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The Nuclear Taboo and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Author: Matthew Bolton

In: E-International Relations, 2018

Analysis of how ICAN, by choosing a precise discursive strategy to establish a categorical prohibition, helped to build the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, placing nuclear weapons in the same legal category as other pariah weapons. The article uses Mary Douglas’ landmark theorization of ‘purity’ and ‘danger’ to explore the development of the ‘nuclear taboo’ and ICAN’s creative manipulation of discourses of nuclear pollution.

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