Steps Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

This project consists of a series of individual studies partly supported by the researcher’s own funds and partly supported by small contributions from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Swiss, The Austrian and the Norwegian Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

This study aims to contribute to the development of a realistic strategy for a world free of nuclear weapons. It starts with the assumption that an interrelation exists between steps taken towards disarmament and changes in global and regional security relations. As such, the leap towards a world free of nuclear weapons will not be achieved through any single act of political will and its legal codification. Rather, it will be achieved in a long series of interrelated steps – making it path-dependent – and, optimally, will be able to create the conditions under which nuclear states come to see their own security best reflected in a world without nuclear weapons.

The project is organized thematically, with studies addressing four over-arching topics:

  • the “philosophy” of nuclear disarmament, i.e. an investigation of the fundamental approach through which this process that will reach far into the future can be analyzed based on the situation as it is today;
  • how to guarantee security in a world free of nuclear weapons, in which any relapse into nuclear deterrence is precluded;
  • the organization of relations among the great powers, which must be composed in such a way that the security dilemma diminishes below the point at which powers deem nuclear deterrence to be imperative;
  • the individual steps and measures needed to bring the world closer to this “utopian” goal.
Project director:
  • Schaper, Annette
  • Franceschini, Giorgio


Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)