By William Walker

ISBN-10: 0415421055

ISBN-13: 9780415421058

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

This imperative challenge of foreign order has its origins within the 19th century, whilst industrialization and the emergence of recent sciences, applied sciences and administrative functions drastically extended states’ talents to inflict damage, ushering within the period of overall battle. It turned acute within the mid-twentieth century, with the discovery of the atomic bomb and the pre-eminent position ascribed to nuclear guns throughout the chilly warfare. It turned extra advanced after the tip of the chilly battle, as energy buildings shifted, new insecurities emerged, earlier ordering suggestions have been referred to as into query, and as applied sciences suitable to guns of mass destruction grew to become extra obtainable to non-state actors in addition to states.

William Walker explores how this challenge is conceived by means of influential actors, how they've got attempted to type ideas within the face of many predicaments, and why these options were deemed potent and useless, valid and illegitimate, in numerous instances and contexts.

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

Sample text

This should remind us that the international nuclear order is not autonomous: its goals are not necessarily ascribed precedence over other goals, and it is not immune to disturbances coming from outside its normal frame. It cannot always or even usually be contained within its own bottle. The last problem of order and ordering that I wish to note here stretches the frame of nuclear order still further. There was earlier reference to the interaction of various levels and types of order. However, the shaping of the international nuclear order also entails interactions between three great social systems (it seems more natural to speak of systems rather than orders here) that have dominated social life in modernity.

Besides outlining the momentous occurrences in these few years, I wish to stress two points when opening this discussion of nuclear history. 1 But for accidents of nature, timing and context, the weapon might not have emerged or would have emerged differently and at a different time, for better or for worse. This said, the paths followed were not random and choices were not altogether free. As we shall see, they became significantly ‘directed’ by processes of cumulative entrenchment. Second, the weapon’s political emergence was highly unusual and problematic, with lasting consequences.

It comprised an aristocracy of remarkable men and women, competing vigorously but decorously, using equipment that would look primitive today (there were no electronic computers), communicating by letter and telephone and travelling by train and ship to visit one another and attend conferences (there was little air travel). The scientists’ great preoccupation was how better to understand matter, The awakenings 29 energy, space, time and their interplay at micro- and macro-levels, and how to develop new ‘laws’ of physics to augment or replace the Newtonian orthodoxy.

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


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