Nuclear Weapons: Peaceful, Dangerous, or Irrelevant?

  • Patricia M. LewisEmail author
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


Nuclear weapons should be viewed in the context of their era. Nuclear doctrines are based on belief systems that are partially shared across possessor states and within alliances but rarely agreed outside those. At the core of those belief systems is the conviction that nuclear weapons represent a power that only certain countries could enjoy. As the belief in the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence is shifting, the risk calculations are also changing. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation measures were part of the old nuclear paradigm and it should not surprise anyone that new approaches to nuclear weapons such as the Nuclear Ban Treaty—or indeed the overt threat of nuclear use—are now being sought.


Belief systems Nuclear doctrines Nuclear deterrence Arms control Disarmament Non-proliferation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chatham HouseLondonUK

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