This volume brings together more than three decades of research and writings by Professor Ramesh Thakur on the challenges posed by nuclear weapons.

Following an introduction to the current nuclear state of play, the book addresses the challenge of nuclear weapons in three parts. Part I describes the scholar-practitioner interface in trying to come to grips with this challenge, the main policy impact on security strategy, and the various future nuclear scenarios. Part II addresses regional nuclear challenges from the South Pacific to East, South and West Asia and thereby highlights serious deficiencies in the normative architecture of the nuclear arms control and disarmament regime.  In the third and final part, the chapters discuss regional nuclear-weapon-free zones, NPT anomalies (and their implications for the future of the nuclear arms control regime) and, finally, assess the global governance architecture of nuclear security in light of the three Nuclear Security Summits between 2010 and 2014. The concluding chapter argues for moving towards a world of progressively reduced nuclear weapons in numbers, reduced salience of nuclear weapons in national security doctrines and deployments, and, ultimately, a denuclearized world.

This book will be of much interest to students of nuclear proliferation, global governance, international organisations, diplomacy and security studies.

chapter 1|18 pages


The challenge of nuclear weapons

part I|44 pages

The nuclear debate

chapter 2|15 pages

Nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament *

Can the power of ideas tame the power of the state?

chapter 3|15 pages

The nuclear debate *

chapter 4|12 pages

Envisioning nuclear futures *

part II|97 pages

Regional challenges in Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East

chapter 5|13 pages

The last bang before a total ban *

French nuclear testing in the Pacific

chapter 7|16 pages

The South Asian nuclear challenge *

chapter 9|16 pages

Follow the yellowcake road *

Balancing Australia’s security, commercial and bilateral national interests against international anti-nuclear interests

part III|73 pages

The nuclear regime

chapter 12|16 pages

NPT regime change *

Has the good become the enemy of the best?