Nuclear weapons and intergenerational exploitation

Rendall, Matthew (2007) Nuclear weapons and intergenerational exploitation. Security Studies, 16 (4). pp. 525-554. ISSN 0963-6412

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Abstract

Nuclear weapons’ defenders claim that they lower the risk of war, at the price of devastation if war breaks out. But sooner or later, on a realist analysis, catastrophic nuclear war is almost sure to come. Nuclear deterrence thus buys us a better chance of dying in bed, while each post-holocaust generation will have to pick up the pieces. If the nuclear optimists are wrong, hoping to spread or perpetuate nuclear deterrence is foolish. But if they are right, it is exploitative. Like big cars and cheap flights, nuclear deterrence benefits us at the expense of future generations. States that do not already have the bomb should not get it. Britain and France should consider disarmament, while Russia and the United States should slash their arsenals. Minimum deterrence should be equally stable, but most nuclear optimists, being neorealists who hold that war will continue, should want deep cuts even if it is not.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:nuclear deterrence; nuclear proliferation; intergenerational justice; minimum deterrence
Schools/Departments:Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
ID Code:1382
Deposited By:Rendall, Matthew
Deposited On:19 Nov 2010 20:24
Last Modified:19 Nov 2010 20:24

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