School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Hope Becomes Law: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the Asia-Pacific Region
    Tanter, R (Taylor & Francis, 2021)
    The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on January 2021, but has a long way to go towards institutionalisation and its intended impact on the dominant presumption of the legitimacy of nuclear weapons. Dialogue on the treaty in the Asia-Pacific region faces a suite of issues regarding movement of the treaty towards institutionalisation as a regime. The effectiveness of regional dialogues will be affected by the following: * the ability of the proponents of the TPNW to overcome the restrictions of the partialism of existing international law on nuclear weapons; * decisions regarding proposals of basing dialogue about the TPNW on a claimed primacy of the Non-Proliferation Treaty; * debates about the path forward: stigmatisation vs. delegitimating nuclear weapons; * the critical counterfactual: Can we imagine a Threshold Nuclear Disarming State? * debates on Nuclear Supporting States and Extended Nuclear Deterrence; * obstacles to treaty compliance posed by globally distributed systems of nuclear command, control, and communication; * a universal human interest in having in place by the time a Threshold Nuclear Disarming State appears a comprehensive verification regime which will be “fit for purpose” in the circumstances that will prevail at that point; * the importance of the inclusion of Pacific island states in Asia-Pacific dialogue to enhance understanding of nuclear testing impacts; and * seeing the current global pandemic as a stress test indicating the importance of eliminating nuclear weapons before the full impact of climate disruption reshapes global patterns of conflict.
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    A Global Nuclear Weapons Ban? Ready Or Not, Here It Comes
    Tanter, R (Australian Institute of International Affairs, 2017)
    Despite the apparent best efforts of Australia, the US and others, the second round of United Nations talks to negotiate a global nuclear weapons ban treaty is underway. With more than 130 countries participating, the proposed ban treaty may come into effect within the year.
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    'Yemen, Australian mercenaries and the shifting sands of Australia–Middle East alliances'
    Tanter, R (Arena, 2018)
    It seems unimaginable that Australia could be involved in the war in Yemen, arguably the world’s worst contemporary humanitarian catastrophe, with more than 10,000 dead, one million cases of cholera, and 11 million in acute need of assistance and protection. Or that Canberra could be building towards a military alliance with a Gulf-state dictatorship with deep involvement in that war—the United Arab Emirates. Or that both Coalition and Labor governments approved—and may well have encouraged—one of Australia’s most senior, decorated soldiers to put on the uniform of that dictatorship, earning millions of dollars in the process. Or that this former Australian Defence Force (ADF) general could go on to plan, build, train and command the UAE’s elite military force, and then oversee more than three years of its operations in a war characterised by highly plausible allegations of war crimes and gross violations of human rights. Not only this but accusations by the Yemeni government of UAE seizure of territory amounting to colonisation, leading to a place of horror, where, as a UN panel of experts reported to the Security Council, ‘Yemen, as a State, has all but ceased to exist’. All this points to a new phase of Australia’s alliance-dependent, high-technology liberal militarisation, rooted, on the one hand, in the export of highly skilled military specialists as senior or command mercenaries, and on the other in the formation of close ties between second order US allies as an American force multiplier
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    Touring the American empire of bases with the Marines
    Tanter, R (The Asia-Pacific Journal, 2018)
    In the decade after the end of the Cold War, triumphalist U.S. public intellectuals, liberal and conservative alike, were trying on the mantle of ‘empire’ for size. For many at the time, while ‘US imperialism’ denoted kneejerk leftism, ‘the American empire’ might just be an appropriate acknowledgement of achievement on a global scale, an accolade about reality rather than a matter of opprobrium.
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    The sick man of Asia: costs of denial
    TANTER, R (Nautilus Institute, 2013)
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