Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Lisa Koch

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Rights Information

2022 Carley E Barnhart


Regarded as the most powerful weapon ever created, the nuclear weapon is associated with mass destruction and even total annihilation. This thesis aims to answer the question: does the weapon of mass destruction impact masses equally? The use of three theoretical lenses is employed to guide this thesis’ analysis: the lenses of internal colonialism, neocolonialism, and feminism. These lenses allow for previously marginalized experiences to be placed at the center of analysis. The entirety of the ‘nuclear web’, from nuclear scholarship and nuclear decision-making to weapons design, creation, production, and disarmament is analyzed to understand the total impacts of the weapon and dismantle the belief that the impacts of nuclear weapons are limited to war-time use. This thesis concludes that nuclear weapons impact people of color and women disproportionately, as nuclear powers both operate in and perpetuate a patriarchal, colonial system.