Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo;
Distinguished Fellow,Centre for International Governance Innovation;
Inaugural Director, Balsillie School of International Affairs; and Former Assistant Security General, United Nations
Ramesh Thakur of the University of Waterloo discusses the historical beginnings and contemporary concerns surrounding the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In unpacking the broader institutional framework, Thakur employs a balanced ‘three-pillar’ approach. Among these columns, one can observe non-proliferation, disarmament, and the right to peaceful use of nuclear technology. For Thakur, these pillars arose from a number of historical dynamics between nuclear ‘have’ and ‘have-not’ states, particularly the fear of nuclear spread amongst ‘have’ states, and the competing desire for peaceful nuclear development amongst their ‘have-not’ counterparts. In fact, this relationship has been compounded by a number of comparatively recent developments, such as the growing interest in nuclear power technologies, the challenge of incorporating non-state actors into the normative architecture of the non-proliferation regime, and the lack of conclusive outcomes in ‘good faith’ disarmament negotiations. Thakur observes a cyclical dynamic in continuing rounds of negotiations, but suggests that long-term efforts aimed at elimination must be supplemented by short-term strategies for minimization.
Works By Ramesh Thakur
- Thakur, Ramesh and Jayantha Dhanapala. (2002, June 4). Let’s get together against terrorism. International Herald Tribune. Retrieved April 7, 2010, from
- Boulden, Jane and Ramesh Thakur. (2009). The United Nations and nuclear orders. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.
- Thakur, Ramesh, Jane Boulden and Thomas G. Weiss. (2008). Can the NPT regime be fixed or should it be abandoned? Retrieved April 7, 2010, from <http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/iez/global/05760.pdf>
- Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. (2010). Home page.
- International Atomic Energy Agency. (2010). Home page.
- International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. (2010). Home page.
- Nuclear Threat Initiative. (2010). Home page.
Recorded on April 2010