Read e-book online A Perpetual Menace: Nuclear Weapons and International Order PDF

By William Walker

ISBN-10: 0415421055

ISBN-13: 9780415421058

Written by way of a number one pupil within the box of nuclear guns and diplomacy, this e-book examines ‘the challenge of order’ bobbing up from the lifestyles of guns of mass destruction.

This relevant challenge of foreign order has its origins within the 19th century, whilst industrialization and the emergence of latest sciences, applied sciences and administrative functions enormously improved states’ talents to inflict damage, ushering within the period of overall conflict. It turned acute within the mid-twentieth century, with the discovery of the atomic bomb and the pre-eminent position ascribed to nuclear guns through the chilly warfare. It turned extra advanced after the top of the chilly battle, as strength constructions shifted, new insecurities emerged, past ordering suggestions have been referred to as into query, and as applied sciences suitable to guns of mass destruction grew to become extra available to non-state actors in addition to states.

William Walker explores how this challenge is conceived through influential actors, how they've got attempted to style strategies within the face of many predicaments, and why these recommendations were deemed powerful and useless, valid and illegitimate, in a variety of instances and contexts.

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Extra resources for A Perpetual Menace: Nuclear Weapons and International Order (Routledge Global Security Studies)

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Chapter 2 considers the series of ‘awakenings’ – scientific, technical, political and military – that occurred in the 1930s and 1940s. It suggests that the Maud Committee Report of 1941 was the crucial ‘securitizing move’ and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the crucial ‘entrenching move’ at the beginning of the political nuclear age. It concludes with the debates in 1946 about the elimination of nuclear weapons and about their contribution to warfare and its avoidance. Chapter 3 examines the US strategy of containment and the political ideas feeding it, especially as elaborated in NSC-68 of 1950, the reasons for the extraordinary arms race that developed in the early Cold War and the emergence in the 1960s of proposals for exercising cooperative restraint through arms control and construction of a non-proliferation regime among other things.

One consists of problems that are specific and contingent, such as ‘the problem of Iran’ or ‘the problem of centrifuge uranium enrichment’, requiring identification of specific, focused responses leading eventually (one hopes) to resolution. The other consists of problems that are intrinsic and lasting, sometimes leading governments into long and frustrating searches for means of accommodating them, without much expectation of final resolution. Although these two classes of problem may be distinguishable, they easily become entangled.

The neutron’s remarkable quality is its lack of electric charge. An energetic neutron can penetrate the atom’s electric fields without being attracted or repelled. It can therefore provoke significant changes to atomic structures and behaviours when colliding with a nucleus. A puzzle in the development of atomic physics is why the next discovery – that neutron bombardment of nuclei could destabilize heavy uranium atoms, causing them to ‘fission’ – was not made until late 1938. 7 Whatever the reasons, the delay was highly significant, since it meant that the atomic weapon’s technical feasibility was still unknown at the time of the Second World War’s outbreak in September 1939.

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A Perpetual Menace: Nuclear Weapons and International Order (Routledge Global Security Studies) by William Walker


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