Marianne Hanson
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Challenges to and likely impacts of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
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Chapter 8 notes that there are several obstacles facing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The first of these is the refusal of the nuclear states to sign the TPNW, and the point that international law can only be enforced against states which have agreed to sign up to that particular law. It is also unlikely that the TPNW can come to constitute customary international law, at least in the near future. Additional challenges include the fact that nuclear weapons are deeply embedded in the security doctrines of the nuclear weapon states (much more than landmines and cluster munitions were), that to date, no major allies of the United States have signed the treaty, and that considerable pressure will be brought to bear upon them not to sign, and that there is little visibility about the dangers of nuclear weapons today, making a widespread public outcry more difficult. The chapter concludes that while these are very real challenges, the TPNW nevertheless suggests a significant long-term impact. It notes the shifting dynamics in the relationship between the United States and its major allies (some smaller allies have already signed the treaty) and points to several studies which conclude that US allies, in NATO and elsewhere, can sign the TPNW and remain within their alliances, as long as these states reject any association with nuclear weapons, and allow themselves to be in a non-nuclear alliance with the United States.

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Challenging nuclearism

A humanitarian approach to reshape the global nuclear order


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