Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.740924
Title: The road to prohibition : nuclear hierarchy and disarmament, 1968-2017
Author: Egeland, Kjølv
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
Year in year out, hundreds of diplomats and civil society representatives partake in a seemingly endless stream of meetings on nuclear disarmament. These meetings seldom produce materially significant agreements. In fact, no nuclear warhead has ever been dismantled as a direct result of multilateral negotiations. And yet the web of institutions that make up the 'multilateral nuclear disarmament framework' continues to expand. Why? In this thesis, I identify three waves of institutional expansion in the multilateral nuclear disarmament framework (1975-1978; 1991-1999; 2013-2017), linking them to crises of legitimacy in the nuclear order. Institutional expansion, I argue, has been driven by 'struggles for recognition' by non-nuclear powers loath to accept permanent legal subordination. Institutional contestation has allowed non-nuclear powers to exercise symbolic resistance to the frozen nuclear hierarchy enshrined by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its distinction between nuclear 'haves' and 'have-nots'. But the relegitimising function of institutional contestation reveals an irony: By solving recurrent crises of legitimacy in the nuclear order, the expansion of the disarmament framework has served to stabilise nuclear inequality in the long term. However, the 2017 adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) may signal an end to this cyclical pattern of de- and relegitimisation. After half a century of contestation within the hierarchical NPT framework, the TPNW represents a legal negation of nuclear hierarchy as such.
Supervisor: Nicolaidis, Kalypso A. Sponsor: Oxford Norway Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.740924  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nuclear disarmament ; recognition ; institutions ; punctuated equilibrium ; hierarchy
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