The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons

By T. V. Paul | Go to book overview
Save to active project


in chapter 7, I discussed the calculations of nonnuclear weapon states (NNWS) that confronted nuclear weapon states (NWS) in crises and wars. Beyond wars and crises, what role, if any, has the tradition of non-use of nuclear weapons played in the calculations of nonnuclear states in their bargaining with nuclear states on the conclusion and the renewal of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and associated instruments of the nonprohferation regime? Although it is rarely stated explicitly, it seems the tradition has had an impact on the calculations of a large number of nonnuclear states with respect to their willingness to accede and continuously adhere to the nuclear nonprohferation regime. I argue that the presence of the quasi-norm inherent in the tradition of non-use has been one of the reasons for many of the technologically capable among the 187 states forswearing their nuclear weapons options and joining the NPT. Their choices in most instances arose from a belief that nuclear states are unlikely to attack them with their weapons unless their core security interests, including existence as nation-states, are threatened. In 2008, there were only four key non-NPT states (India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea) and one other, Iran, which is a signatory but is believed to be violating its NPT commitments. Although their choices for nuclear acquisition have several regional and domestic-level causes, one thing is common to them all: these states have good reason not to take for granted the implicit guarantee inherent in the NPT on non-use and other associated treaties such as nuclear free zones, and the partial negative security assurances made by the NWS.

While most states have conformed to the NPT, there are variations in national positions on the question of the significance of non-use guarantees


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 320

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?