Nuclear Weapons and Putin’s War

CESRAN Policy Brief 2

By Nick Ritchie | 08.11.2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its nuclear threats have generated fear of nuclear war in Europe for the first time in decades. To make sense of this, the current conflict must be placed in the context of the global politics of nuclear weapons. Global nuclear politics is, broadly speaking, about a fundamental contestation between an ideology of nuclearism that frames nuclear weapons as legitimate and necessary within the parameters of a particular conception of security and anti-nuclearism that frames them as illegitimate and dangerous within a different conception of security. It is a contestation in which nuclearism remains deeply embedded in the centres of power in world politics, and antinuclearism has a subaltern status.

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