Facing nuclear danger: From proliferation to global nuclear vulnerability Event as iCalendar

(School of Social Sciences)

15 August 2017


Venue: Lecture Theatre OGGB3 | Owen G. Glenn Building (260-092)

Website: Nuclear Knowledges

Annual Chapman Lecture | Associate Professor Benoît Pelopidas

The immensity of potential nuclear devastation creates the twin desires to know and to have control over nuclear phenomena. Concerns about President Trump’s instability, and the ongoing crises with North Korea and Iran only intensify these desires.

This lecture will examine the effects of two different ways of looking at the nuclear weapons problem: first, as a problem of ‘proliferation’ (the spread of nuclear weapons) and second, as a source of global nuclear vulnerability. It will show what each of these perspectives reveals and what it makes possible, and how they either produce or undermine the legitimacy of specific past actions. The lecture will propose the notion of global nuclear vulnerability as a way of reconsidering the danger posed by existing nuclear arsenals, and will reconnect nuclear weapons politics to issues of democracy, knowledge production and control versus luck.

Associate Professor Benoît Pelopidas holds the Junior Chair of Excellence in Security Studies at the Centre for International Studies, Sciences Po, Paris. He is also an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. He has been awarded two international prizes for his research and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award in 2016.

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