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Accommodating Nutopia in the TPNW (RIS accepted 25.6.2023).docx (120.76 kB)
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Accommodating Nutopia: The Nuclear Ban Treaty and the Developmental Interests of Global South Countries

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-10, 10:15 authored by Andrew Futter, Olamide Samuel

This article argues that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) would nothave been possible without protecting the inalienable rights of states to pursue nuclear energyfor peaceful purposes. While some Western states and NGOs have pushed to ban allapplications of nuclear technology, this was unacceptable to a large number of disarmament-supporting states from the Global South and the Non-Aligned Movement. Without support from states across the Global South, the TPNW would not have achieved the required numberof signatories to be adopted. Thus, we argue that to properly understand the TPNW, an appreciation of states’ interests and motivations beyond their more widely discussed frustrations with the pace of nuclear disarmament is essential. We also argue that nuclear weapons scholarship must pay more attention to perspectives from the Global South and the concept of Nutopia–a belief in both the dystopian potential of nuclear weapons and the utopian possibilities of nuclear energy-in its understanding of nuclear politics, past and present. Global South perspectives are often overlooked, and as such, current regimes of nuclear arms control and disarmament remain only partially understood in Western literature.


European Research Council grant number 866155


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School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Review of International Studies


Cambridge University Press (CUP)



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