Public event

Challenges in International Security: Ukraine War and Nuclear Weapons

Dr. Graham Allison, Professor of Government and Founding Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will present on the role of nuclear weapons in the Russian war on Ukraine. This event is part of our speaker series Challenges in International Security, hosted by the Centre for International Security. 

Russia's continuing war in Ukraine has brought threats and warnings about nuclear weapons back to the front page. In this presentation, Dr. Graham Allison, one of the world's leading experts on nuclear security, will explore the questions this war has raised about nuclear weapons and the danger they still pose. After introducing these questions, Dr. Allison will offer his perspective on what the answers may be, drawing on decades of experience advising the U.S. Secretary of Defense and researching nuclear weapons and foreign policy. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and reception. 


Guest speaker

  • Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University where he has taught for five decades.  Allison is a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons, Russia, China, and decision-making.  Allison was the “Founding Dean” of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and until 2017, served as Director of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs which is ranked the “#1 University Affiliated Think Tank” in the world on the Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report.  As Assistant Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton Administration, Dr. Allison received the Defense Department's highest civilian award, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, for "reshaping relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to reduce the former Soviet nuclear arsenal." This resulted in the safe return of more than 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics and the complete elimination of more than 4,000 strategic nuclear warheads previously targeted at the United States and left in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus when the Soviet Union disappeared.


  • Marina Henke is Professor of International Relations at the Hertie School and Director of the Centre for International Security. She researches and publishes on military interventions, peacekeeping, nuclear security and European security and defense policy. Before joining the Hertie School, she was an Associate Professor (with tenure) at Northwestern University, specialising in international relations, as well as at Princeton University where she was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a PhD in Politics and Public Policy from Princeton University, a Double Master of Science in Development Studies and International Political Economy from Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics and Latin American Studies from Sciences Po Paris.