Programme on Nuclear Responsibilities
How do we build a more responsible global nuclear order?
The Nuclear Responsibilities Approach is a way of reframing how we think, talk, and write about nuclear weapons: one that puts a meaningful exploration of responsibility at the centre of our mindsets, our dialogues and our publications. In doing so, the Approach aims to provide an alternative vocabulary and model for exchange that can stimulate new thinking and research, and stimulate a new kind of dialogue to reduce distrust and nuclear risks.
The Programme on the Nuclear Responsibilities, run jointly by BASIC and the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS) at the University of Birmingham, promotes the Approach through a range of activities at the national, regional and international levels.
At the national level, the Nuclear Responsibilities Approach offers new conceptual tools to shape internal debates and deliberations over nuclear weapons policy and planning. We contend that developing robust and ethical policies and practices in relation to nuclear weapons starts with a rigorous, bottom-up assessment of nuclear responsibilities. Over the past few years, we have been working with local partners to run national nuclear responsibilities roundtables with the UK, India, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Japan, Malaysia, and Brazil.
At the regional level, the Approach offers a means to foster constructive dialogue on shared nuclear responsibilities to reduce nuclear risks in Southern Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Over the past few years, we have been holding one India-Pakistan roundtable and one Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue involving representatives from ASEAN, Australia, India, and Pakistan.
At the international level, the Approach is offered as a collective guiding principle that can help transcend the chronic blame game at the heart of international nuclear politics that stymies dialogue, cooperation, and trust.
The Programme is a joint project with the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS) at the University of Birmingham. We are grateful for the generous support of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the University of Birmingham, and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
Since 2021, the Programme has collaborated with the Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research (CSSPR) at the University of Lahore and the Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies (IPCS) in New Delhi.
Programme Director: Sebastian Brixey-Williams
Programme Manager: Dr Chiara Cervasio
Academic Lead: Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler (the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security and Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham)
Policy Fellow: Eva-Nour Repussard
Policy Fellow/Consultant: Alice Spilman
Policy Intern: Mhairi McClafferty
With thanks to our funders at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the University of Birmingham and the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).
Analysis and Publications for this Programme
Read our work on the responsibilities of states around nuclear weapons below
BASIC and ICCS are organising an online roundtable with young professionals and experts to discuss maritime risk reduction in the Asia Pacific through the Nuclear Responsibilities Approach.
In the last of our series on nuclear responsibilities in the Asia-Pacific, Ruhee Neog highlights the centrality of making the linguistic move from claims to be acting as a ‘responsible nuclear state’ to the responsibilities in practice that follow from possessing nuclear weapons.
In the fourth of our series on the nuclear responsibilities approach in the Asia-Pacific, Kanica Rakhra explores what makes states act responsibly in nuclear crises and how this has to be balanced against the need to ensure credible deterrence.
In the third of our special pieces on the potential of reframing the nuclear debate in the Asia-Pacific by focusing on the nuclear responsibilities of states, Nidaa Shahid highlights the importance of developing better lines of communication between India and Pakistan, especially in times of crisis.
In the second of our series reflecting on the value of thinking about risk reduction and security in the Asia-Pacific in terms of nuclear responsibilities, Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto examines the response of ASEAN governments to AUKUS.
Rabia Akhtar shows how a focus on nuclear responsibilities in South Asia opens up new possibilities for a dialogue that can contribute to developing a new shared framework for reducing risks, especially during times of crisis.
This report encapsulates the salient themes of discussion of the dialogue on Nuclear Responsibilities held in Dubai in March 2022.
In this report, Chiara Cervasio discusses the findings of the roundtable held by BASIC in London in October 2021, on the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Responsibilities.
On 13 and 14 March 2022, the BASIC-ICCS Programme on Nuclear Responsibilities hosted the track 2/1.5 dialogue ‘Different Perceptions, Shared Understandings: Towards a Responsibility-Based Regime to Reduce Nuclear Risks in the Asia-Pacific’.
This article highlights the impact of emerging technologies on the security of nuclear weapons and, in turn, on strategic stability. This article suggests that the Nuclear Responsibilities Approach can help mitigate the threat posed by the emerging technologies.
Download the Responsibilities Framework Template below:
Find more information on BASIC’s Side Events at the NPT Review Conference held in January 2022
BASIC believes in making progress on nuclear disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation through multiple complementary approaches. We continuously develop our programmes – streams of research – through sustained engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, collectively searching for the art of the possible.
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