The Politics of Nuclear Disarmament : Obstacles to and Opportunities for Eliminating Nuclear Weapons book cover
1st Edition

The Politics of Nuclear Disarmament
Obstacles to and Opportunities for Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

ISBN 9780367491291
Published April 22, 2021 by Routledge
244 Pages

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Book Description

This book explores what political conditions must be established and what obstacles overcome for the fi ve offi cial Nuclear Weapon States (NWS)— China, France, Russia, the UK and US— to eliminate their nuclear weapons.

The different views and positions of a range of actors concerning nuclear weapons issues— including elite perspectives and public opinion— and the political assumptions underpinning them, are discussed to develop a more democratic approach to disarmament. Addressing the lack of detailed analysis concerning the meaning of nuclear disarmament for the domestic political orders of NWS, the book critically explores different approaches to and theories of disarmament within legal, political and technical literatures and orthodox and critical theory. It also builds on previous discussions of nuclear possession, restraint, arms control, and disarmament— concerning both nuclear possessor and non- possessor states— identifying the insights these works provide regarding how NWS disarmament may be advanced.

Contributing to theoretical debates concerning how domestic politics interacts with and determines states’ international behaviour, the book will be of interest to all scholars and students of history, politics, international relations, security studies, military history, war studies, peace studies, confl ict, democracy, and global governance.

Table of Contents


Part One: Understanding nuclear disarmament: theory and practice

Chapter One: Conceptualising nuclear disarmament

Chapter Two: Assessing theories of nuclear possession and disarmament

Part Two: Obstacles to and opportunities for nuclear disarmament in and between the NWS

Chapter Three: United States of America  

Chapter Four: Russia

Chapter Five: United Kingdom

Chapter Six: France

Chapter Seven: China

Chapter Eight: Realising NWS nuclear disarmament through institutional democratisation


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Tim Street is a researcher and activist based in Chelmsford and Oxford.