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The Politics of Nuclear Weapons

The Politics of Nuclear Weapons

February 2015 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book provides an introduction to political and strategic aspects of nuclear weaponry. It offers an accessible overview of the concept of nuclear weapons, outlines how thinking about these weapons has developed and considers how nuclear threats can continue to be managed in the future.

It includes:

  • Coverage of nuclear testing, proliferation, strategy, global actors and disarmament.
  • Analysis of contemporary topics such as nuclear terrorism.
  • A timeline of key nuclear events.
  • Annotated further reading lists helping you to locate sources for essays and assignments.
  • Summaries, study questions and a glossary of key terms
  • Free SAGE journal articles available on the Resources tab  

The author will be providing regular updates to his suggested web resources, so be sure to check the Resources tab for the most up-to-date.

The Politics of Nuclear Weapons is essential reading for both undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in Nuclear Politics.


Introduction: the politics of nuclear weapons
Chapter 1: What are nuclear weapons?
Chapter 2: Testing, defining and delivering nuclear weapons
Chapter 3: Nuclear proliferation: why states do or don't build the bomb
Chapter 4: Nuclear strategy: understanding the MADness
Chapter 5: Vertical proliferation challenges: assessing Article VI of the NPT
Chapter 6: Horizontal proliferation challenges: the nuclear outliers
Chapter 7: Managing nuclear proliferation challenges: limiting, preventing and defending
Chapter 8: Nuclear weapons and new global actors
Chapter 9: Nuclear disarmament
Chapter 10: Enduring nuclear challenges
Conclusion: surviving our nuclear future

Andrew Futter has written a superb textbook on the politics of nuclear weapons, covering both technical and political matters with original insight, expert commentary and thorough organization that makes this an excellent choice for undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations, foreign policy and military strategy.

Stephen Cimbala
Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Penn State Brandywine

This timely book will provide students and academics alike with a valuable foundation for understanding nuclear weapons related issues in both historical and contemporary contexts. Andrew Futter guides the reader through the technologies, strategies and debates that have characterized the nuclear age from the Manhatten Project to present day concerns over the potential for nuclear terrorism and Iran's continued nuclearization.

Professor Wyn Bowen
King's College London

The book offers a meaningful synthesis of a wide variety of facts and opinions on key issues concerning nuclear weapons. Succinctly yet accurately, Futter describes the early years of the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear strategies, discusses differences between vertical and horizontal proliferation, identifies the obstacles associated with managing nuclear proliferation and disarmament, and addresses the challenges related to the access of non-state actors to nuclear weapons.

Luboš Fendrych, PhD student in Global Studies at University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Global Policy Journal

This book provides an excellent insight to political and strategic aspects of nuclear weapons, with a well-written and concise overview of the concept, development, attitudes towards and threats of these WMDs. A good companion for teachers and students alike on a fairly specific topic.

Thomas Weiler
Political Sciences and Sociology, University of Bonn
August 27, 2015

This will be an irreplaceable textbook for a final-year module that I currently deliver to History and Politics students: HI3125 Nuclear Politics and Proliferation. In my view there is nothing comparable to this text available. It is accessibly and clearly written. It condenses the large and complex literature for initiates to the field. It is up-to-date with current scholarship and contemporary debates. As such it lacks competitors in the textbook market and fills a major gap. It is fundamentally student-friendly. Henceforth, it will be a permanent fixture on my recommended reading lists. In addition, I am developing an online module this forthcoming Autumn for the MA Strategic Studies. The module will operate from Sept. 2016 (subject to recruitment). This text from Andrew Futter will also serve as a critical text that I will be recommending as part of the reading for this module.

Dr Mervyn O'Driscoll
Department of History, University College Cork (NUI)
April 22, 2015

Thank you
This book will supplement my course importantly

Professor Ugur Gungor
International Relations, Atı
March 16, 2015

Sage College Publishing

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