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Stigmatization by Ridicule: From Dr. Strangelove to Donald Trump

Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

Abstract

No nuclear-armed states or their closest allies have signed the Nuclear Ban Treaty. These states emphasize that nuclear weapons remain necessary for deterrence purposes, even as many of them also claim to support disarmament in the long run. This inconsistent approach creates an opportunity to stigmatize nuclear deterrence strategy via the use of public ridicule. The chapter examines numerous instances when academics and former policymakers, diplomats, and military leaders have ridiculed nuclear deterrence strategy and/or weapons deployments, often by identifying logical inconsistencies and paradoxes associated with various policies. The conclusion explains that U.S. President Donald Trump’s bellicose nuclear threats create ongoing opportunities for ridicule.

Keywords

  • International norms
  • Political legitimacy
  • Nuclear deterrence
  • Nuclear disarmament
  • Ridicule

Portions of this chapter were previously presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association (ISA) and the International Security and Arms Control Section of the American Political Science Association, Chapel Hill, NC, October 4–6, 2012; and the Annual Meeting of the ISA, New Orleans, LA, February 17–20, 2010. The author is grateful for feedback from Robert Art, Chris Demchak, Peter Dombrowski, Roger Handberg, Anne Harrington, Maria Rost Rublee, Meredith Reid Sarkees, Martin Senn, and various participants in the May 2018 Antwerp Workshop on Non-Nuclear Peace.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-26688-2_5
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Correspondence to Rodger A. Payne .

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Payne, R.A. (2020). Stigmatization by Ridicule: From Dr. Strangelove to Donald Trump. In: Sauer, T., Kustermans, J., Segaert, B. (eds) Non-Nuclear Peace. Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26688-2_5

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