Nuclear Non-proliferation Regime: Between Prevention and Prohibition

  • Jan RuzickaEmail author


This chapter outlines a brief history and the main features of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. It shows how the regime has been shaped by the tension between its two core objectives, namely the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons and the prohibition of their possession. The chapter explores a number of power bargains underlying the non-proliferation regime. It argues that the key to understanding the regime’s robustness and stability, despite the frequent criticisms of its inequality, injustice and hypocrisy, is to be found in how these bargains have been shaped by operations of structural, coercive, institutional and productive power. These operations of power have consistently favoured the norm of prevention over the norm of prohibition.


Nuclear weapons Non-proliferation Nuclear disarmament Power 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aberystwyth UniversityAberystwythWales, UK

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