Nuclear order and disorder

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56 Citations (Scopus)


After a decade of great progress in diminishing the risks posed by nuclear weapons, international nuclear relations came unstuck in the late 1990s. Why did this happen? This question is best answered through an understanding of how a 'nuclear order' was constructed during the Cold War, how it developed in the early post-Cold War period, and how confidence in it dissipated as the 1990s wore on. After considering how the nuclear order was founded upon linked systems of deterrence and abstinence, the article explains how both were destabilized in the mid- to late 1990s-cause and effect of the United States shifting its ordering strategy towards protection (through missile defences) and enforcement. Can confidence in nuclear order be restored! How should we regard the recent agreement among States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement to press for complete nuclear disarmament?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-724
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Affairs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000


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