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Centre for Science & Security Studies

CSSS Events

Please RSVP for all talks. Questions? Email Hannah Mulvey

For more information on our events and how to become a speaker click here.

Upcoming CSSS Events


The Demise of America's First Missile Defense System and the Rise of Strategic Arms Limitation

Speaker: James Cameron

Time and Date: 18:00-19:30 on 22 November 2018

Location: War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07) King's Building, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS


Past Events 



Escalation through Entanglement

Speaker: James Acton

Time and Date: 12:30-14:00 on 12 November 2018

Location: Council Room, King's Building, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS


Hacking the Bomb

Speaker: Andrew Futter, an associate professor and Director of Research in the School of History, Politics, and International Relations at the University of Leicester.

Time & Date: 13:00-14:30 on 17 October 2018

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


Nuclear Security Architecture Post NSS: Prospects and Challenges

Speaker: Nidaa Shahid, Assistant Director/International Relations Analyst at Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Branch of Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Pakistan, and CSSS Visiting Research Fellow

Time & Date: 12:30 - 14:00 on 2 October 2018

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


Cross-Domain Deterrence: Politics by Many Means


Speaker: Jon Lindsay 


Time & Date:18:00 to 17:30 on 24 September 2018


Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


Book Launch - Triple Axis: Iran's Relation's with Russia and China

Speaker: Dina Esfandiary& Dr. Ariane Tabatabai

Time and Date: 18:00-20:00 on 9 July 2018

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King’s Building, Strand Campus


Wargaming Future Conflict between NATO and Russia 


Presenters: Professor Wyn Bowen, Ms Ivanka Barzashka, 


Discussants: Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham, Professor Philip Sabin, Dr Brad Roberts


Time & Date:15:30 to 17:30 on 31st  May 2018


Location:The Anatomy Lecture Theatre, K6.29, Strand Campus


The nexus between the Semiconductor Industry and National Security: The Rise of China in the Semiconductor Arena and Its Security Implications

Speaker: Dr Ming-chin Monique Chu 

Time & Date: 13:00-14:00 on 22nd March 2018

Location Strand Building S3.31 


Pakistan’s Security Challenges: In Conversation with (Retd) Ambassador Zamir Akram

Speaker: Ambassador Zamir Akram

Time and Date: 18:30-20:00 on 13 March 2018 

Location: Ground Floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus, K0.18


The Past and Future of Tear Gas:  The Himsworth Committee and ‘Weapons as Drugs’

Speaker: Brian Balmer

Time & Date: 12:30-13:30 on 20th February 2018

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


Assurance in an Emerging Technology Environment: Adjusting the Market for Alliances

Speaker: Rupal N. Mehta, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Time & Date: 15:30 - 17:00 on 15th February 2018

Location: Anatomy Museum, 6th Floor,  King's Building, Strand Campus


 Multilateral Arms Control: Is it Worth all the Effort?

Speakers: Dr John Freeman, current Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands 

Time & Date: 18:00-20:00 on 28th November 2017

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


The Role of Iran’s Nuclear Program in its Quest for Power

Speakers: Dr Anne Harrington 

Time & Date: 12:30-14:00 on 24th October 2017

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


The DPRK and Nuclear Weapons: Implications of Current Events


Speakers: Andrea Berger & Dr Nicola Leveringhaus

Time & Date: 11:30-13:00 on 10th October 2017

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus


Ripped from the Headlines: Applying "New Tools" to Today's Toughest Non-proliferation Cases

Speakers: Jessica Varnum and Ian Stewart

Time & Date: 18:00-20:00 on Tuesday 3rd October, 2017

Location: Room 2.01/2.02, Floor 2,  Bush House-Strand Campus


U.S. Strategic Command Missions and the role of the academic community in understanding Deterrence and Assurances

Speaker: Major General Clintor E. Crosier, US StratCom

Time & Date: 11:30am - 12:30pm, 30th May 2017

Location: The River Room, Level 2, King’s Building, The Strand


The Wrath of Mahan: the command of space as the foundation of spacepower theory

Speaker: Dr Bleddyn Bowen, Defence Studies Dept at KCL

Time & Date: 12:30 - 14:00, 7th March 2017

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, King's Building-Strand Campus


Syria and the Chemical taboo

Speaker: Dr Michelle Bentley, Royal Holloway,  

Time & Date: 12:30 - 14:00, 28th February 2017

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, King's Building-Strand Campus


Displaying Secreted Pasts: Representing South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Weapons Programme

Speaker: Professor Brian Rappert

Time & Date: 12:30 - 14:00, 23rd February 2017 

Location: Pyramid Room, King's Building-Strand Campus


The Iranian Nuclear Deal - Myths and Misinformation

Speaker: Mr Joe Brazda

Time & Date: 14:30 - 16:30, 3rd February 2017 

Location: Pyramid Room, King's Building-Strand Campus


Digital Repertoires for Arms Trade Research

Speaker: Dr Anna Feigenbaum

Time & Date: 12:30 - 14:00 24th January 2017

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, King's Building-Strand Campus


Book Launch: Unclear Physics: Why Iraq and Libya Failed to Build Nuclear Weapon (Cornell University Press, 2016)

Speaker: Dr Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Time & Date: 18:00 - 19:30, 19th January 2017

Location: Small Committee Room (K0.31), King's Building-Strand Campus


‘Next steps for US-China Strategic Nuclear Dynamics’

Speaker: Dr David Santoro

Time & Date: 12:30 - 14:00, 10th January 2017

Location: Room K6.63, King's Building-Strand Campus

Abstract: The relationship between the United States and China will decisively shape the twenty-first century. There are many aspects to this complex relationship, but one of the most important is the “strategic” relationship, i.e., how the two countries shape their plans, doctrines, capabilities, postures, and broader actions not only in the nuclear domain, but also in and across the conventional and increasingly the space and cyber domains. To this day, and despite its growing importance on the international arena, the US-China strategic relationship remains shrouded with mystery and misunderstood.

To fill this gap, this lecture will analyze the ins and out of this relationship, reflect on its general trajectory, and draw several implications and recommendations for policy. The lecture will look specifically at recent military developments and their implications for US-China bilateral strategic stability; the interactions between nuclear, cyber, and space capabilities and their implications for US-China bilateral strategic stability; the role of Russia and the implications for US-China relations and arms control and nonproliferation cooperation; the role of nuclear and strategic capabilities in military alliances; US-China cooperation to address the North Korean and Iranian nuclear and missile challenges; and how to build strategic reassurance and strategic stability in the US-China relationship.

Bio: David Santoro is director and senior fellow of nuclear policy programs at the Pacific Forum, a Honolulu-based branch of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


What Next: US Foreign Policy under Trump and World Order 

Speaker: Alexander T. J. Lennon

Time& Date: 12:30-14:00 Monday 5th December

Location: S3.30, Third Floor, Strand Building, Strand Campus


The election of Donald Trump is likely to lead other countries around the world, and even the United States itself, to question many contemporary U.S. principles and foreign policies. More fundamentally, his election, the reevaluation of these policies, and the likely distractions accompanying his presidency risk masking that it is symptomatic of a fundamental reevaluation of the 3 most foundational principles of Western and world order arguably taking place right now, a generation removed from the end of the Cold War. 

Is world order crumbling? If so, what ideas might take its place? Come discuss...


Alexander T. J. Lennon is the editor-in-chief of The Washington Quarterly, focusing on global strategic trends and their public policy implications, hosted at The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Lennon focuses on the grand strategy and foreign and security policies of contemporary major powers—especially the United States and China—as well as nuclear security strategy, particularly toward Iran, North Korea, South Asia and global nonproliferation. He has completed projects on the future of democracy promotion in U.S. grand strategy, the national security implications of global climate change, and the regional risks of proliferation from Iran and North Korea. He previously served at the U.S. Department of State, focusing on Middle Eastern affairs. Lennon has edited or coedited seven books, published numerous articles and op-eds, and has been interviewed frequently by the media. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP). Lennon holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, where his dissertation was on the role of track-two networks in U.S. nonproliferation policy, an M.A. in national security studies from Georgetown University, and an A.B. cum laude from Harvard University, where he was the national policy debate (NDT) champion. He also volunteers as the policy debate coach at one of the premier high schools in the country, Thomas Jefferson (VA), and manages his daughter’s travel softball team (10U).

From Silence to ‘Showmanship’: The British government’s presentation of nuclear weapons policy, 1974-1983

Speaker:Daniel Salisbury

Time & Date: 13:00-15:00 on Wednesday 7th of Dec

Location: K4.31, Fourth Floor, King’s building, Strand campus


Between 1979 and 1983 the British government's presentation of nuclear weapons policy underwent a dramatic evolution. The defensive approach of secrecy and near silence taken by successive Labour governments from 1974 to 1979 was supplanted by increasingly assertive forms of "persuasion" by Thatcher's first government between 1979 and 1983. This presentation is based on research drawing on 25,000 pages of archival material from five British archives and interviews with former government officials, activists and academics. It will consider the mounting tension in Labour's approach of secrecy as journalists, the nascent strategic studies community, and activists actively speculated about British nuclear weapons activities. It will chart the careful movement from silence to persuasion under Thatcher in 1980 as interest in British nuclear weapons was starting to grow. The presentation will also consider the increasingly assertive attempts of Thatcher's government to make the case for British nuclear weapons running up to the 1983 general election, culminating in an approach of "showmanship". 

The 1980 to 1983 period constituted the most significant change in the presentation of British nuclear policy in a period of this duration throughout the seventy-year British nuclear experience. It saw the first official disclosure of significant, but largely basic, policy information about the UK's nuclear capability. Although such assertive efforts to make the case for nuclear policy were not seen again, the period had important implications for future policy presentation. It saw a growth in both official and unofficial accounts of Britain’s nuclear status, which would shape the British government’s efforts to make the case for nuclear weapons into the twenty-first century. 


Daniel Salisbury is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. He previously worked at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) within the Department of War Studies at King’s College London (KCL) on a variety of nonproliferation and nuclear security research projects. He completed his PhD research at CSSS, KCL.

Book Launch: Biological Threats in the 21st Century

Time & Date: Thursday 17 November at 18:00

Location: Small Committee Room, King's Building, Strand Campus


Book Editor Filippa Lentzos, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King's Colle London, will discuss with a panel the role of scientists in bioweapons non-proliferation and disarnament.

Title: ’The ABACC Model: Overcoming distrust and guaranteeing the peaceful use of nuclear energy in South America' 

A CSSS Brown Bag Talk

Speaker:Dr SergioGabriel Solmesky

Time & Date: 14:00-15:00 pm, Friday the11th of November.

Location:Pyramid Room, 4th Floor, King’s Building, Strand


Dr Solmesky is a Specialist in International Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Power Plant Safety. He was appointed as the General Secretary ofthe Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), from 2010-2015 he was the Adviser of the General Secretary of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN), from 2005 -2009 the Head of the Institutional Relations Office of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) in Argentina, from 2001-2002 Adviser to the Presidency of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), Argentina and from 2000-2001 the Director of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN), Argentina.


Abstract: ‘ABACC is the only bi-national safeguards agency in the world and has been an important actor in helping Brazil and Argentina overcome their distrust in the nuclear field. In this talk Dr Sergio Solmesky, current Argentinian Secretary for ABACC will discuss its unique role and how it helped engender trust between the two historic rivals. 


‘Nuclear Security and Non-proliferation: The Legacy of President Obama’s Prague Agenda’


Speaker: Lt.Gen. Klotz

Time & Date: 6:15 pm-7:15 pm, Wednesday 12 October 2016

Location: Pyramid Room, K4U.04, 4th Floor, King’s Building, Strand.


 Lt. Gen. Klotz will discuss NNSA’s contributions to the policy agenda that President Barack Obama articulated in Prague in 2009.  Specifically, he will discuss efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime while promoting access to peaceful uses of civil nuclear energy and preventing nuclear terrorism.  Klotz will also address policies related to President Obama’s pledge that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal to deter U.S. adversaries and defend its allies. Please note that this event is being held under Chatham House Rules.


Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, United States Air Force (Ret.), was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, as the Department of Energy’s Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). As Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, Klotz is responsible for the management and operation of the NNSA, as well as policy matters across the Department of Energy and NNSA enterprise in support of President Obama’s nuclear security agenda. Prior to his Senate confirmation, Klotz served in a variety of military and national security positions. As the former Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, a position he held from 2009 to 2011, he established and then led a brand new 23,000-person organization that merged responsibility for all U.S. nuclear-capable bombers and land-based missiles under a single chain of command. From 2007 to 2009, Klotz was the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Director of the Air Staff. He served as the Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command from 2005 to 2007 and was the Commander of the Twentieth Air Force from 2003 to 2005. Klotz served at the White House from 2001 to 2003 as the Director for Nuclear Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council, where he represented the White House in the talks that led to the 2002 Moscow Treaty to reduce strategic nuclear weapons. Earlier in his career, he served as the defence attaché at U.S. Embassy Moscow during a particularly eventful period in U.S.-Russian relations. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Klotz attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he earned an MPhil in international relations and a DPhil in politics. He is also a graduate of the National War College in Washington, DC. Most recently, Klotz was a senior fellow for strategic studies and arms control at the Council on Foreign Relations.

RSVP via the link: 


Interrogating Global Nuclear Order: Methods, Theory and Praxis

Co-hosted by the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS)

Proposals are invited for the Fourth Annual Conference of the BISA Global Nuclear Order Working Group:

8-9 September 2016 at King’s College London, UK

Title: Strategic Trade Controls: A “System of Systems” Perspective and Closing a Troubling Gap

A CSSS Brown Bag talk

Speaker:Leonard S. Spector

Time & Date: 12:30-14:00 on Tuesday 12th of July 2016

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, 6th floor, King’s Building, Strand


Stemming the flow of nuclear commodities to states of proliferation concern requires a surprisingly broad array of activities and initiatives, involving numerous organizations and institutions, each of which is quite complex in its own right.  In effect, the enterprise is a “system of systems,” operating at the international, multi-state, state, and private industry level, but is rarely discussed in its entirety. Mr Spector’s comments will sketch this landscape and offer strategies to address an important gap: The failure to challenge the continued possession and use of illegally acquired goods once in the hands of the proliferant state.


Leonard S. Spector is deputy director of the Monterey Institute of International Studies' James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and leads the Center's Washington D.C. office. Mr. Spector joined CNS from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he served as an assistant deputy administrator for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Prior to his tenure at DOE, he served as Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Director of its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Project. He also established the Program on Post-Soviet Nuclear Affairs at Carnegie's Moscow Center. Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, Mr. Spector served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Proliferation Subcommittee, where he assisted in drafting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. He began his career in nuclear nonproliferation as a special counsel at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Mr. Spector has served on senior advisory panels at the Sandia National Laboratories, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the National Research Council of the American Academy of Sciences. He has also served as secretary and member of the Board of Trustees of the Henry L. Stimson Center, and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Washington, D.C. Bar.

His current research focuses on strategies to challenge proliferant states’ continued possession and use of illicitly procured dual-use nuclear goods and implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action limiting Iran's nuclear program, with particular attention to financial sanctions.

Mr. Spector’s recent work includes Combating Nuclear Commodity Smuggling: A System of Systems (Monterey, CA, and Washington, D.C.: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 2014), co-authored with Egle Murauskaite, and, with co-editors Matthew Bunn, Martin Malin, and William Potter, Countering Black Market Nuclear Technology Networks (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). 

Dr Robert Downes and Daniel Salisbury have put together a short piece for The Conversation on how events in Brussels are forming the backdrop to the 2016 NSS:


Graduate presents on gender & war at ISA


Caroline Cottet, recent graduate of the MA in Science and Security was selected to present two papers at the ISA Annual Conference 2016, including one in the Junior Scholar Symposium sessions. Both papers are products of her time in King's College, and are on the subject of gender and war. One of those papers is to be adapted into a book chapter, for an edited collection by Marysia Zalewski, Paula Drumond, Elisabeth Prügl and Maria Stern. The Department of War Studies was delighted to be able to support a recent student in her career development.  

Caroline writes about how her experience at the conference has opened doors to new opportunities. 

"My week at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention was the most mind-blowing I’ve ever had. I had always enjoyed attending talks, meeting researchers and sharing ideas with other academics. Never had I imagined doing all of these things, all day long, for half a week, and with the most prodigious minds, taking over Downtown Atlanta. Ironically, the main venue of the convention (the Hilton hotel) literally looked like an ivory tower. But perhaps there’s something eerily seductive in being part of it. I presented two articles. Both had been written during my year at King’s College: one was adapted from a term paper ("I'll make a man out of you: the gendered representation of soldiers in French military recruitment ads”) and the other from my MA dissertation (“Biology was constructed, not discovered: The biases in medical practice and the under-representation of male victims of sexual violence in war”). When presenting the former, I realised that Cynthia Enloe (Cynthia Enloe!) was a member of the audience. With a large smile, she later told me she really liked my research project and gave me recommendations for going forward. The second paper I presented was also extremely well-received; so much so that it will be published as a book chapter next year. Aside from attending incredibly interesting talks and having wonderful meetings, I also enjoyed visiting a museum on African-American history in Georgia and going to a food market to try local pralines. Needless to say, I was ecstatic all week long. If academia is a Ponzi scheme, events like the ISA are seriously alluring incentives. And paradoxically (or foolishly perhaps), this week in Atlanta has convinced me further to pursue a career in academia. I thank King’s College, of which Professor Theo Farrell and Professor Joe Maiolo in particular, for helping me in attending the convention. My time at King's has proven, once again, to open doors to new and exciting opportunities. "

Caroline is Senior Commissioning Editor in Gender Studies and Sexuality Theory for E-International Relations. 

The Case for U.S. Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century

A CSSS Book Launch

Speaker: Dr Brad Roberts

Discussant: Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman

Chair: Dr Heather Williams

Time & Date: 17:30-19:30 on Thursday, 14 April 2016

Location: Pyramid Room, 4th Floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus


This book is a counter to the conventional wisdom that the United States can and should do more to reduce both the role of nuclear weapons in its security strategies and the number of weapons in its arsenal. The case against nuclear weapons has been made on many grounds including historical, political, and moral. But, Brad Roberts argues, it has not so far been informed by the experience of the United States since the Cold War in trying to adapt deterrence to a changed world, and to create the conditions that would allow further significant changes to U.S. nuclear policy and posture. Drawing on the author's experience in the making and implementation of U.S. policy in the Obama administration, this book examines that real world experience and finds important lessons for the disarmament enterprise. Central conclusions of the work are that other nuclear-armed states are not prepared to join the United States in making reductions, and that unilateral steps by the United States to disarm further would be harmful to its interests and those of its allies. The book ultimately argues in favor of patience and persistence in the implementation of a balanced approach to nuclear strategy that encompasses political efforts to reduce nuclear dangers along with military efforts to deter them.


Address and Q&A with Mr Hugh Griffiths 

Coordinator of the United Nations Security Council’s Panel of Experts Pursuant to Resolution 1874 (North Korea)

Speaker: Mr Hugh Griffiths, Coordinator of the UN Security Council Panel of Experts Pursuant to Resolution 1874

Time and date: 1200-1330 on Wednesday 20th April, 2016

Location: Room K6.63, 6th floor, King’s Building, King’s College London (Strand Campus)


Hugh Griffiths is currently serving as Coordinator of the United Nations Panel of Experts monitoring UN sanctions on North Korea. Griffiths is currently on a leave of absence from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Countering Illicit Trafficking–Mechanism Assessment Projects (CIT-MAP).

From 1995 until 2008 Hugh worked for governments, UN and non-governmental organizations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, conducting investigative field research and analysis on issues surrounding clandestine political economy, war crimes, humanitarian aid and international programme management.

He has acted as an expert on behalf of the European Commission, various European Union member state ministries as well as United States government agencies, the UN Development Programme, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Criminal Court. In addition to academic and policy-orientated publications, he has written regular reports for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Jane’s Intelligence Review and Jane’s Foreign Report.

“Never Say Never Again” Revisited: Hedging, Latency, and the JCPOA”


Speaker:Dr Ariel Levite

Time & Date: 11:00-12:30 pm on Thursday 28 of January 201 6

Location: Room K4U.12, King’s Building, Strand Campus


The Iranian nuclear case provides an excellent opportunity to revisit (and refine) our understanding of nuclear hedging and reversal process from both a theoretical and policy relevant perspective. In his talk Ariel will discuss the emerging theory of hedging informed by the recent contribution to our understanding of the phenomenon made by Bowen, Moran, and Esfandiary's study of Iranian hedging, and will examine the JCPOA in light of its insights and policy precepts


Dr. Ariel Levite is a Nonresident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Earlier he has been the Principal Deputy Director General (Policy) at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (2002-2007), a Visiting Fellow at CISAC, Stanford University (2000-2002), Deputy Israeli National Security Advisor (Defense Policy) (1999-2000), and Head of the Bureau of International Security at the Israeli MOD. Dr. Levite has published extensively on issues of strategy, military doctrine, deterrence, arms control, proliferation, and intelligence. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. He has received the Dr. Jean Meyer Global Citizenship Award from the IGL, Tufts University, and made into a Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur from French Republic.

"Nuclear terrorism and virtual risk"

A CSS Brown Bag talk

Speaker:Dr Robert Downes

Time & Date: 12:30-14:00 on Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016

Location: War Studies meeting room, 6TH floor, King’s building, Strand campus


While nuclear terrorism remains a serious concern for policy makers, quantitative approaches to associated risks are often conceptually and methodologically flawed. This talk discusses the pitfalls surrounding numerical risk estimation of nuclear terrorism using the `virtual risk' paradigm: lacking sufficient knowledge, it is hard to meaningfully ascribe quantitative risk estimates to hypothetical situations. In this talk I propose an alternative perspective on the risk assessment of nuclear terror events. I stress that numbers should not be taken too seriously although, if used properly, they can be used to assess where (dis) agreement occurs within a community of experts. Mathematical risk models are viewed as "loci of discussion", tools around which debate and discussion can occur rather than objective representations of reality. This allows us to shift away from flawed numerical estimates towards a broader policy-relevant discussion of nuclear terror events. This argument applies equally well to discussions of nuclear war.

Attendees need not have a numerical background. There is nothing to fear here.


Rob Downes is MacArthur Fellow in Nuclear Security working at the Centre for Science and Security Studies. His research focuses on nuclear and radiological terrorism, alongside the application of numerical and statistical methods to nuclear issues. Trained as a mathematician, he received his PhD in mathematics from UCL where he studied the interplay between geometry and spectral theory with applications to physical systems and gravitation. He holds an MSci in Mathematics with Theoretical Physics and has studied the structure and dynamics of global socio-economic systems as a complexity scientist at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. Beyond academia, Rob was employed at the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the UK Government Office for Science as a policy advisor, alongside work at the House of Lords.

Rob rails against the misapplication of numerical and statistical methods in the social sciences. It's a personal crusade.

‘Deterrence and Assurance in Northeast Asia’


Speaker:David Santoro

Time & Date: 12:30-14:00 pm on Friday the 15th of January

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King’s Building, Strand Campus


In this presentation, David Santoro discusses the mechanics of US extended deterrence and assurance, with a regional focus on Northeast Asia. Drawing on the findings of track-1.5 strategic dialogues, including a recently held US-ROK-Japan table top exercise, as well as on historical examples, he argues that Washington does more than just deter its adversaries and assure its allies. At times, Washington also seeks to deter its allies and, conversely, assure its adversaries. In the current international security environment, Santoro explains that America’s dance between deterrence and assurance of allies and adversaries creates problems among allies, among adversaries, and between allies and adversaries. He concludes by reflecting on the implications for US policy.


David Santoro is a senior fellow at the Honolulu-based Pacific Forum CSIS, a program of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. At the Forum, he conducts research and runs strategic dialogues in the Asia Pacific on nuclear policy issues. His current interests focus on non-proliferation and nuclear security in Southeast Asia and extended deterrence/assurance and strategic stability in Northeast Asia, including its similarities and differences with the European theatre. Before joining Pacific Forum CSIS, Santoro worked on nuclear policy issues in France, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In 2010-2011, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Deterrence and Strategic Stability in Europe



Ivanka Barzashka- Missile Defence in Europe

Kristin Ven Bruusgaard- Russian Views on Nuclear Deterrence

Heather Williams- Strategic Stability and US-Russia Arms Control 

Chair: Wyn Bowen

Time & Date: 12:00-13:30 pm on Tuesday the 19th of January

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, King’s Building, Strand Campus


Missile Defence in Europe

The United States and its European allies are deploying a joint missile defence system to counter regional actors like Iran. Russia has long opposed these efforts. In response, Russia is reviving its missile defence programme under a new branch of its military – the Aerospace Forces, which are also leading its operations in Syria. Missile defences exemplify a range of cross-domain paradigms that could increase or decrease escalation risks in different contexts. What is the role of missile defence in current US and Russian strategic thinking? How does missile defence affect cross-domain deterrence challenges from both Russian and US perspectives? What are the broader implications for stability?

Russian Views on Nuclear Deterrence

Russia’s nuclear policy is best understood within the so-called Russian “System of strategic deterrence” which includes both nuclear and non-nuclear, military and non-military tools. These tools are employed in order to persuade any ‘potential adversary that they have no chance of achieving their military or political goals by using force’. This broad deterrence concept is intended as a means to deal with any and every security challenge, at all levels of threats: however, it contains significant risks for misrepresentation and misinterpretation.

Strategic Stability in Europe and Arms Control

Arms control has historically been a tool for maintaining strategic stability through the management of existing nuclear weapons. Given advances in both offensive and defensive capabilities by the United States and Russia, along with recent Russian nuclear sabre-rattling, arms control seemingly would be more beneficial now than at any point since the end of the Cold War; yet it has stalled and, many argue, run its course. Can arms control contribute to stability in a cross-domain deterrence environment? If so, how?  


Ivanka Barzashka is a researcher at the Department of War Studies of King’s College London. Her project examines how ballistic missile defense affects nuclear risks in the changing strategic environment through qualitative analysis, physical modeling and wargaming. Barzashka is concurrently a MacArthur Nuclear Security Fellow at Stanford University’s Center of International Security and Cooperation. Previously, she managed the Federation of American Scientists’ interdisciplinary assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability. Barzashka has also been a visiting scholar at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. She holds a BS in Physics from Roanoke College and an MA in Science and Security (with distinction) from King's College London, where she is pursuing a PhD in War Studies Research.

Kristin Ven Bruusgaard is a PhD. student in Defence Studies at King's College London and a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies (IFS). Bruusgaard's PhD research is on civil-military relations and Russian nuclear strategy. She has an MA in Security Studies with Diploma in Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies from Georgetown University (2009) and a  BA (Hons) Politics and International Studies from Warwick University (2003). Previous employment includes advisor and senior advisor on security policy with the Norwegian Armed Forces, researcher with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, and internships with the Congressional Research Service in Washington, DC, with the Norwegian Delegation to the EU in Brussels, and at NATO HQ.

Heather Williams is a MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Science and Security Studies in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, where her research areas include deterrence and stability, arms control, and trust-building in international relations. She was a Research Fellow on Nuclear Weapons Policy at Chatham House until January 2015 working on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. Heather completed her PhD, ‘Negotiated Trust: U.S.-Russia Strategic Arms Control’, in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London in December 2014. She previously worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program.


“US Stockpile Stewardship at Los Alamos: Progress, Challenges, and the Future.”

A CSSS talk

Speaker: Dr. Bryan Fearey and Dr. J Bradley

Time and Date: 10:00- 12:00 on Monday the 14th of December, 2015

Location: Pyramid Room, 4th Floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus


'Nuclear weapons in Russian grand strategy'

Ph.D. seminar at CSSS

Speaker: Kristen Ven Bruusgaard

Time and Date: 12:30-2 pm on Tuesday 17of November 2015

Location: War Studies meeting room, 6th floor, King’s building, Strand campus 


The new best friends? Iran’s regional policy after the nuclear deal

A CSSS Brown Bag seminar

Speaker:Dina Esfandiary

Time & Date: 12:30-14:00, Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

Location: War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King’s Building, Strand


Practitioner Insight Talk:

5th Oct, 11:00-12:15 with Frank A. Rose (US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance), Council Room Strand Building.

“Arms Control as a Tool in the Promotion of National and International Security.”

Mr Rose is responsible for advising the US Secretary of State on a wide variety of arms control, strategic policy, verification, and compliance issues. From 2009 to 2014, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defence Policy where he was responsible for key issues related to arms control and defence policy including missile defence, military space policy, chemical and biological weapons, and conventional arms control. Among his many degrees and awards, Mr Rose holds a Master’s degree in war studies from Kings’ College, University of London (1999).

In his talk, Assistant Secretary Rose will address how arms control can be used as a tool to enhance predictability and mutual security and the link between arms control and military strategy. He will also discuss the ‘International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification’ (IPNDV).  The partnership brings together both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states under a cooperative framework to further understand and find solutions to the complex challenges involved in the verification of nuclear disarmament. The talk will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Please find the link to the podcast here 

24 Sept, 18:00 - 19:00 CSSS Panel with Dr Hassan Elbahtimy (KCL), Dr Carl Patti ((Universidade Federal de Goiás), Dr Benoit Pelopidas (Princeton) and Fabian Sievert (KCL), chaired by Prof Wyn Bowen (KCL) 'Revisiting the global dimension of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis' (Pyramid Room, 4th Floor, King's Building)

21 Sept, 11:30-12:30 Brown Bag Lunch with Professor Jonathan Brewer, ‘The implications of the JCPOA on ongoing international scrutiny of Iranian nuclear- and missile-related activities’ (Room K6.63, 6th Floor, King's Building)

13 Oct, 12:30-14:00 Brown Bag Lunch with Richard Nephew. King's College London, 'The Iran deal, US-Iran relations and sanctions' (War studies Meeting room, 6th Floor, King's building).

14 July12:30-14:00 Brown Bag Lunch with Dr Adil Sultan, IISS Visiting Research Fellow for South Asia (Strategic Affairs), talk title 'South Asia's Emerging Nuclear Postures: Implications for Regional Stability', (War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King's Building, Strand Campus)

16 June, 17:00-18:30 Brown Bag with Dr Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary at CTBTO,'Next steps for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty in light of the 2015 NPT Review Conference' (K0.31, Small Committee Room, Strand Campus)

21 May,  12:30-14:00 Brown Bag Lunch with Fabian Sievert, King's College London, 'Almost to the breaking point: The US, the FRG, and NATO theatre nuclear weapons from 1975-1983' (War studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King's Building)

20 May,  16:00-17:30 Brown Bag Lunch with Cindy Vestergaard, Danish Institute for International Studies, 'Governing Uranium: From Brazil to China' to 'Governing Uranium: Pit to Port' (War studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King's Building)

27 March, 12:00-13:30 Brown Bag Lunch with Prof Tanya Ogilvie-White, Australian National University, 'Three Minutes to Midnight: Is the World Sleepwalking into Nuclear Disaster?' (War studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King's Building)

12 March, 12:30-2:00 Brown Bag Lunch with Dr Andrew Futter, University of Leicester, ‘Cyber weapons, information warfare and nuclear strategy’, (Pyramid room, 4th Floor King’s Building)

26 Feb, 13:30-14;00 Brown Bag Lunch with Dr Patricia Shamai, University of Portsmouth, 'Name and Shame: Unravelling the Stigmatisation of Weapons of Mass Destruction' (Pyramid room, 4th Floor, Kings Building)

19 Feb, 12:30-2:00 Brown Bag Lunch with Dr Benjamin Zala, University of Leicester, 'Rising Powers and Challenges to the Global Nuclear Order' (War Studies meeting room, 6th floor King's Building)

17 Feb,brown Bag Lunch with Paul Schulte, King's College London, 'What Nuclear Weapons Do In Peace Time: Can there be a science of Nuclear Psycho Geopolitics?' (War studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King's Building)

22 Jan, 12:30-2:00 Brown Bag Lunch with Dr Wali Aslam, University of Bath, 'Terrorist relocation and the societal consequences of American drone strikes in Pakistan', (Pyramid room, 4th Floor King’s Building)


Term 1:

Sep 25, 13:00-14:00, Brown Bag Lunch with Eliot Higgins (a.k.a the blogger known as Brown Moses), ‘Investigating Conflict Zones Using Open Source and Social Media’ (War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor King’s Building)


Sept 30, 12:30-2:00, Brown Bag Lunch and Book Launch with Dr Or Rabinowitz, ‘Nuclear Bargains Reviewed; Washington’s Cold War nuclear deals and what they mean for Iran’ (War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor King’s Building)

Oct 2, 16:00-18:00, Brown Bag lunch with Scott Sagan, ‘Insider Threats to Nuclear Security: A Worst Practices Guide’ (War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor King’s Building)

Nov 4, 12:30-2:00, Brown Bag Lunch with Dr David Blagden, University of Cambridge, ‘Military Technology and the Feasibility of Aggression: Offence, Defence, and the Primacy of Politics in War’, (War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor King’s Building)

Nov 20, 12:30-2:00, Brown Bag Lunch with Dr Alex Spelling, University College London, ‘Driven to tears: The UK, US and ‘legality’ of CS gas, 1966-75’, War Studies Meeting Room.

Event: Radiological source security, insurance and liability issues.

On 12 june 2014, the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), together with the James Martin Centre for Non-proliferation Studies (CNS), hosted a workshop in London on radiological source security, insurance and liability issues.

The threat of radiological terrorism is near the top of the international security agenda, having been most recently debated at the 2014 Nuclear Summit in The Hague. Concerns are focused around the significant disruptive and psychological effects of a successful attack and the relatively low technical barriers to use. Radiological sources are employed widely in medicine and industry and would likely form the key ingredient for such an attack. Here there are a number of radiological sources that could be used, although caesium chloride is a material of particular concern because of its physical as well as nuclear properties. The first workshop of this series, held in January in Washington DC and sponsored by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, explored technological alternatives to using this radioisotope and political challenges of promoting these alternatives (see the workshop report produced by CNS)

The June workshop brought together a highly diverse range of experts from academia, government, the IAEA, users and producers of radioactive sources and the insurance sector. The rationale was to find ways of bridging the apparent mismatch between market costs of using high-risk sources and the potential economic impact of a radiological attack. Insurance policies that adequately incorporate terrorism risks could potentially serve as an incentive to promote alternative technologies.

For further information on the workshop please click here 

For the Liability and Insurance online paper please click here


Event: Monitoring Compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

Biological-Weapons-Convention-Geneva-CSSS panel

Dr Susan Martin and Professor Wyn Bowen along with Dr Filippa Lentzos from the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine spoke at the Meeting of Experts at the Biological Weapons Convention at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. The event, which was chaired by Dr Matthew Rowland, UK Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament,  launched a policy brief by Dr Lentzos, 'Hard to Prove: Monitoring Compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention,' and included remarks by Dr Susan Martin on 'Compliance from the Bottom Up' and by Professor Wyn Bowen.

Event: Thomas Plant will give a talk entitled  ' A Deadly Trade: Addressing North Korean Proliferation Challenges' on   Wednesday, 29 May 2013 in -2 Meeting room, Strand Bridge House. 

Book Launch: Eating Grass by Feroz Khan

Eating Grass

Feroz Khan, a 30-year professional in the Pakistani Army who played a senior role formulating and advocating Pakistan's security policy on nuclear and conventional arms control, launched his new book at the Centre for Science and Security Studies in December 2012. Eating Grass tells the compelling story of how and why Pakistan's government, scientists, and military, persevered in the face of a wide array of obstacles to acquire nuclear weapons. It lays out the conditions that sparked the shift from a peaceful quest to acquire nuclear energy into a full-fledged weapons program, details how the nuclear program was organised, reveals the role played by outside powers in nuclear decisions, and explains how Pakistani scientists overcome the many technical hurdles they encountered. 

News: Professor Wyn Bowen Interviewed by Radio New Zealand

On 22 March Prof Bowen spoke about the threat of nuclear terrorism on Radio New Zealand in advance of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. He emphasised the importance of securing fissile material around the world and taking a pragmatic approach to nuclear security policy. 

Listen to the full interview.


News: MacArthur Foundation awards $1.65 million to CSSS

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a grant of $1.65 million to the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) to train future nuclear experts.  CSSS, a research group in the Department of War Studies, is one of 16 organisations receiving funding to help prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthen nuclear security around the globe.

Read more

News: Launch of the 2012 NPT Briefing Book

On 1 March CSSS launched the 2012 edition of the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) Briefing Book, in association with the James Martin Centre for International Studies.  The Briefing Book, which has now gone through many editions, is designed to be used as a reference book for delegates attending the Preparatory Committees and Review Conferences of the NPT

Read more.

News: Industry Outreach Workshop on Non-Proliferation & Compliance

Qingdao Panel

Qingdao, China, 27 & 28 February 2012. CSSS researchers and academic Staff organised and participated in an outreach workshop in Qingdao, China, to raise awareness of the importance of compliance with UN sanctions in the Chinese private sector.

Read more.


News: CSSS Proliferation Procurement Project’s UK Seminar Series Begins

Composites Seminar

The CSSS Project on Proliferation Procurement held the first two outreach seminars for UK industry to raise awareness of export controls and proliferation risks. The first was organised for the Composites Sector and the second was for firms operating in the alloys and metals sector. 

Read more.

Seminar: Disarmament and the birth of the NPT, 1963-70 

News: BBC News Interview 11/01/12 by Matthew Harries 

Tuesday 28th February 

Matthew Harries provided a historical account, based on US and UK archival material, of the role of disarmament and related provisions in the pursuit and negotiation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty from 1963 to 1970. His paper explored the nature of the NPT ‘bargain’ between non-proliferation and disarmament – embodied principally in Article VI – by narrating the story of the treaty’s development. It assessed the relative importance of disarmament in the construction of the NPT, and explored the role of disarmament and associated concessions in persuading countries to sign the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states. He presented three conclusions: firstly, that in strategic terms the bargain of the NPT involved little substantive trade-off between non-proliferation and disarmament; secondly, that Article VI and associated concessions were nevertheless crucial in political terms, in part because of the domestic sensitivities of key US allies; and lastly, that the inadequacies of the NPT bargain at birth explain many of its problems today.

Seminar: Negotiating the CTBT: Inspections and Monitoring

Dr Nitzan Rabinowitz 

Wednesday 8th February 

During the period 1996  - 1998, Dr Rabinowitz was appointed to the Israeli group of negotiators in the CTBT scheme as a seismologist expert. He was involved in the creation of the CTBT  International Monitoring System (IMS) as well as discussing the On Site Inspection regulations, and will be talking about his experiences.

News: BBC News Interview 29/01/12

Dr Christopher Hobbs was interviewed by the BBC on the significance of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) three day visit to Iran. Featured on the BBC News at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. 

BBC1 News - 11 January 2012


Seminar: How America Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love Missile Defence (and what this means for international stability) by Andrew Futter

Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham

 31st October 2011

Over the last two decades, the idea that deploying a range of ballistic missile defences to protect American forces, allies and the US homeland from missile attack has gradually become an accepted component of US security policy.  A loose political consensus on missile defence has been produced by a steady convergence between the type of threats that such systems must counter, and progress in the technologies that are required to fulfil this task.  The result has been a punctuated and not always logical progression toward a point under President Obama whereby missile defences are seen as key to US security, with domestic political debate really remaining only at the margins.  While this phenomenon has to an extent mirrored the changing position of the US within the world system and the diversification in the types of threat that it faces, the rise of missile defence has necessarily brought with it problems and complications.  Essentially, opinion is now split as to how far to go with missile defence, what role it should play in US security policy broadly conceived, and what type of architecture is compatible with international stability, nuclear non-proliferation, and perhaps now also nuclear disarmament.  Consequently, nearly 25 years after the Strategic Defence Initiative stymied talks at Reykjavik, we appear to have arrived again at point where the implications of US missile defence plans for international stability have risen to the forefront of global debate.

Andrew Futter is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham.  His PhD thesis, which was submitted in September 2011, was written on the evolution of the US ballistic missile defence debate after the Cold War.  He has previously published in Defence Studies and Comparative Strategy, and has forthcoming articles in Defense & Security Analysis and European Security

Seminar: Nuclear Missions and Nuclear Arms Control

Dr Ivan Oelrich

21st October 2011

U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control should seek to limit not just numbers of weapons but nuclear missions as well, the most dangerous one being “counterforce attacks” or attacks on enemy nuclear weapons before they can be launched. Giving up this mission means giving up the capability and all its dangerous requirements, such as high alert rates. Eliminating counterforce capability will require reducing both nuclear weapon capability and vulnerability and these two sides of the equation can be coordinated through arms control. Nuclear forces, once they are invulnerable, can be reduced to the small levels needed to deter nuclear attack.

Ivan Oelrich has held senior research positions at the Institute for Defense Analyses, a research center supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, the Office of Technology Assessment, an agency of the US Congress, the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Department of Defense, and the Federation of American Scientists.

Seminar: Navigating the Nuclear Marketplace: How States select Nuclear Acquisition Strategies by Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Assistant Professor, Norwegian Defence University College

4th October 2011

Scholars have extensively studied why states want nuclear weapons and, more recently, the causes and consequences of the supply of sensitive nuclear technology. However, we know little about how the combination of supply and demand affects how states seek to acquire nuclear weapons. In this seminar I consider the following questions: Why do states adopt different nuclear acquisition strategies? How do perceived needs and opportunities affect how states opt to pursue nuclear weapons? Do these choices reflect dysfunctional or perhaps irrational decision-makers, or are they rational responses to their environment?  

 Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer is an Assistant Professor at the Norwegian Defence University College. She obtained her PhD, entitled Nuclear Entrepreneurs: Drivers of Nuclear Proliferation, from the London School of Economics in 2010. During 2008—2010 she was a Research Fellow at the Belfer center for Science and International Affairs. Her work has been published in The Nonproliferation Review, The Middle East Journal, and International Security.

Conference: The Union of Concerned Scientists 23rd Annual Summer Symposium on Science and World Affairs

3rd August – 11th August 2011

The Centre for Science and Security Studies hosted the Union of Concerned Scientists Summer Symposium in 2011, an annual conference that brings together researchers, often in the early stages of their careers, and gives them the opportunity to present their work to an audience of their peers from around the world. This year three King’s College students joined researchers from China, India, Germany, the United States, Turkey, and Iraq, among others, to present work from both policy and science perspectives. Some of the topics covered included Iran’s nuclear program, the impact of Fukushima on the future of nuclear power, multinational export controls for nuclear suppliers,  British nuclear policy, proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle technologies, space security and the potential weaponization of space, ballistic missile defence, and the safety and security of US nuclear weapons. 

Learn more about the Union of Concerned Scientists

Learn more about the Summer Symposium

Seminar: Global Biosecurity: Exploring International Microbial Forensics

30th June 2011

Chair: Dr Chris Hobbs, Research fellow , Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS)

Dr Randall S. Murch, is a Visiting Professor, Department of War Studies and Associate Director, Research Program Development, National Capital Region, Virginia Tech. He also holds Adjunct Professorships in the School of Public and International Affairs and is Associate Director, Center for Technology, Security and Policy in Alexandria. Following graduate school and brief service in the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Murch’s first career was with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was a Special Agent. 

Seminar: Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb( 6th April 2011)

Following a special screening of the film, Paul Schulte, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, led a discussion of the film's emergent historical, strategic and psychological meanings.


Conference: The US-UK Strategic Dialogue

A day after the Coalition Government released its long awaited Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) on 19 October, the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), Department of War Studies, and the US Naval Postgraduate School co-convened a meeting on US-UK strategic relations on 20-22 October. The US-UK Strategic Dialogue brought together 30 academics as well as retired and serving government officials from both sides of the Atlantic to address a broad range of strategic issues in the context of US-UK strategic relations.

Supported by a grant from the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency the group met in the Cotswolds with the objective of contributing to bilateral understanding and cooperation between these long-time critical allies, enhancing scholarship on their relationship and the challenges the two countries face, and providing insights to policy makers, experts and the public about the evolving nature and future of the partnership.

CSSS Director Professor Wyn Bowen said the event could not have been better timed. “With the Government’s National Security Strategy of 18 October reaffirming the centrality of the US relationship to Britain’s security, but also US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s recent remarks on the need for all NATO allies not to reduce defence spending, the Dialogue proved to be a timely opportunity for both sides to increase mutual understanding of the constraints and opportunities that are currently shaping this most enduring of strategic partnerships”.

Topics addressed during the meeting included Iraq, Afghanistan, the new NATO Strategic Concept, counter terrorism, counter proliferation, the bilateral nuclear relationship, and intelligence collaboration.

Conference: Intelligence and Nuclear Proliferation Conference 2010

The conference focused on the nature, role, utility and limitations of intelligence collection, analysis and assessment vis-à-vis the scientific, technical and motivational dimensions of nuclear proliferation. The aim was to generate new knowledge and understanding of how nuclear intelligence has been and could potentially be applied to uncover and understand past and on-going cases of proliferation and how this has, and could potentially, influence national and international policy responses.

Seminar: Russia and the prospects for controlling non-strategic nuclear weapons

Dr. Nikolai Sokov, Senior Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies
(Wednesday 8th December)

Seminar: Stuxnet and Security Resilience: Welcome to the Cybered Conflict Age by Dr. Chris C. Demchak

US Naval War College (4th November 2010)

Dr. Chris Demchak spoke about its delivery, the questions about how and who, and ultimately the take-aways for a large host of state and nonstate actors who are now acting to change international security. Dr. Demchak's research focus is the evolution in organizations, tools, social integrations, and range of choices emerging in westernized nations’ cybersecurity/deterrence strategies, creations or adaptations of cybercommands or equivalents, and institutionalized organizational learning after experiences with cybered confrontations or attacks. She currently holds a position with the Strategic Research Department of the US Naval War College in July 2009.

Seminar: Assessing the Management and Future Funding of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex by Stephen Schwartz

Stephen I. Schwartz is editor of The Nonproliferation Review, published by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), as well as an adjunct professor at MIIS.
(20 September 2010)

Seminar: Israel, Iran, and the Nuclear Situation in the Middle East
by Dr Avner Cohen

Dr Cohen is a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM).
(25 March 2010)

Conference: Nuclear Security Conference

A two-day conference on Nuclear Security co-organised by the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) and The Royal Society was held on the 18-19 February 2010. The event brought together 70 experts to discuss next steps for promoting nuclear security on a global basis. CSSS produced a summary  highlighting themes that emerged during the conference:

Nuclear Security Conference: Key Issues and Next Steps'

Read more.

Seminar: Nuclear Security in Pakistan

By Feroz KhanBrigadier General (retired) Feroz Hassan Khan is currently on the faculty of the Department of National Security Affairs in U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California. He previously served with the Pakistani Army for 32 years.
(15 January 2010)

 12-13 July 2006- Identification, Characterization and Attribution of Biological Weapons Use

The King's College London Centre for Science and Security Studies, with Professor Theo Farrell of the War Studies Department and the Center for Contemporary Conflict at the US Naval Postgraduate School organised a conference on the Identification, Characterization and Attribution of Biological Weapons Use for the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The Conference, funded by grants from the ESRC, was held at King’s in July 2006. All of the papers from the conference will be included in Terrorism, War or Disease? Tracing the Sources of Unusual Biological Events, a volume edited by Dr Anne Clunan and Dr Peter Lavoy of the Center for Contemporary Conflict and by Dr Susan Martin of the King’s College London Centre for Science and Security Studies.

Please see conference report -

Identification, Characterization and Attribution of Biological Weapons Use.

Dr Susan Martin, Professor Wyn Bowen and Dr Filippa Lentzos spoke at the Meeting of Experts at the Biological Weapons Convention at the Palais de Nations in Geneva.Dr Susan Martin, Professor Wyn Bowen and Dr Filippa Lentzos spoke at the Meeting of Experts at the Biological Weapons Convention at the Palais de Nations in Geneva.Global Nuclear Order: Power,
Challenges and Responses


*Please feel free to bring your lunch.

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