Is Zero Disarmament Possible? Multilateralism and Nuclear Arms Control Treaties

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 8, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

This article concerns two Cold War treaties on nuclear nonproliferation and arms control and whether the success of one treaty can be instrumental in leading to the reduction of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) have been essential to world peace. Although it might be impossible to envisage a world free of nuclear weapons, the post-Cold War nuclear posture requires multilateral engagement to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons technology and treaties such as the NPT can be amended to include the INF treaty and therefore lead to further nuclear disarmament. This is because the NPT treaty has been granted indefinite extension and the INF treaty has been one of the success stories in nuclear disarmament and that success should be further built upon. The paper is not an exhaustive discussion of the nuclear treaties regime—rather the arguments and policy prescription in the paper are illustrative.

Find the full version of this article in PDF form here.

P. Sean Morris is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki. He is grateful to Jan Klabbers, Anne van Aaken, Jutta Brunee and an anonymous reviewer of this journal for comments on various drafts of this paper.