Nuclear Weapons: A Source of Peace in World Politics or an Unjustified Risk to International Security? By Ryan Andrew Pallathra
Nuclear Weapons & the International System
Within our current international system, one of the most pressing challenges to the prospect of international peace is the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. In an age where terrorism, regional instabilities, hostile state rivalries and “rogue” states and rulers help characterize our international situation, nuclear weapons are most definitely an unjustified risk to international security and a reason for serious concern; not simply among political theorists and international leaders, but the global community at large[i]. This paper will present both of the major contending political theories in the field of nuclear proliferation. I argue that the risks posed by the continued developed and spread of nuclear weapons threaten the entire international system.
While no country in the world possesses nuclear arms comparable in strength to that of the US and Russia, the world’s “nuclear club”, in this “Second Nuclear Age” has increased slightly, with Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and India now also commanding nuclear weapons. While there are some, as will be shown, who argue that further proliferation of nuclear weapons will result in increased global security, this paper will demonstrate that these views are flawed. I will also show why the spread of nuclear weapons among state and non-state actors only augments the risk that this technology will get into irrational and unstable hands, thus increasing the chances that it will be used for the purpose of mass destruction[ii]. This is a risk that the global community should be unwilling to take.
In this era of nuclear weapons there have emerged two main and rival political theories that seek to explain the potential impact and consequences of the proliferation of nuclear weapons horizontally...