About the Symposium

Nuclear weapons are once again at the top of the scholarly and policy agendas after being on the sidelines of discourse for decades. Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s brinkmanship have reignited concerns over nuclear war. Prospects for arms control agreements between the United States, Russia, and China appear dim, with the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and China’s nuclear buildup. Efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program face important challenges and North Korea continues to develop its nuclear arsenal.

To reflect on these increasingly complex and challenging realities, the Yale Nuclear Security Symposium brings together scholars from political science, history, and the policy arena. Participation is by invitation only.

Topics include:

  • Nuclear Proliferation: What explains a state’s acquisition of nuclear weapons? How have concerns for nuclear proliferation affected relations between enemies and allies?
  • Arms Control: What determines the outbreak of arms races between nuclear enemies? What explains the rise and demise of arms control agreements?
  • Nuclear Posture and Crisis Dynamics: What explains a state’s nuclear posture? What has been the effect of nuclear possession—and superiority—on the likelihood of war, the uses of conventional military power, and crisis dynamics?

The symposium is convened by Professor Alexandre Debs, associate professor of political science and director of the Nuclear Security Program at Yale University.

Our Sponsors

The Nuclear Security Symposium is generously sponsored by the Stanton Foundation, International Security Studies at the Jackson School of Global Affairs, and the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University.

Contact Us

For questions related to the Symposium, contact alexandre.debs@yale.edu.