Practicing nuclear disarmament : the humanitarian challenge to Norwegian nuclear politics
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The belief that nuclear weapons provide states with security has for a long time dominated the nuclear conversation. The so-called ‘humanitarian initiative’ to nuclear weapons disarmament challenged this assumption. With the acknowledgement of the humanitarian harm that would result from a nuclear weapons detonation, the initiative quickly became a rationale to provide a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, following the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2010. Norway, a small nuclear-umbrella state hosted the first conference with a focus on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in March 2013. The conference’s aim was to provide an arena for a fact-based discussion about the humanitarian and developmental consequences that would result from a nuclear weapons detonation. However, when a demand for a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons became the expressed goal of the humanitarian initiative from 2014 and onwards, Norway suddenly abstained from the process and has abstained from the humanitarian initiative since. What happened to Norway, and what knowledge was this policy decision based on? Inspired by critical practice theorists focus on politics as “competent performances”, this study seeks to understand the Norwegian practices of nuclear disarmament.
UtgiverNorwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås
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