Mapping The Emerging Strategic Stability And Arms Control Landscape

Policy Brief
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Themes
Foreign policy
Written by

Andrew Futter

Professor, University of Leicester

Summary:

Our nuclear world is changing, and this will have significant impacts on strategic stability and arms control. This is being driven by a mixture of technological, geopolitical and normative forces.

Technological change and innovation are facilitating new types of strategic weaponry and missions. These have the potential to challenge established notions of deterrence and create nuclear risks.

The combination of an emerging system of nuclear great-power multipolarity at the same time as a growth in “nuclear nationalism” and a return of bellicose nuclear rhetoric and statecraft are challenging traditional power balances, arms control and nuclear stability based on restraint.

This is all taking place within a bifurcating global nuclear environment characterised on one side by normative challenges to the established nuclear order and increasing demands for nuclear energy, and on the other with a resurgence in the political salience of nuclear weapons.

Taken together, this suggests that we are arguably on the cusp of a new “nuclear age” where we will need to rethink the rules of the nuclear game and how we prevent nuclear use.

  • Published year: 2022
  • Full version:
  • Publisher: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs / TODA peace institute
  • Page count: 8
  • Language: English
  • Journal: TODA Policy Brief