Solutions to Violent Conflict

Resurrection Politics and Banning the Bomb

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

Maryann Cusimano Love

The nuclear weapons ban is the latest example of resurrection politics. Peace advocates, scientists, and churches have been trying to ban the bomb for over 70 years, with few successes. Resurrection politics takes issues thought previously “dead on arrival” and raises them up, bringing them to life on the international agenda. Today 122 countries are on record in favor of the UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons; 53 countries signed on the first day the treaty was open for signatures, and already 3 countries have quickly ratified the ban. The Holy See was the first to ratify the treaty, and many Catholic majority countries led the effort, including Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, and Costa Rica.

Resurrection politics succeeded in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the Jubilee movement for international debt relief to poor countries, and international efforts against human trafficking.

The Holy See’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

Gerard Powers

The Vatican has long supported nuclear arms reduction and is seeking to build on the disarmament momentum generated by the United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons. The Holy See’s efforts, like those of other pro-ban states, might seem quixotic given the countervailing policies of the nuclear weapons states. But as Rose Gottemoeller, NATO’s deputy secretary general, has said, “I think there is a huge moral impact of the Vatican on issues that relate to nuclear weapons deterrence and the disarmament agenda overall.”[1]

Security without Nuclear Weapons

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

David Cortright

Critics of the UN treaty banning the bomb argue that nuclear weapons have helped to prevent World War III and are essential for international security. A world without nuclear weapons, they say, would be a world of greater war and military aggression. As I explain below, however, the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons envisioned in a nuclear ban would help to make the world more secure not less.

The contention that nuclear weapons have kept the peace between the great powers since World War II is simplistic and unprovable. Russia and the United States are certainly more wary of confronting each other because of nuclear weapons, but this is not the only consideration preventing a conflagration. Europe was once the cauldron of world war, but over the decades it has become a politically and economically integrated community of states at peace with one another, notwithstanding Brexit and other tensions.