Speakers: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom; Ariel Petrovics, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Recent research on domestic politics and nuclear weapons suggests that the public may be able to act as a constraint on a state's leadership. If this is the case, why do some leaders cue the public to their nuclear aspirations? After all, leaders could simply keep the program a secret and avoid this potential constraint. Yet instead, leaders around the world have highlighted their nuclear aspirations — whether for purely civilian energy, or for military weapons aspirations — choosing to bring the public into the exclusive ring of nuclear decision-making.

This seminar seeks to examine the causes and consequences of public involvement in nuclear programs in two parts: first, exploring why some leaders involve the public in nuclear discussions, and then assessing shifts in public opinion in response to such cueing. Together, these  parts can help better understand when and how domestic publics can affect the trajectory of their states’ nuclear programs.

Everyone is welcome to us via Zoom! Register before the seminar here: 

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.