Show/hide main menu

Visiting staff

Professor John Simpson

John Simpson


Centre for Science and Security Studies
Department of War Studies
King's College London
London WC2R 2L
Contact: John Simpson

Areas of Interest

  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • Preventing Nuclear Proliferation
  • British Nuclear History
  • Missile Proliferation and Control


John Simpson is a visiting professor in the Centre for Science and Security Studies. He is an expert of international standing on the evolution of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international mechanisms to prevent nuclear proliferation. He edits the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Briefing Book, the newest version of which is available here. He gained his PhD in 1976 for a thesis on weapon procurement issues. He became Professor of International Relations at the University of Southampton in 1990, and also held a range of positions outside the university. These included representing the UK on the UN Secretary-General's Study Group on Conventional Disarmament 1982-4; membership of the UK delegation to the UNESCO General Conference 1985; membership of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board for Disarmament Matters 1992-8; co-founder and Programme Director of the Programme for Promoting Nuclear Non-Proliferation (PPNN) (1987-2002); advisor to the UK delegation to NPT Preparatory Committee Sessions and Review Conferences (1999-present).  He was a member of the Strategy Group of the Monterey Institute's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and has been involved in the launch of the IAEA's new initiative to rethink nuclear fuel cycle issues. He served as a member of The Royal Society's Group on Scientific Aspects of International Security for a three-year term from 1 January 2008 until 31 December 2010. He was a member of the UK Royal Society working group which published a study on the Future Management of Separated Plutonium in the UK in September 2007.  Professor Simpson was awarded the OBE in 1999 for services to nuclear non-proliferation.

Selected Publications

The UK and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism: A Case Study of Organisational Responses. In Paul Wilkinson (ed), Homeland Security in the UK - Future Preparedness for Terroist Attack since 9/11. (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group), 2007).

"The United Kingdom and the Nuclear Future" in The Nonproliferation Review (London: Routledge for the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies - Monterey Institute of International Studies, July 2007, Vol. 14.2).

Co-editor with Ian R. Kenyon of Deterrence and the New Security Envionment (London: Routledge 2006).

"UK Perspectives on WMD Proliferation, Arms Control, Disarmament and WMD use by non-state actors" in W.P.S. Sidhu and R.Thakur (eds), Arms Control after Iraq (Tokyo: UN University Press, 2006).

"Iran's Nuclear Capability and Potential to Develop Atomic Weapons" in Iran's Nuclear Program: Realities and Repercussions, (Abhu Dhabi: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, 2006).

"Finding Middle Ground in UN and NPT Debates over Disarmament and Non-Proliferation" in Policy Briefs: Is Anything Doable in the Field of Nuclear Disarmament? (Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI): 2006).

'The Nuclear Landscape in 2004 - Past, Present and Future': Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMBC) Paper 3 (web-based).

(with Darryl Howlett) in 2005. Nuclear non-proliferation - how to ensure an effective compliance mechanism. In Burkard Schmitt (Ed.), Effective non-proliferation: The European Union and the 2005 NPT Review Conference (Chaillot Paper No 77pp. 9-26). Paris: ISS.

(with Jenny Nielsen) in 2005. The 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference: Mission Impossible? The Nonproliferation Review , Volume 12, Number 2, 1-23.

Present at the creation: Nuclear Weapon Policies and Nuclear Disarmament Policies of the United Kingdom . Nuclear Disarmament in the Twenty-first Century, (pp. 108-127) in 2004. Hiroshima , Japan : Hiroshima Peace Institute.

'The nuclear non-proliferation regime: back to the future?', UNIDIR Disarmament Forum, 2004 No.1.  

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions Privacy policy Accessibility Modern slavery statement Contact us

© 2017 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454