Nuclear Ethics and Global Security: Reforming the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

How far can an existing state-based international order be hospitable to the protection of individual and global security in a nuclear world?

At a moment of profound crisis, uncertainty, and yet potential opportunity in the nuclear non-proliferation regime, this project will investigate possible paths for the reform and strengthening of the regime through an engagement with ethical and normative thinking in the fields of Philosophyand International Relations. The project straddles the related sub-fields of global ethics, political theory, normative international relations theory, and security studies.

The project questions how far the bargain at the heart of the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is ethically defensible and whether the relationship between hierarchy and sovereignty within the treaty can endure. It will also explore how far a new ethical dispensation in the nuclear field would require new legal, institutional and normative arrangements to successfully protect future human, national and global security.

The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council under the Ethics and Rights in a Security Context theme.