference)