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The Humanitarian Initiative: A Critical Appreciation

Author: Nina Tannenwald

In: Sauer, Tom, Jorg Kustermans, Barbara Segaert (eds) Non-Nuclear Peace. Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies, pp. 115-129

A critical assessment of the campaign on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the gains and limitations of the resulting 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which is best seen as a stigmatization rather than a disarmament treaty. While the treaty may strengthen the taboo on using nuclear weapons, the ultimate challenge is to undermine nuclear weapons as a currency of power. The author examines four themes: processes of stigmatization, the democratization of disarmament politics, the advantages and disadvantages of codification, and normative strategies of disarmament more broadly.