Global Change, Peace & Security Call for Papers

Special Issue: Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons: Implications and Possibilities

Global Change, Peace & Security

To be published mid-2018

Global Change, Peace and Security is now accepting manuscripts for possible publication in a special issue, “Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons: Implications and Possibilities” to be published mid-2018. Prospective writers are asked to submit an abstract of their proposed research article by June 10th 2017, and papers will need to be submitted by November 30th 2017.

This special issue will examine the various aspects and implications of the UN negotiations on a treaty and other legal mechanisms for prohibiting nuclear weapons globally. The negotiations will take place in March, June and July 2017. While the negotiations have been opposed by eight of the nine current nuclear possessor states, 123 UN Member States supported the initiative at the 2016 UN General Assembly.

Supporters of the initiative argue that it will serve to further delegitimize and stigmatise nuclear weapons as an essential part of any security arrangements, and highlight the risks of humanitarian catastrophe and risks of breakdowns in putative “deterrence” rationales as a result of accidental, miscalculated, pre-emptive, or cyber-warfare.

Current risks also involve human factors and current nuclear weapon state policies. In this context, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently moved its Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes and 30 seconds “closer to catastrophe”, citing US and Russian modernization of their nuclear forces, North Korean tests, potential nuclear insecurity in South Asia, President Donald Trump’s “disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons”, and nuclear war risks due to “miscommunication or miscalculation”.

The issue would seek to research and analyse through a combination of research articles, communication articles, and book reviews the following aspects of the UN negotiations aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons:

  • Sources and sites of future nuclear conflict: international contexts and developments, including South Asia, Northeast Asia, Middle East, and South China Sea.
  • The outcomes of the 2017 UN negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons, including analysis of the role of various groupings involved in the negotiations.
  • Civil society strategies and initiatives in relation to the UN negotiations and more broadly on nuclear de-legitimation initiatives
  • The relationship of any new ban treaty to existing arms control and disarmament treaties and measures, including the Non Proliferation Treaty and regional nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties.
  • The policies and role of nuclear weapon states in relation to the new initiative, including responses of the US under both Obama and Trump.
  • The role and responses of regional groupings in both the UN negotiations and in relation to denuclearization initiatives within each region (including Northeast Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Latin America, South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Pacific).
  • Barriers and obstacles to nuclear prohibition.
  • Verification issues associated with a nuclear prohibition treaty.
  • Humanitarian initiatives, including the Vienna conference and the factors and processes that led up to the new UN negotiations.
  • Near-use of nuclear weapons: past incidents and future possibilities, including technical, accidental, cyber-warfare, unauthorised, non-state actor use, miscalculation, escalation from conventional warfare, preemptive attack policies.

Further journal information

For further information, contact the Special Issue Editors, Joseph Camilleri and Michael Hamel-Green, by email:

Visit the GCPS webpage for additional information about the journal, instructions for authors, or submit manuscripts through our online platform. Read sample articles published in GCPS.

Editorial information