Stepping Stones to a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World

  • Ramesh Thakur


The nuclear arms control agenda has two interlinked components: nonproliferation and disarmament. Nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ) are legal mechanisms for the former and political stepping stones towards the latter. The worldwide outrage and disbelief provoked by the French decision to resume nuclear testing in 1995 confirmed both the public revulsion against nuclear weapons and their associated infrastructure, and the general belief that they are problems left over from the history of the Cold War. There is a growing strategic disconnect between the unaltered theology of nuclear deterrence, on the one hand, and, on the other, the military and political reality of reduced nuclear stockpiles and increasing normative constraints on the usability of nuclear weapons. The barriers against the use of these weapons include the fact of their non-use for over fifty years.


International Atomic Energy Agency Middle East Security Council Nuclear Weapon Exclusive Economic Zone 


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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  • Ramesh Thakur

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