Nuclear weapons have made an unlikely return to the top of the agenda of world politics. Most major nuclear powers have recently begun to invest in new capabilities or the modernization of their arsenals. At the same time, attempts to curb nuclear proliferation have had a limited effect at best. With old rules eroding and new challenges emerging, a new or “second” nuclear age, marked by more actors and less stability, is taking shape. Europe is particularly affected by these developments, as exemplified by the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Our research at the Centre for International Security focuses on developing a uniquely European perspective for the ongoing scholarly debates in the nuclear field. We are particularly interested in the following questions: Under what kind of circumstances is nuclear escalation (advertent or inadvertent) in the Euro-Atlantic theatre a realistic possibility? Do NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangements and its deterrence posture need an update? What is the relationship between assurance and deterrence measures in heterogeneous alliances? Which internal fault lines exist in NATO member states with respect to nuclear weapons? What role can Europe play in safeguarding existing nuclear arms control agreements or devising new ones?