Viewing Nuclear Weapons through a Humanitarian Lens

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There is renewed and deep international concern about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the detonation of nuclear weapons in populated areas. Yet 25 years after the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence remain central to the security doctrines of a significant number of states. Drawing on a range of perspectives, this volume explores what viewing nuclear weapons through a humanitarian lens entails, and why it is of value. Recent developments in this respect are also examined, and what these could mean for nuclear arms control in the near future.



After Oslo: Humanitarian perspectives and the changing nuclear weapons discourse

This paper examines recent international policy discourse concerning new initiatives on nuclear disarmament that draw primarily from, or are influenced by, humanitarian concerns about the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. In particular, it analyses recent criticism from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)’s five nuclear-weapon states that these initiatives constitute distractions from a “practical step-by-step approach” towards nuclear weapons reductions.


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