IMPACT: USE OF THE PROLIFERATION IMAGE IS WHAT CREATES THE PROBLEMS OF WMD
THE PROBLEMS OF WMD ARE CREATED BY THE FRAME THROUGH WHICH WE INTERPRET THEM - THE PROLIFERATION IMAGE
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE- PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p.
This chapter's primary claim is that threats or policy problems do not dawn on states, as Charles Krauthammer would have us believe the problem of proliferation dawned on the West. I argue, by contrast, that these problems are produced through acts of interpretation and, what is more, that the states or other actors that threaten or are threatened are also produced in these same interpretive acts. To make use of these claims to examine the contemporary concern with weapons proliferation, I argue that social life is framed in terms of a particular image. That image identifies the objects of social action and the identities of the relevant actors as objects and subjects of a particular kind. Only in terms of this image can policymakers or analysts know an international policy problem, and therefore only in terms of this image can action be taken. Therefore, the actions being taken by states and others in response to the problem of weapons proliferation are founded on an image that has constructed that problem in the first place. This means, in turn, that practices can be seen to instantiate the images that enable them and thereby become a central object of study in an analysis such as this, which seeks to reveal the images constitutive of international life. The images that frame policy problems and thereby produce those problems, the actors and practices of security, draw on discursive resources to tie the things imagined within the frame to other discursive frames-linking that which is framed to other things we understand in particular ways. Images therefore tie discourses together; by creating certain links and not others and by creating these links in particular ways, metaphors highlight, downplay, and hide other images that are operative in any given area of social life.
PROLIFERATION IMAGE REINFORCES THE GLOBAL WEAPONS TRADE OF THE NATION STATE SYSTEM
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 141
These interests, so important to the global production and transfer of arms, are at best downplayed and more commonly hidden by the "proliferation" image. By gathering states together as suppliers, "proliferation" recognizes the interest these states have in supplying but masks that interest behind the overarching interest in preventing proliferation. Because of the way state sovereignty is understood in the contemporary international system, the more general interests that states necessarily have in the acquisition of military technology are almost entirely hidden by the "proliferation" image. The spread is conceived and acted on as an autonomous, technologically driven process, not as one motivated by the requirements of being in the state system. What is more, the miscreants in the "proliferation" image are seen as acting 'in an excessive or aggressive manner and are constructed as outlaws-those who step beyond the established rules of the international game. There is absolutely no recognition that rather than the behavior of outlaws, the acquisition of the trappings of modern state power is central to admission to the game in the first place, that states behave this way precisely because that is what it means to be a state.
THE WAY WE FRAME THE PROLIFERATION ISSUE CONTAINS ITS REASON FOR FAILURE
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 7
I begin from the premise that social practices effect the creation of a world of a particular kind rather than reflect a world that is there for them to find. In the chapters that follow I demonstrate the world that is created by the practices of proliferation control, the kinds of objects that populate that world, the identities of the actors who inhabit it, and the interests those actors pursue. I show it to be a contingent and created world, effected in practices that-ultimately and ironic ally-prove ineffective' within the world they create. In Chapter 2 1 defend this initial premise and set out the terms in which the substantive examination of the practices of proliferation control will proceed. Central to this examination is the argument that the social world is produced through intersubjective interpretations that frame parts of social life in terms of a particular image. It is through the construction of this image that an area of social life, and therefore of social action, is created and is populated with objects and with actors. "Proliferation" is one such image that frames problems of weapons, military technology, and security in a particular fashion.
THE PROLIFERATION MINDSET IS WHAT CREATES THE PROLIFERATION SO-CALLED CRISIS TO BEGIN WITH
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 103
What is particularly significant about the Indian ambassador's critique is the recognition that the problem rests in the mind-set of states. The ambassador recognizes, in other words, that the proliferation problem is not an objective problem but the product of a mind-set. The point of this book is to explore the way this mind-set has come about and to ask about its effects and the alternatives that were and are possible. One of the effects of this mind-set-or, more properly, the discursive construction of the "proliferation" problem and its instantiation in practices such as the indefinite extension of the NPT-has been to marginalize and alienate the second most populous country in the world. Ironically, in a time in which the promotion of liberal democracy has been argued as the road to global peace and prosperity, the effect has been to marginalize the most populous liberal democracy. In terms of the proliferation control agenda, the myopia of marginalizing India became glaringly apparent in 1998, when India chose to test a series of nuclear weapons. If this security agenda and its effects rest contingently on a discursive construction of a problem, however, then it is open to alternative framings. The nonaligned proposals accepted "the important role of the Treaty in the maintenance of international security" but argued, with the Indians, that the security problem should be framed as one of "disarmament."
PROLIFERATION IMAGE REINFORCES THE NEED FOR NATION-STATES TO DEVELOP WMD
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 140-1
This connection between sovereignty -statehood and weaponry raises the greatest irony of the proliferation agenda. The spread of military technology, which is of such concern to states of the West, is driven largely by interests found in the representations of state and sovereignty that circulate throughout the contemporary international system. That circulation takes place through the practices of states that reproduce the discourses out of which those representations flow. In other words, when the United Kingdom "ring-fences" the Trident program in its defense review, it is reproducing the nuclear arsenal as a marker of status in the international system. Similarly, when the United States revises its military posture in the aftermath of the Cold War on the basis of a need to maintain a fully functional, high-technology military capable of fighting two or more wars simultaneously, it strongly reinforces the relationship among statehood, status, and that particular form of military organization and equipment. To produce that military posture in the post-Cold War world, the United States played a central role in building proliferation as a primary international security threat and the rogue state as its central villain. In other words, the very process of developing and responding to a "proliferation" agenda in the past few years has reproduced and reinforced the discursive construction of what it means to be a sovereign state in the contemporary world, which, in turn, is central to the spread of advanced weaponry and related military technologies.