Research Area II

Nuclear policy

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 to modernise their arsenals. At the same time, attempts to curb nuclear proliferation have had at best a limited effect. With old rules eroding and new challenges emerging, a new or “second” nuclear age, marked by more actors and likely less stability, is taking shape. Europe is particularly affected by these developments as the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty exemplifies. 

Our research at the Centre for International Security centres on developing a European perspective on ongoing scholarly debates in the nuclear field. At present, most research views these topics through a US lens. 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?

Researchers

  • 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, and European security and defense policy.

  • Tobias Bunde is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for International Security at the Hertie School. He is a political scientist with a research focus on the foreign and security policies of liberal democracies, especially Germany and the United States.