South African Anti-Nuclear Cultures and Atomic Publics: Informing a Post-Liberal Nuclear Order?

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: International Politics


Attentive to continuing global shifts and anticipating a 'post-liberal' international area, this research will explore marginalized knowledges of nuclear activity, investigating how these differ from and intersect with the understandings of 'nuclear activity' that underpin international institutional nuclear governance. Taking South Africa as a case study - due to its unique positioning as a nuclear disarmer, uranium producer, post-colonial and post-apartheid state - this project will contribute to scholarship and activism by providing a platform for theorizing alternative forms and practices of nuclear governance. It is a response to emergent global conditions, which threaten to undermine an already fragile and inequitable nuclear order.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1937137 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 25/09/2017 31/03/2021 Thomas Vaughan
Description The research is developing an innovative framework of examining the relationship between the 'global nuclear order' - a somewhat imprecise term that is rarely satisfactorily defined in existing research - and 'local' politics. Specifically, the dynamics of South Africa's domestic political transition, nuclear policies, and science and technology (S&T) agenda are examined in relation to global nuclear order, rather than treated as separate from or derivative of it. This allows me to trace the ways by which 'local' South African nuclear politics and processes have had 'global' normative impact, as well as revealing the significant impacts that international nuclear politics have had on the form and function of South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy. This project is unique in its conceptual outlook and aims, contributing significantly to an under-theorized field of study.
Exploitation Route When complete, I hope that the project will offer fertile ground for further research, opening up a number of possibilities for empirical and policy-relevant studies through its unique theoretical contribution. It is also useful for practitioners in the fields of security, diplomacy, and energy (among others), as well as by INGOs engaged in nuclear policy work, by showing how smaller-scale 'local' interactions around nuclear technology can make lasting impacts on the conduct of world nuclear politics.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy