Call for Papers: Nuclear panel at BISA PGN Conference

Panel submissions invited – Emerging Perspectives on Global Nuclear Order

BISA PGN Annual Conference, 15-16 April 2020, Aberystwyth

The BISA Global Nuclear Order Working Group invites submissions to participate in a panel, to be convened at the BISA PGN 2020 Annual Conference in Aberystwyth. The panel will showcase the diversity and vibrancy of postgraduate and early-career research being done by the GNO group. Submissions are sought from PGR and ECR members, addressing emerging perspectives and approaches to the study of global nuclear order as a broadly conceived concept.

Topics for discussion might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Expansions, developments, and critiques of the concept of global nuclear order
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of world nuclear politics
  • Contemporary challenges to the foundations of nuclear order
  • (Re-) examinations of nuclear history, particularly lesser-studied parts of the nuclear world
  • Conceptualizations of our nuclear future.

The aim of the Conference is to provide opportunities to BISA’s PGR and ECR community to present their research, forge connections across the broad field of international studies, and explore the ideas that will define ‘the second century of IR’. As such, we particularly welcome contributions from Masters and PhD students, as well as early-career researchers within 5 years of receiving their PhD. A number of bursaries for travel and overnight accommodation will be provided by BISA PGN to participants who require assistance with funding their conference trip.

Please submit a 250-word abstract by Friday 20th December to the panel convenor Tom Vaughan at

The general Call for Papers can be viewed here. If you have any general questions about the Conference itself or would like to submit a standalone paper, please e-mail

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Programme: GNO Annual Conference 2019, University of Portsmouth

The programme for our Annual Conference in Portsmouth has been finalized and you can view it here. We warmly invite you to attend whether or not you are presenting a paper or pitch – it will be a day of fascinating discussions and boundary-pushing ideas in the study of global nuclear order and humanity’s nuclear condition.

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Call for Papers: BISA GNOWG Seventh Annual Conference

We are delighted to share with you the call for papers for the upcoming 7th annual conference for the BISA Global Nuclear Order Working Group which will take place on Monday 11th November 2019.

After a string of conferences in London, we are delighted to take this year’s conference to the port city of Portsmouth. We are grateful to Dr Patricia Shamai and for the University of Portsmouth for co-hosting the conference this year.

As is the tradition, we are casting our nuclear net wide so submissions from all disciplinary approaches and institutional affiliations are welcome. Please find the Call for Papers here and feel free to circulate to your networks. Please send your submissions to Dr Laura Considine by 30 September 2019.

We hope to see you in Porstmouth.

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Call for Papers: The end of the Cold War and its impact on nuclear non-proliferation (University of Johannesburg)

The below CfP from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, may be of interest to members of the Working Group:

Date:  January 20, 2020 to January 21, 2020

Location:  South Africa

Subject Fields:  Contemporary History, Political History / Studies, World History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations

On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, ushering in the collapse of the Soviet Union and an end to the Cold War. These events had far-reaching consequences globally. In Southern Africa, where classic Cold War proxy war scenes had been playing out since the mid-1970s, the geopolitical scene changed dramatically as a result of these events. Soviet support was withdrawn from Africa and with it, the perceived communist threat that dominated the South African Apartheid regime’s policies since the 1960s. The Apartheid regime subsequently became the first country to dismantle and destroy its small indigenously developed nuclear weapons arsenal, which it had developed since the 1970s as a deterrent and as a tool to ensure the survival of apartheid. Former Soviet states Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan followed hot on the heels of South Africa. These (now independent) states inherited thousands of nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union imploded, and opted to disarm. By 1996, all strategic nuclear weapons on the territories of these states had been transferred to the Russian Federation. All four states had also joined the NPT and Africa became a nuclear weapons free zone. During those same years, more additional steps towards disarmament were implemented than in any previous period since the beginning of the nuclear age, from the signature of START I in 1991 and START II in 1993 to the Indefinite extension of the NPT at the 1995 RevCon and the signature of the CTBT in 1996.

Yet, thirty years after the unprecedented period of seven years during which four states opted for nuclear disarmament, international efforts to reduce nuclear risks are in deep turmoil and many observers fear that the global non-proliferation regime is fraying. Since the end of the Cold War, three more states (India, Pakistan and North Korea) have become nuclear-armed states and remains outside the NPT, along with Israel. The Iran nuclear deal faces serious challenges that could lead to its collapse. The second summit between the USA and North Korea ended with no agreements reached and wide gaps persisting on what exactly denuclearization means. In February 2019, the USA and Russia suspended their compliance with the INF Treaty. The USA announced it would resume research and development of weapons prohibited under the treaty. Russia, in turn, resumed work on new nuclear-armed hypersonic missiles and land-based systems. The knock-on effect of these decisions was an announcement by Ukraine that it now had a right to develop intermediate-range missiles to counter Russian nuclear-capable missile systems in the Crimea and Russian aggression towards Europe.

2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the NPT entering into force. The aim of the two-day conference in Johannesburg on 20-21 January 2020 is to reflect on global nuclear non-proliferation since the end of the Cold War and consider the challenges facing the non-proliferation regime. Interested presenters should upload abstracts of no more than 500 words, by 30 September 2019, at the URL below.

Contact Info: 

Professor Anna-Mart van Wyk
Department of Politics and International Relations
University of Johannesburg Contact Email:

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Meet the new GNO team

The BISA Global Nuclear Order Working Group has a new leadership team for 2019/20, comprising scholars of nuclear order from around the UK. We will be working over the coming months to expand the group’s reach, involve more members – including postgraduate students – in our programme, and reinstate our web and social media presence to share our developments.

Introducing the GNO team:


Dr Hassan Elbahtimy is Lecturer in Science and Security at the War Studies Department. He holds hold a PhD and MA in Science and Security from the War Studies Department at King’s College London, a Diplôme d’Université (D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier, and M.B.B.Ch (Medicine) from Cairo University. His research to date has focused on the interplay between science and global security, particularly the politics of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; and the modern history of the Middle East. He has published extensively on various aspects of arms control verification, the politics and history of nuclear energy in the Middle East, the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Affiliate Researcher with the Nuclear Knowledge Programme at Sciences Po, France.

Dr Laura Considine is a lecturer in International Relations at University of Leeds specialising in Global Nuclear Politics. Her research interests include issues of language and meaning in the politics of nuclear weapons. Her current work challenges traditional ways of understanding and explanation in International Relations through the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophy of language and ideas about literature, narrative and myth in international politics. She is also interested in broader Cold War History, nuclear disarmament and International Relations Theory. Laura received her Ph.D in International Politics from Aberystwyth University in 2014.


Dr Patricia Shamai is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations in University of Portsmouth. Her main areas of interest are US and UK national security and foreign policy, focusing on issues of chemical, biological and nuclear counter proliferation and terrorism,  nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and energy security issues. She has extensive experience teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, researching issues relating to international security, nuclear non-proliferation and arms control. Patricia has presented and published on these issues at a number of  national and international conferences.  Recently she has been working with the MoD to support the development of a UK based Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance.

Postgraduate Officer:

Tom Vaughan is PhD student in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, funded by the ESRC. Tom’s research examines how ‘local’ configurations of nuclear technopolitics feed into the norms and structures of the global nuclear order (and vice versa) via an empirical study of the South African nuclear experience, both during and after apartheid. His work draws largely from International Relations, but also incorporates insights and concepts from the disciplines of History, Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, and Geography. Tom is a committee member and vice-chair of the BISA Postgraduate Network (PGN). 

We are also planning conference and workshop events for the next academic year. Join our networking by e-mailing the convenors with the details listed on our Contact/Join page, and feel free to direct any queries to the relevant team member.

Follow us on Twitter @BISANuclear to keep up to date with our activites.

Finally, come and meet us at the BISA Annual Conference 2019, 12th-14th June at the Royal Society, Carleton House, London.

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Call for Papers: Global Nuclear Futures conference at SOAS

Call for papers now live for the “Global Nuclear Futures” conference at SOAS 21-22 Sept 2017.

Please see the link below for further information:

BISA GNO Working Group Annual Conference 2017 call for papers

Please send an abstract of no more than 200 words by 31 May 2017 to Dr Dan Plesch at

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Interrogating Global Nuclear Order Conference now open for registration

Registration is now open for the fourth annual BISA Global Nuclear Order working group conference: “Interrogating Global Nuclear Order: Methods, Theory and Praxis” at Kings College London on 8th and 9th September.

The excellent schedule can be found here: BISA_Nuclear_Order_Working_Group_Fourth_Annual_Conference programme

We hope you will be able to join us in London; if you wish to attend, please email Pippa Aitken at by Monday 29 August. Please indicate what day or days you will attend as well as if you wish to join us for the pay-your-own-way dinner on Thursday, so that we can make appropriate catering arrangements. (Please also let Pippa know if you have any dietary requirements.)

For those looking for accommodation options in London, we may be able to block book some hotel rooms at the Strand Palace Hotel. Depending on availability,  if we do this you might get a slight discount; the price of rooms could run from £130-£180.  If you are interested in this, please contact Jessica Marcos at for further details.

Alternatively, you can book yourself at the Travel Lodge in Covent Garden; this tends to be less expensive than the Strand Palace Hotel. KCL also offers its student accommodation as a B and B option over the summer. See You can book this directly, and it will be significantly cheaper than other central London options.

We are hoping to see you all in London in September.

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