Skip to main content

Imagining Disarmament, Enchanting International Relations

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Offers a defense of an enchanted, qualitative and discursive approach to IR theory and practice at a time when quantitative and positivist approaches are becoming increasingly entrenched
  • Shows how advocacy organizations and small states can influence the international political agenda on security issues through exercising discursive and symbolic power
  • Reveals the political agency of actors often overlooked in the analysis of international security, including advocacy organizations, small island states and activists

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this book

eBook USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

About this book

This book explores the global politics of disarmament through emerging international relations (IR) theories of discourse and imagination. Each chapter reflects on an aspect of contemporary activism on weapons through an analogous story from literary tradition. Shahrazade, convenor of the 1001 Nights, offers a potent metaphor for the humanitarian advocacy seeking to moderate the behaviour of violent people. The author reads Don Quixote in Cambodia’s minefields, reflects on Lysistrata at Greenham Common and considers how tropes in The Tempest were enrolled in both Pacific nuclear testing and efforts to resist it. The book draws on ethnographic fieldwork in communities affected by weapons and disarmament advocacy at the UN and calls for a re-enchantment of IR, alive to affect, ritual and myth. 

Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (4 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science, Pace University, New York, USA

    Matthew Breay Bolton

About the author

Matthew Breay Bolton is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Disarmament Institute at Pace University, USA. Since 2014 he has worked on the UN advocacy of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us