Book

A Nuclear Refrain (2019)

Emotion, Empire, and the Democratic Potential of Protest

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Abstract

"A Nuclear Refrain is a spatial fiction that critiques the
policy of nuclear deterrence, the concept of Mutually Assured
Destruction, and the UK's decision to replace its Vanguard submarines,
so-called Trident replacement. We challenge that decision via extending
our geographical imaginations into the past, present, and future. Noting
the more usual economic, moral, and strategic objections to Trident and
its replacement, A Nuclear Refrain considers the issues from
less familiar perspectives: the emotional and embodied, empire and the
establishment, and the impact on democratic potentialities.
Set against the authors' ongoing participation in extensive public
protests against the UK's decision to replace Trident in 2016, A Nuclear Refrain
disrupts familiar academic and policy forms of writing. It is "an
uncomfortable hybrid between academia and fiction," intent on
discomfiting the reader to spur the radical reimagining of a world
profoundly shaped by the threat of nuclear weapons. Inspired by author
and social critic Charles Dickens, this book draws on the form of A Christmas Carol.
Transported by "ghosts" of the nuclear past, present and future, a
pro-Trident British policy maker, the Right Honourable Roger C.
Bezeeneos, has his perceptions sorely challenged. But will Roger allow
his feelings to influence his decision-making? Will he recognize the
yearning for empire-lost that mobilizes the British establishment? And
will he admit the limiting of political participation that a commitment
to nuclear deterrence determines? It's your call, Roger."