Emerging technology and nuclear security: What does the wisdom of the crowd tell us?

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What is the impact of emerging technologies on nuclear security and disarmament? Current rapid technological advances are taking place against the backdrop of increased investments in modernizing nuclear arsenals, rising tensions among great powers, and increased pressure on nuclear arms control agreements. Yet, the anticipated net effect of these emerging technologies on the nuclear landscape remains ambiguous. Through a survey with 85 experts and a series of elite interviews with 14 decision-makers, this article contends that while emerging technologies destabilize nuclear deterrence by increasing nuclear risk, they can also create fresh opportunities for nuclear disarmament. Given that new technologies are changing the nature of nuclear threats, this article also argues that we need to change the way we think about arms control if we want to respond effectively to the threats posed by emerging technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-311
JournalContemporary Security Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2021


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