Podcast: Drawing from Nuclear History to Understand Today's Challenges

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Date of publication: 12/02/2019 Description: Researchers and students of war and global security often look to the past to better understand developments in the present. So, how might the history of Nuclear weapons help us understand today’s security challenges? The advent of nuclear weapons caused a significant shift in the perceived cost of war between great powers due to the sheer power of nuclear arsenals. In turn, the unacceptable risk and danger of nuclear war necessitated the establishment of many international treaties that seek to prevent the use, proliferation and spread of nuclear weapons, along with providing a route to eventual disarmament. Many of the multilateral and bilateral treaties developed during the Cold War era, such as the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which currently has 190 state parties with North Korea’s withdrawal, and the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty between Russia and the US, which has recently been suspended by both parties, are still at the centre of many salient debates and international security challenges today. The relevance of these treaties in contemporary debate is one reason why the history of nuclear weapons and related treaties is important for understanding and contextualising contemporary issues. Recognising the relevance of nuclear history, the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) brought together a panel of its experts in the DWS to discuss what we can draw from the history of weapons to help us understand contemporary security challenges. After this panel on the 25 Jan, we had the opportunity to speak to three of the panellists, Drs Nicola Leveringhaus, Hassan El Bahtimy, and Daniel Salisbury, about their research and the panel’s overarching theme. But first I caught the panel’s chair and Head of the School of Security Studies, Prof Wyn Bowen, for a brief interview. We asked Prof Bowen to explain what CSSS’s aim was in bringing this panel on Nuclear History together. Bio: - Prof Wyn Bown is Head of School for the School of Security Studies at King's College London, comprising the Defence Studies Department (DSD) and the Department of War Studies. He is also Co-Director of the Centre for Science & Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s. A list of Prof Wyn Bowen's academic publications can be found here:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/person.aspx?id=2948654e-fe79-4fce-a1c7-64682a0579c0 - Dr Nicola Leveringhaus joined the Department as a Lecturer in War Studies in September 2016. She specialises in the International Relations of Asia, with a focus on China and the security of that region as it relates to nuclear weapons. Dr Leveringhaus is affiliated to the Asian Security & Warfare Research Group and the Centre for Science and Security Studies and the Centre for Grand Strategy in the Department of War Studies. A list of Dr. Leveringhaus's academic publications can be found here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/person.aspx?id=f180d264-8c59-46f8-b57f-5159888bfb63 - Dr Hassan Elbahtimy is a Lecturer in Science and Security at the War Studies Department. I hold a PhD and MA in Science and Security from the War Studies Department, a Diplôme d'Université - (D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier, and M.B.B.Ch (Medicine) Cairo University. A list of Dr. Elbahtimy's academic publications can be found here: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/hassan.elbahtimy.html - Daniel Salisbury is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) within the Department of War Studies. Daniel joined CSSS in July 2018 from the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs where he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow. A list of Dr Salisbury's academic publications can be found here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/person.aspx?id=18bb282b-e599-4b95-8389-1d23d6f6a2be _________________ This podcast was produced by Kirk Allen (Twitter: @_KirkAllen)

256 episodes