Nuclearism, human rights and constructions of security (part 2)

Ken Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Part One of this article discussed the continuing threat of nuclear weapons, despite their ostensible marginalisation through the 1990s. It was argued that at the core of the problem of creating the conditions for future regional and global security is a clash of cultures: between that of nuclearism on the one side and human rights on the other. Part Two explores these differing approaches in more depth, as a step towards the discussion of the role of political community in the normalisation of security practices that offer greater hope than in the past of delivering the conditions of sustainable peace. The institutionalising of the concept of ‘security community’ is suggested as a promising building block in that process, as is human rights as a necessary condition for its achievement and consolidation. The article concludes by looking at the space one particularly significant international actor (Britain) has in terms of moving international politics from a literally MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) condition to a SANE (Security After Nuclear Elimination) world. It is proposed that the British government initiate a project, SANE 2000, committed to giving momentum to a new global policy aimed at eliminating all weapons of mass destruction; such a project could have a decisive effect on the construction of regional and global security as a result of progressive institution‐building and law‐creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-61
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 1999


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