The article sets out to investigate whether multilateralism and the principles underlying it have a value that only depends on the degree to which it facilitates the pursuit of their political goals, or rather it has become an end in itself in the eyes of the participants in the liberal international order. In order to do so, the article investigates what is largely regarded as a fundamental element of the liberal international order: the non-proliferation regime – i.e. the set of treaties, multilateral and bilateral diplomatic agreements, international organisations, coordinated actions as well as the norms, policies and agencies of the participant countries aimed at containing the number of nuclear weapons, reducing the existing nuclear arsenals, and promoting cooperation in the development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The article focuses in particular on the centrepiece of the regime – the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – and the pressure under which it has been put by conducts that have either openly defied the norms regulating the area, or have attempted radical reforms of the nuclear global order – as in the case of the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons – that also undermined the pragmatic, incremental rationale of the current regime. After having presented the conditions in which the multilateral institutional form informing the international liberal order established after the end of World War II emerged and developed, a detailed diachronic account of the Treaty of Non-Proliferation, and the more comprehensive regime that hinges on it, is provided. Based on this description, the article points out the multilateral dimension of this regime, and in what sense it is representative of the role that multilateralism has been playing within the liberal international order and the challenges that it has been increasingly facing in recent times. In presenting the “functional” and the “axiomatic” rationales underpinning the adoption and continuance of the multilateral institutional form in the non-proliferation regime, the article identify the re-production of a certain set of practices – i.e. deeds embodying shared intersubjective knowledge and concepts – as a factor that, albeit not sufficient, has proved strongly conducive to the reinforcement of the non-proliferation regime. Accordingly, the re-production of these practices might be crucial to resist the pressure put on the regime – and multilateralism in general – by unilateral behaviour of attempts at radical reforms – as happened with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] Does multilateralism still matter? The institutional forms of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the liberal international order|
|Number of pages||34|
|Journal||QUADERNI DI SCIENZA POLITICA|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
- Sicurezza nucleare