Nuclear Disarmament or Nuclear Ambivalence

Tasneem Jamal

Briefing 07-4

Ernie Regehr

Global Public Opinion on Nuclear Weapons, a new public opinion survey of six key states, reveals a challenging ambivalence toward nuclear weapons: it seems that people in nuclear weapon states think that these weapons make the world more dangerous but them safer. 

It is tempting to call these views contradictory views, but it is logically possible to believe that nuclear weapons make the world more dangerous and that the world would be better off without them, while still believing that as long as any state has them, one’s own state should, too.

Interestingly, while people in non-nuclear weapon states also feel that nuclear weapons make the world more dangerous, they also feel safer knowing that their own country does not possess nuclear weapons.

That confirms the basic truth that the overwhelming majority of people, regardless of state, think that the world is made more dangerous by nuclear weapons and that such weapons should be eliminated.

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