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Salma  Shaheen

Dr Salma Shaheen

Teaching Fellow

Research interests

  • Conflict
  • Security


Salma is an established expert in the field of strategic studies with about 15 years’ experience in related sub-fields in research, policy, teaching and engagement settings. She started in the School of Security Studies at King’s since 2018 in War Studies department, and from 2022 she is associated with the Defence Studies Department.

Salma completed her PhD at the War Studies department, King’s College London in 2018. Her thesis is based on a comparative 
study to explore factors influencing the evolution and stability of nuclear command and control (C2) norms. In so doing, the research compares how four different nuclear weapon states (Britain, China, India and Pakistan) have gone about developing their nuclear C2 organizations, and demonstrates that despite several differences among cases, there is a central set of factors that remain constant over time and space. These suggest that there is a set of dynamics that could form a global norm for nuclear C2.

Before joining King’s, Salma worked on issues related to India-Pakistan peace process, South Asian strategic stability, international security and nuclear non-proliferation (regional as well as international) as an Assistant Director (Research) at Arms Control & Disarmament Affairs Directorate, Strategic Plans Division, Pakistan.


  • HEA Associate Fellow, King's College London (2016)
  • PhD in War Studies, King’s College London (2018)
  • MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University (2008)
  • MSc in Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University (2005)
  • BA in Economics and Statistics, University of Punjab (2002)

Research Interests

  • Nuclear Command and Control
  • Nuclear Crisis Communication
  • Deterrence
  • South Asian nuclear politics
  • Emerging & Disruptive Technologies military applications


Salma teaches modules within the three pathways – the Cyber Security, the Espionage & Surveillance, and the Strategic Studies, of International Affairs programmes at MA, PG Cert, and PG Dip levels.


Sharing research findings and engaging broad populations on the themes of climate adaptation and resilience is an important part of Salma’s career. She regularly writes for print and digital media including The News, The Friday Times, the Pakistan Politico, the South Asian Voices, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, and the Binding Hook.



  • Salma Shaheen, Nuclear Command and Control Norms: A Comparative Case Study (Britain, China, India and Pakistan), Routledge (2019) 

Research Article

  • Salma Shaheen, “Russia-Ukraine War through the Lens of Strategic Culture,” Journal of International Affairs, (Vol. 75, No. 2, Spring/Summer 2023)
  • Salma Shaheen, “Securitisation of Deterrence: Implications for Strategic Stability,” Journal of Contemporary Studies (Vol. 11, No. 2, Winter 2022)
  • Salma Shaheen, “Global Nuclear (back-up) Hotline – Building Communication Norms across NC2,” Journal of Peace and Nuclear Disarmament (Vol. 4, 2021) 

Book Chapters

  • Salma Shaheen, “Nuclear Security Practices during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” in Exploring Nuclear and Radiological Security in South Asia: A Case Study Handbook, Centre for Science & Security Studies, KCL, 2022.
  • Salma Shaheen, “Offence-Defence Balance in Cyber Warfare” in Cyber Space and International Relations (Springer-Verlag Publication, 2014) 

  • Salma Shaheen, “NPT as a Social Contract: Challenges and Options for 2010 RevCon,” in Culture, Politics, Ethics II (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011) 

Short Articles/Commentaries

  • Salma Shaheen, “Pakistan’s new cybersecurity approach will infringe on fundamental freedoms.” Binding Hook (Jan 2024)
  • Salma Shaheen, “North Korea’s Nuclear Use Doctrine,” Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (Feb 2022)
  • Salma Shaheen, “Fake News, Escalation, and Polarization: Pakistan’s Disinformation Vulnerabilities,” South Asian Voices (May 2022)
  • Salma Shaheen, “Militaries & Climate Change: The Case of Pakistan,” South Asian Voices (November 2021)
  • Salma Shaheen, “Under the #Twitter@ Overhang: Twittereflections from the Pulwama-Balakot Crisis,” Pakistan Politico (April 2019) 

  • Salma Shaheen, “Responsibility and Deterrence in South Asia,” Pakistan Politico (September 2018)

Review Article

  • Salma Shaheen, “Is Pakistan’s Nuclear Strategy Stick in Time?” SAV Review, (June 2019).