People Power

Summary Handout


Imagining Other Index Page

The Anti-nuclear movement


Week 8: The Peace Movement (2) the anti-nuclear movement; conclusion.


1. The development and first use of atomic (fission) weapons 1945: Hiroshima (140,000 died), Nagasaki (74,000 died). The hydrogen bomb (fusion)


2. The first protests, marches versus direct action:

CND (Aldermaston 1958), Direct Action Committee, Committee of 100. Marches, civil disobedience and direct action (e.g. Spies for Peace (secret bunkers).


3. Differences over strategy: unilateralism vs multilateralism (European Campaign: END), changing the social order, opposing testing, public opinion and parliament, civil disobedience and the state, peace research.


4. First Treaties and other achievements:

Partial Test-Ban Treaty 1963

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 1968


5. Second phase of the anti-nuclear movement (1980s):

International demonstrations

Neutron bomb

INF Treaty 1987 intermediate-range forces

Cruise and Pershing missiles removed from Europe

Greenham Common base now closed

1982 Labour Party votes for unilateral nuclear disarmament later dropped

1985 Rainbow Warrior (Greenpeace) sunk



6. Stockpile of weapons in 2018, 14,465 nuclear warheads


7. Deterrence and war


8. Armed to the teeth?


9. The arms trade (another cause of war, along with nationalism, territorial ambition, resources control, balance of power...). Corruption


10. Liberal Interventionism?


11. Recent moves for more treaties:

Arms Trade Treaty 2014

Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons (2017): 122 nations have signed


12 Conclusion: overall achievements of the peace movement:

- public opinion and government accountability

- treaties and international law (international courts see (*) below)

- a more peaceful world?



(*). Footnote on International Courts:

International Court of Justice: part of the UN; resolves inter-state disputes

International Criminal Court: intergovernmental; pursues individuals