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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Weapons of Mass Destruction, Counter-Proliferation

Michael Bothe

Subject(s):
Disarmament — Countermeasures — Weapons of mass destruction — Weapons, nuclear — Weapons control

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The term ‘counter-proliferation’ circumscribes the policy goal of preventing the spread of certain weapons as well as the policy and legal instruments or tools used to achieve this goal. The reason behind this goal is stability. The concept of stability at issue varies. If certain States are prevented from obtaining certain weapons considered to be particularly dangerous, these States cannot use them against other States. For similar reasons, certain areas are kept free of certain weapons, in particular weapons of mass destruction (‘WMD’) (nuclear weapon free...
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