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The Weapons State: Proliferation and the Framing of Security

David Mutimer
The Weapons State: Proliferation and the Framing of Security
ISBN: 978-1-55587-787-3
ISBN: 978-1-58826-966-9
1999/222 pages/LC: 99-37489
"This book is a welcome contribution to the much-needed case studies employing critical perspective."—Haider K. Nizamani, Contemporary Security Policy


The proliferation of all kinds of weapons (nuclear, chemical, biological, and even conventional) is emerging as a focal point for international security. This book shows how both the language used to talk about weapons proliferation and the practices adopted to respond to it serve to define the problem in ways that promote policy responses doomed to failure.

Examining the metaphors that have been gathered into the proliferation discourse—in terms of the nature of the problems they construct, the various interests they create, and the identity of the actors that are constituted—Mutimer makes a seminal contribution to both critical IR and policy debates.


David Mutimer is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at York University (Canada).


  • Introduction.
  • Imagining Security.
  • Before Proliferation.
  • The Proliferation Image.
  • Entailing Self and Other.
  • Contesting Proliferation.
  • Questions of Interest.
  • Appropriate Actions?
  • Conclusion.