Renunciation: Restraint and Rollback

Benoît Pelopidas
Fri, 15/05/2015

There are a multitude of terms describing the set of decisions leading to the final outcome of a given actor not possessing nuclear weapons: restraint and rollback are only two of them, along with forbearance and reversal. This chapter reviews the problems with the current conceptualizations and proposes another analytically and politically relevant concept, i.e., renunciation. (The debate on the desirability and feasibility of global nuclear disarmament is beyond the scope of this chapter.) Then, this chapter reviews the latest evidence and interpretations regarding the cases of Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Sweden, with the debates around the interpretation of the Libyan case as a guiding principle. The concluding section outlines avenues for future research, proposals for innovation in terms of level of analysis or epistemology, and future policy initiatives...

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