Understanding nuclear-free zones
in Curbing the spread of nuclear weapons
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This chapter focuses on the properties of an ideal nuclear-weapon-free zone and compares it with actual nuclear-free zones. An ideal nuclear-free zone's job of work is never done and there is always a risk that the arrangement will fail to hold. This puts it on a par with the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), but its narrower geographical scope than the NPT is both beneficial to the nuclear-free zone and a problem for it. It is beneficial in as much as resolving the multilateral security dilemma is on average easier the smaller the number of participants involved, but more difficult in that no grouping of states is an island, and the introduction of nuclear weapons into the zone from outside may be difficult to insure against. This chapter also looks at three non-armament treaties: the Antarctic Treaty, the Outer Space Treaty, and the Seabed Treaty. Finally, it discusses nuclear-free zones under the treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Pelindaba, and Bangkok, as well as the Rapacki Plan and the Korean Declaration.

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