By William Walker
Written by means of a number one pupil within the box of nuclear guns and diplomacy, this publication examines ‘the challenge of order’ bobbing up from the lifestyles of guns of mass destruction.
This critical challenge of foreign order has its origins within the 19th century, whilst industrialization and the emergence of latest sciences, applied sciences and administrative features enormously extended states’ skills to inflict harm, ushering within the period of overall conflict. It grew to become acute within the mid-twentieth century, with the discovery of the atomic bomb and the pre-eminent function ascribed to nuclear guns in the course of the chilly battle. It turned extra complicated after the top of the chilly struggle, as strength constructions shifted, new insecurities emerged, earlier ordering ideas have been referred to as into query, and as applied sciences suitable to guns of mass destruction turned extra obtainable to non-state actors in addition to states.
William Walker explores how this challenge is conceived through influential actors, how they've got attempted to type ideas within the face of many predicaments, and why these options were deemed powerful and useless, valid and illegitimate, in a number of instances and contexts.
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Additional resources for A Perpetual Menace: Nuclear Weapons and International Order (Routledge Global Security Studies)
Chapters 5 and 6 address the post-Cold War period up to the mid2000s. Chapter 5 considers the reconstruction of a fragmenting nuclear superpower, the Soviet Union, the initially successful efforts to divest Iraq and North Korea of their nuclear weapon programmes, the 1995 NPT Extension Conference, and their interplay. Together, they brought a remarkable consolidation of the international nuclear order and its underlying logic of restraint. Chapter 6, the longest in the book, tries to provide a coherent understanding of the disarray that marked the following decade (a tough undertaking), opening with discussion of fears aroused by the possible adoption of WMD in irregular warfare fed through ‘irregular commerce’, potentially moving the problem of nuclear weapons beyond the regular domain of state interaction.
By then, atomic weapons had been drawn into, and were fuelling, the conflict between East and West that became the Cold War. An extraordinary compression of time is apparent in this bald chronology. From ignorance of the weapon’s possibility to its realization and catapult into world politics took only seven years. I considered a number of titles – ‘The beginning’ and ‘The creation’ among them – for this opening chapter. I opted for ‘The awakenings’ because it seemed to capture best the sense of eyes and minds being opened, often suddenly, to possibilities and their consequences.
Managed’ is nevertheless being ascribed broad meaning: it implies aspiration as much as achievement; and it implies strategic direction and institutional development as well as the practical day-to-day handling of nuclear affairs. It also implies activity on several levels – national and international, up and down hierarchies, within and across agencies of the state and within private and public domains. How to manage these two systems in the individual and collective interest and at global and regional levels has, I would suggest, been the main challenge of nuclear ordering.