Nuclear Responsibilities

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.

At the regional level, the Approach offers a means to foster constructive dialogue and consultation on common security concerns; our flagship regional programme works with local partners to look for opportunities to reduce nuclear risks in Southern Asia.

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.


Programme Director: Sebastian Brixey-Williams

Programme Manager (Asia-Pacific Track): Dr Rishi Paul

Academic Lead: Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler (the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security and Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham)

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

Report: Nuclear Responsibilities – A New Approach for Thinking and Talking about Nuclear Weapons

We seek in this report to suggest ways, and crucially propose a new method, to gradually shift the nature of the contemporary global conversation on nuclear weapons away from one characterised by rights, blame, and suspicion towards one framed by responsibility, empathic cooperation, and even trust.  

Active Programmes

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.

Our current programmes are listed below. View the current programmes page by clicking here.