This book examines the state of the nuclear non-proliferation
regime and the issues it faces in the early 21st century.
Despite the fact that most countries in the world have signed
the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) there is growing concern that
the NPT is in serious trouble and may not be able to stop the
further spread of nuclear weapons. If so, international stability
will be undermined, with potentially disastrous consequences, and
the vision of a nuclear weapon-free world will become utterly
unrealistic. More specifically, the NPT is exposed to four main
challenges, explored in this book: challenges from outside, as
three countries that have not signed the Treaty - Israel, India and
Pakistan - are known to possess nuclear weapons; challenges from
within, as some countries that have signed on to the Treaty as
non-nuclear weapons states have nevertheless developed or are
suspected to be trying to develop nuclear weapons (North Korea and
Iran being cases in point); challenges from below in the shape of
terrorists and other non-state actors who may want to acquire
radioactive materials or even nuclear weapons; and, finally,
challenges from above due to the perceived failure of the five
legal nuclear weapons states to keep their part of the 'double
bargain' made by the parties of the NPT and take serious steps
towards nuclear disarmament.
This book will be of much interest to students of nuclear
proliferation, international security, war and conflict studies and
IR in general.
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