21 mars : Le théâtre d’ombres des relations nucléaires franco-britanniques à l’époque de De Gaulle et Macmillan, 1957-1963

21/03/2017 | 17h00-19h00

Seminar on The Politics of Epistemic Vulnerability in The Nuclear Age ( Chaire Sciences Po-CERI & USPC)


Nuclear choices commit populations and societies for decades and can cause large scale damage in a very short period of time. How is the scope of available nuclear choices decided? When it comes to weapons, direct experience cannot be the answer as no one can rely on personal experience of nuclear war. Most decision-makers no longer even have the experience of the effects of such weapons either given that North Korea has been the only country testing nuclear weapons since 1998. The populations’ wishes do not qualify either, since they are very rarely consulted and only few studies on those attitudes exist.

Therefore this seminar investigates the grounds on which the scope of publicly acceptable nuclear choices have been based since the end of nuclear testing. To do so, it investigates four ways in which nuclear weapons choices are bounded; which are the four research axes of the Junior Chair of Excellence in Security Studies hosting the seminar: 1) the intellectual categories we depend on to think about those issues; 2) the governance of nuclear knowledge by nuclear-weapons related institutions; 3) specific readings of the past identifying events or trends from which lessons are expected to be learned about the scope of the possible, and 4) the imaginary of possible futures as opposed to the ones deemed utopian. Based on those puzzles, it is working towards a renewed notion of responsibility in the nuclear age built on full awareness of nuclear vulnerabilities in their epistemic and political dimensions, and not only the material ones.


With :

Frédéric Gloriant, Université Paris III

Discussant: Grey Anderson, Sciences Po-CERI

Academic coordinator : Benoît Pélopidas (Sciences Po-CERI)




Sciences Po-CERI: 56, rue Jacob 75006 Paris (salle du conseil)

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