The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons


New book and panel discussion will explore reasons no state has engaged in a nuclear attack since WWII

Many believed the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks would usher in a terrifying new nuclear era, yet since then no state has unleashed nuclear weapons. Why is that?

This question is explored in depth in a new book, The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons, by T.V. Paul, Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University and Co-Director of the McGill--University of Montreal Research Group in International Security (REGIS).

According Paul, the answer lies largely in a prohibition inherent in the tradition of non-use, a time-honored obligation that has been adhered to by all nuclear states—thanks to a consensus view that use would have a catastrophic impact on humankind, the environment, and the reputation of the user.

The book will be launched on Saturday, April 4, from 5:00-6:00 p.m., at the Mount Royal Center, where a roundtable discussion will also be held.


WHAT:  Roundtable discussion and book launch: The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons (Stanford University Press, 2009)

WHO: T. V. Paul (McGill University)

John M. Clearwater (author)

Richard Ned Lebow (Dartmouth College)

David Welch (University of Toronto)

Desmond Morton (McGill University)

WHEN: Saturday, April 4, 2009, 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Mount Royal Center,
2200 Mansfield Street.


Contact Information

Pascal Zamprelli
Media Relations Office
pascal.zamprelli [at]
Office Phone: 
(514) 398-1385