Slaying the Nuclear Dragon
Disarmament Dynamics in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Tanya Ogilvie-White and David Santoro

Exploring new directions in nuclear disarmament


"This excellent collection of essays outlines different governments' views on the wisdom or folly of nuclear disarmament. Much has been written on the subject since President Obama embraced the vision of a nuclear weapon free world in his April 2009 Prague speech, but almost all of the existing literature focuses on the U.S. debate. Slaying the Nuclear Dragon breaks new ground with detailed empirical studies of key governments' positions for and against the disarmament vision."
—Professor Scott Sagan, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

"Slaying the Nuclear Dragon highlights the ways that various actors in the international community diverge in their views of the feasibility and desirability of nuclear disarmament. Ogilvie-White and Santoro present an innovative way to categorize these various national positions, and the contributors offer compelling analyses of the events and trends that shape attitudes toward nonproliferation. The volume provides an insightful assessment of the complex issues that animate global nuclear disarmament efforts."
—James J. Wirtz, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

More / Hide


In recent decades the debate on nuclear weapons has focused overwhelmingly on proliferation and nonproliferation dynamics. In a series of Wall Street Journal articles, however, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn called on governments to rid the world of nuclear weapons, helping to put disarmament back into international security discussions. More recently, U.S. president Barack Obama, prominent U.S. congressional members of both political parties, and a number of influential foreign leaders have espoused the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Turning this vision into reality requires an understanding of the forces driving disarmament forward and those holding it back. Slaying the Nuclear Dragon provides in-depth, objective analysis of current nuclear disarmament dynamics. Examining the political, state-level factors that drive and stall progress, contributors highlight the challenges and opportunities faced by proponents of disarmament. These essays show that although conditions are favorable for significant reductions, numerous hurdles still exist. Contributors look at three categories of states: those that generate momentum for disarmament; those with policies that are problematic for disarmament; and those that actively hinder progress—whether openly, secretly, deliberately, or inadvertently.

Nuclear deterrence was long credited with preventing war between the two major Cold War powers, but with the spread of nuclear technology, threats have shifted to other state powers and to nonstate groups. Slaying the Nuclear Dragon addresses an urgent need to examine nuclear disarmament in a realistic, nonideological manner.

Studies in Security and International Affairs

Page count: 360 pp.
1 table
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $74.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

List price: $29.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

List price: $24.95
Check ebook availability

Tanya Ogilvie-White is a senior lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a consulting fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She is coauthor of Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Crossroads and editor of a forthcoming volume of the correspondence of Michael Quinlan. David Santoro is a senior fellow for nonproliferation and disarmament at Pacific Forum CSIS. He is the author of Treating Weapons Proliferation: An Oncological Approach to the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Technology. Both editors worked on this volume as recipients of the 2010–11 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.