Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Nuclear Weapons: The Politics of Non-Proliferation

Christine Wing

April 2007

International Peace Institute


Questions related to nuclear weapons are highly contested in the international arena—including the question of how these weapons constitute a challenge to human and international security. Does the challenge exist mainly in the incorporation of these weapons into military doctrines, or in the possibility that more states and/or terrorists will acquire nuclear capabilities? Have nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence prevented major wars, or are they ultimately destabilizing—or could both be true?