Perspectives of Arms Control

In times of growing geopolitical tensions, questions of arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation regain importance. To support political decision-makers with expertise on arms control and other security-related topics, the German Federal Foreign Office and PRIF have set up a joint doctoral program for young researchers. Against the background of returning national and international conflicts, dwindling support for multilateral treaties, new arms dynamics and weapons technologies, four doctoral researchers will analyze current and future problems of arms control and outline possibilities for cooperation in this field. The projects aim to further adapt scientific debate on arms control to new technological, political and normative developments, as well as to critically assess current political practice. The doctoral program ties in with existing cooperation between PRIF and the German Federal Foreign Office and aims to deepen exchange between theory and political practice: while the four doctoral researchers provide their expertise on arms control, they gain insights into the practical implementation of arms control and international cooperation during research stays at the Federal Foreign Office.

Against the background of a radicalization of group positions within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Jana Baldus analyses the influence of group identities on nuclear arms control and disarmament.

Sascha Hach analyses how the Nuclear Non-Proliferation regime reproduces a post-colonial order. He is particularly interested in how contestation of this order is developing and what prospects exist for a new, multilateral nuclear order. 

In the field of new military technologies, Anna-Katharina Ferl addresses the question of how knowledge and practice of arms control can have a preventive effect on the development of new weapons systems, in particular Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). 

In a comparative study of African states, Matthias Schwarz asks which structural conditions facilitate intransparency and corruption in arms trade. Specifically, he analyses the influence of politico-economic factors on compliance with regional and global arms control agreements.