Policy Papers - April 14, 2007
Nuclear Weapons: The Politics of Non-Proliferation
From the Introduction: The inherent difficulty is that the existing distribution of nuclear weapons capabilities serves the interests of some states but not others (i.e., how you see the nuclear challenge depends on where you sit).
Yet this is not a situation where all points of view are equally valid: the actual detonation of a nuclear weapon would be catastrophic, killing hundreds of thousands of people—a challenge to human and international security, indeed. Thus we need a conception of the nuclear question that assumes an irreducible interest in preventing nuclear use, yet simultaneously acknowledges the intense politicization of the nuclear issue. The fundamental challenge is this: how can we build effective approaches to reducing the risk of nuclear use, in the context of vastly different and competing state interests?
Always difficult, this task has become even more complex in recent years, as some states have acquired nuclear weapons status outside the existing regime treaties, and others—e.g., the United States, Iran, and North Korea—appear increasingly uncertain about whether current multilateral institutions can adequately protect their security. The old mechanisms for controlling nuclear dangers are inadequate, but new or strengthened approaches are not solidly in place. Nor is there agreement about the form of those new or strengthened approaches. Rather, the differences among states are often more salient than their common interests concerning nuclear issues; the international discussion is abrasive and frequently counterproductive.
This paper takes stock of this seeming impasse in multilateral efforts to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. It briefly describes the key policy dilemmas at play, but goes on to argue that the underlying challenges are essentially political, reflecting profound differences in state interests and power. We attempt to understand and characterize those political differences, how they shape different multilateral approaches, and what kinds of leadership imperatives they create.
The Global Observatory
Aid Workers, More on the Front Lines, Suffer Increased Attacks: Interview with Abby Stoddard
Aid worker attacks were at their highest levels last year.
Key Global Events to Watch in March
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
February 26, 2014
Roméo Dallaire: Neutralize Child Soldiers Without Destroying Them
“We believe that by better training both police and military and a whole new dimension of working much closer, particularly information-wise, with NGOs and other agencies on the ground, we can work at neutralizing without destroying children as a system of weaponry in this era,” said Lt. General Roméo Dallaire (Ret.) at an IPI event on February 26th.
February 19, 2014
Gary Bass: Forgotten Genocide May Portend Future Stain on UN Inaction
The inability of the United Nations Security Council to halt mass atrocities in East Pakistan some 40 years ago has parallels to current inaction in North Korea, argued Gary Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, on February 19th.
February 18, 2014
Jok: Near Collapse in South Sudan Is Shocking but Not Surprising
The events that recently brought South Sudan to a near collapse were “extremely shocking, but they were not surprising by any means,” said Jok Madut Jok, Executive Director of The Sudd Institute, at the International Peace Institute on February 18. “It was only a matter of time before the country returned to this kind of situation,” he added.
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]