The Global Governance of Nuclear Weapons

Since 1945, the spread and control of nuclear weapons has posed one of the greatest challenges to international security. For ELAC, how these weapons are managed and governed is key to understanding and confronting this challenge. The new ELAC Nuclear Research Working Group draws on long-standing expertise in international law, norms and ethics within ELAC, as well as diverse country and regional specialisations in the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at the University of Oxford.

Studies of nuclear order often focus solely on the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the postures and actions of the largest nuclear weapons states, namely the US and Russia. The ELAC Nuclear Research Working Group takes the conversation further and looks beyond this focus, to the ‘shadow’ nuclear order, in particular actors (state and non-state alike) and institutional arrangements –formal and informal-- that reside outside the NPT regime. It does so through an emphasis on regional approaches, such as Southeast Asia and South America, as well as different country perspectives, for instance China and India, to nuclear governance. The project also considers fundamental normative questions concerning the state of the current nuclear order, as well as the ‘problems’ nuclear weapons pose in terms of global stability, justice and international law.

The Nuclear Research Working Group plans to host a series of Nuclear Research Seminars in academic year 2012/13, an edited volume on aspects of global nuclear governance, and a public event in 2013.

For more information on the ELAC Nuclear Research Seminars please click here.

Members of the ELAC Nuclear Research Working Group include:

  • Professor Jennifer Welsh, Co-director, ELAC
  • Dr Dapo Akande, Co-director, ELAC
  • Dr David Rodin, Co-director, ELAC
  • Professor Andrew Hurrell, ELAC Research Associate and Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Balliol College, is an expert on theories of global governance; the history of thought on international relations and international law; as well as the international relations of the Americas, with particular reference to Brazil.
  • Professor Dan Joyner, ELAC Research Associate and Professor of Law at the University of Alabama, is an authority on international law as it relates to nuclear energy and weapons, especially the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Dr Molly Cochran, ELAC Visiting Fellow and Associate Professor of International Affairs, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech University, has written extensively on normative theory within the field of International Relations, and is particularly interested in the ethical problems posed by nuclear weapons.
  • Dr Nicola Horsburgh, ELAC British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow for 2012-2015, working on a project titled ‘China, nuclear responsibility and global order’. Nicola’s research interests include Chinese nuclear weapons policy, nuclear dynamics in Northeast Asia, global nuclear history, as well as ideas related to global nuclear order and nuclear responsibility.
  • Francesca Giovannini, DPhil Candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University, and Research Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University for the upcoming academic year 2012-2013. Francesca’s work examines regional nuclear governance dynamics and focuses specifically on the role of Brazil, France and Indonesia in shaping regional nuclear orders.
  • Dr Kate Sullivan, lecturer in Modern Indian Studies at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS) at Oxford. Her research focuses on India’s nuclear and disarmament politics, Indian conceptions of greatness, and how the study of a rising India can contribute to existing theorising about great powers.