Dr Rishi Paul

Dr Rishi Paul was a Policy Fellow and Programme Manager at BASIC, managing the Programme on Nuclear Disarmament, as well as supporting the overall management and growth of the think tank. As part of Rishi’s portfolio, Rishi also managed the Stepping Stones Project, which provides intellectual support to the Stockholm Initiative. 

Rishi’s research interests and expertise include deterrence dynamics in the context of evolving adversarial relationships, especially its effect upon the formation of nuclear strategy and escalation pathways. Rishi’s current research is geared towards a critical examination of the thresholds for nuclear escalation and the role of nuclear off-ramps in managing risk reduction and averting nuclear use. 

Rishi’s pioneering work in this space is held in high regard; in late 2022, the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) awarded Rishi First Prize in its global security competition for developing an innovative plan designed to avert nuclear use in crisis and in war.  

Rishi has published widely, addressed the NATO Defence College in Rome, provided media commentary for international news outlets and delivered written evidence to the House of Lords, Select Committee on International Relations, “Rising nuclear risk, disarmament and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Rishi holds both an MA in Strategic Studies and a PhD from the University of Leeds. Whilst an academic researcher at the University of Leeds, his doctorate successfully examined the dynamics of U.S. nuclear strategy and the challenges posed by incorporating ballistic missile defence into strategic doctrine.


  • Nuclear deterrence dynamics
  • Nuclear thresholds and escalation control
  • Missile defence
  • Nuclear non-proliferation and arms control
  • US foreign and security policy
  • India and Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine, posture and diplomacy
  • Stepping stones to disarmament and nuclear risk reduction
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