Nuclear Responsibilities

Programme on Nuclear Responsibilities

How do we build a more responsible global nuclear order?

The Programme on Nuclear Responsibilities invites officials, policy influencers and experts to explore how their state and other states understand their responsibilities around nuclear weapons. 
All nuclear states have described themselves as “responsible nuclear weapon states” or similar, but there is no consensus around what this entails. Founded with this observation in late 2016, the Programme asked a high-level international track II roundtable hosted with the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security at Birmingham University to extrapolate this question.
The roundtable led to the report, “Responsible Nuclear Sovereignty and the Future of the Global Nuclear Order” (read here), in 2017. In June 2018, BASIC added South Asia to its gaze, publishing “Foregrounding India’s Nuclear Responsibilities” (read here) and hosting an accompanying roundtable that broke new ground by exploring India and Pakistan’s approaches to nuclear responsibility at King’s College London. Over 2018-2020, BASIC and ICCS have held roundtables for national policy communities in London (October 2018), Tokyo (January 2019), Kuala Lumpur (March 2019) and Geneva (March 2019), the Hague (August 2019), São Paulo (November 2019), New Delhi (November 2019), and a strategic dialogue in London (January 2020). 
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.