Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Studies in International Disarmament Efforts
This essay contends that science, technology, and innovation policy studies (STIps) infuses particular knowledge(s) and perspectives that can help international disarmament efforts be effective, forward-looking, and socially-championed.
If grades in disarmament diplomacy were given out for perseverance, then Canada would surely merit an “A” for its efforts on behalf of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, or FMCT. Forging this treaty, which would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, has been a supposed goal of the international community for over half a century. In that time, though, negotiations to bring the treaty about never even started, suggesting that the FMCT is one of those worthy goals that are periodically affirmed without any serious effort to realize them. And though Canada has traditionally led efforts to move forward on the treaty, the Canadian-led group most recently charged with supporting future negotiations has submitted a report that deserves a failing grade.
There has been much debate about the wisdom of negotiating a ban on nuclear weapons without the nuclear-armed states involved in the process. (See here, here , and here for a selection.) There has also been some work on what such a ban treaty might include with respect to substantive prohibitions (use, possession, transfer, financing etc.). Less has been written about the complex technical matters negotiators must confront. Here are four of them.