A desire for a more peaceful and just world.
Shampa Biswas (SB): I am a nuclear abolitionist, and would like to see a world completely rid of nuclear weapons. There are countless other nuclear abolitionists, many of whom have advanced very concrete suggestions for how to move toward a nuclear-free world. In fact, there is a massive, complex, multi-billion dollar nuclear nonproliferation regime invested in reducing and/or eliminating nuclear weapons from the world. Yet we are nowhere near ridding the world of nuclear weapons, and despite all the fanfare that accompanies the negotiation of a treaty like the New START or attempts to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program, I am not at all sanguine that we are even moving in that direction.
My interest was in understanding how this global nuclear order works to keep us always hopeful about progress on nuclear weapons elimination, while deflecting away from the real drivers of nuclear desire and the real profiteers of nuclear pursuits. I wanted to use this book to draw attention to what this global nuclear order looks like—who it empowers and who it disempowers, who benefits from it and who is damaged by it, whose concerns get voiced and who is rendered marginal. I wrote the book because I wanted to make the case that thinking rigorously about the many forms of inequities embedded within the global nuclear order—considered largely peripheral to what are considered to be more serious questions of security and stability—will, ultimately, make the world more peaceful and its inhabitants more secure. To say it differently and more simply, I wrote the book out of a commitment to contribute in some small measure to making a world that is simultaneously more peaceful and more just.