A Global Social Contract for Peace?
Abidullah Baba
A WORLD WITHOUT WAR: THE HISTORY, POLITICS AND RESOLUTION OF CONFLICT by Sundeep Waslekar HarperCollins, 2022, 303 pp., ₹ 599.00
March 2023, volume 47, No 3

Can mankind eliminate nuclear weapons and eliminate the greatest existential risks to the human species and the existence of the planet? This is one of the most intriguing concerns that plague people in modern times. Logic will disagree with such a question or even assertion, but evidence suggests that a number of key global leaders and dignitaries have shown willingness for such a vision, not immediately attainable but may be in the foreseeable future. A World Without War secures as a wake-up call for global citizenry and leadership about the consequences of a total or a nuclear war. There is a real existential threat posed by a cataclysmic arms race, the constant increase in military expenditure and the development and proliferation of new weapons using nuclear, biological, chemical and lethal autonomous technologies.

The central argument of this book is that ‘war is a matter of conscious choice in modern times’. The journey of humans from the Paleolithic era to the modern and post-modern era of nuclear and post-nuclear weapons like killer robots proves our increasing willingness to use science and technology for our own annihilation. The original intended purpose of science was to improve human life. But war mongers have been using discoveries and inventions to conceive and build destructive arsenals (p. 22).

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