This paper analyzes the origins, evolution, and accomplishments of the campaign by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for radical changes in nuclear doctrine and policy. After reviewing the three phases of the 1990s debates on alternative nuclear futures, the report explains why NGOs succeeded in scoring important nonproliferation victories, but fell short of their ultimate goal: a fundamental change in the nuclear doctrine and broader nuclear policy of the United States and other nuclear powers. The report concludes with a discussion of important lessons for future civil society campaigns to set a new nuclear agenda. The report is authored by Senior Associate Cathleen S. Fisher, who directed the Center’s four-year program on Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Reformation and Resistance: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Future of Nuclear Weapons