International nuclear order: a rejoinder

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The article'Nuclear enlightenment and counter-enlightenment by William Walker opened the special issue of International Affairs which was published in May 2007. In it, he claimed that the United States departed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, at the height of its hegemonic influence, from a conception of international nuclear order that it had held to, with few interruptions, over several decades. By so doing, it contributed substantially to the order's currently perceived demise. In responding to criticisms from other participants in the special issue, William Walker defends his arguments while acknowledging the enlightenment trope's fragility; reemphasizes the essential contractual nature of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which some critics denied; stresses the order's reliance on a judicious balancing (which has temporarily been lost) of realist and constitutional strategies; rejects assertions that the NPT is not a disarmament treaty; argues that the'muddling through'advocated by some authors cannot suffice; and offers reasons why the despondency of several among them may have been overplayed, and why a new phase of consolidation of order might (just might) lie ahead, not least because of the reconsideration of US international strategies that has begun and the widely perceived urgency of preventing further proliferation and avoiding a resumption of arms racing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-756
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007




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