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Civil Society and Disarmament 2016

Civil Society Engagement in Disarmament Processes - The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Ban

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The nascent movement to enact a nuclear ban treaty has reframed the problem of nuclear weapons from defense strategies to the issues of humanitarian and environmental consequences. This volume of Civil Society Engagement in Disarmament Processes presents a case for the nuclear ban treaty as a vital first step in nuclear weapons’ ultimate abolition.

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Delegitimising nuclear violence

Reducing and eventually eliminating the risk of nuclear violence remains a challenging task. Currently, countries that possess nuclear weapons and those to whom the United States has extended its nuclear protection in the form of security commitments see considerable value in the long-term retention and deployment of nuclear weapons. The value of nuclear weapons is framed primarily in terms of security through the practice of nuclear deterrence. Deterrence rests on the possibility of catastrophic harm through nuclear violence and inducement of a sufficient level of caution into State interactions through fear of such a possibility as to preclude serious war and thereby stabilise relations between the major powers.

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