The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons

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Overview

Since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks, no state has unleashed nuclear weapons, especially against non-nuclear states. What explains this? According to the author, the answer lies largely in a prohibition inherent in the tradition of non-use, a time-honored obligation that has been adhered to by all nuclear states-thanks to a consensus view that use would have a catastrophic impact on humankind, the environment, and the reputation of the user.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an excellent resource for students, scholars, and the policy community. It is well written and accessible, and appropriate for course use for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Scholars studying deterrence, the military role of nuclear weapons, and proliferation would all find the author's analysis of use. Finally, policymakers concerned with defense policy and nuclear proliferation would be well advised to take heed of the interaction between the tradition of non-use, nuclear deterrence, and proliferation incentives."—International Studies Review

"Paul's framework is a timely and important contribution to the nuclear debate that incorporates valuable perspectives from both the rationalist and ideational perspectives. As the issues of arms control, force structure, and disarmament inevitably become mired in political trench warfare, creative and eclectic thinking on nuclear issues will be at a premium. The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons stands to provide an example of the rigorous scrutiny to which classic paradigms must be subjected in the search for real-world policy solutions."—Joint Forces Quarterly

"Paul builds on the impressive progress by scholars of deterrence, especially on the crucial concept of reputation. Unlike much of deterrent scholarship, which stresses reputation for credibility, Paul is more concerned with reputation in the form of esteem. Non-use, he argues, is a social norm based on calculation of interest. Like Joseph Nye's work on soft power, Paul sees states restrained by their need for acceptance or support. Time and again, his scholarship reveals decision-makers pre-occupied not by the anguish of violating a moral taboo, but by fear of antagonizing various audiences, above all other states."—Contemporary Security Policy

"T.V. Paul has provided a solid, useful explanation of the major sources of that tradition and of the threats to its continuation. Both academics and policy makers would do well to pay attention to his work."—Nonproliferation Review

"Paul has produced an excellent book. The central argument that a tradition of non-use has restrained the use of nuclear weapons is well-developed and largely convincing. Although the extent of this influence is, of course, debatable, Paul succeeds in exploring the historical influence and broader implications of the tradition. This book therefore makes an important contribution to the growing body of literature considering the non-use of nuclear weapons."—International Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804761321
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/23/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University and Director, University of Montreal-McGill Research Group in International Security. He has published eight books including Balance of Power: Theory and Practice in the 21st Century (with James Wirtz and Michel Fortman, Stanford, 2004).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

1 Introduction 1

2 Bases of the Tradition of Non-Use 15

3 The United States and the Tradition I: The Truman and Eisenhower Years (1945-1961) 38

4 The United States and the Tradition II: Kennedy to Clinton (1961-2001) 64

5 Russia, Britain, France, China, and the Tradition 92

6 The Second-Generation Nuclear States: Israel, India, Pakistan, and the Tradition 124

7 Nonnuclear States, the Tradition, and Limited Wars 143

8 The Tradition and the Nonproliferation Regime 158

9 Changing U.S. Policies and the Tradition 178

10 Conclusions 197

Notes 217

Select Bibliography 277

Index 305

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