Rethinking ‘Secrecy’ and ‘Disclosure’: What Science and Technology Studies Can Offer Attempts to Govern WMD Threats

  • Brian Rappert
  • Brian Balmer
Part of the New Security Challenges Series book series (NSECH)


It is often remarked that post-Cold War, and particularly after 9/11, a ‘new security environment’ has emerged. This is characterised by transnational threats to the West, numerous failing nation states, the proliferation of armaments along with the know-how to manufacture them, and continuing pressures for societal openness. All of these issues intersect in relation to the threats of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD). Indeed, the danger posed by such weapons has been identified as ‘the key issue facing the world community’.1 The topics of global terrorism and the proliferation of WMD now dominate many national security forums. With these developments a number of questions are being posed with a renewed vigour in policy, academic, and popular discussions: How easy is it to produce and proliferate WMD capabilities? What would count as compelling evidence of their acquisition? What initiatives — such as the imposition of further secrecy restrictions — are likely to limit the spread of WMD? What negative consequences might follow from any such responsive measures?


Tacit Knowledge Nuclear Weapon Biological Weapon Moral Economy Weapon Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Brian Rappert and Brian Balmer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Rappert
  • Brian Balmer

There are no affiliations available

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