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Nuclear Collisions: Discord, Reform & the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

Preface

Nearly all of the 190 signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agree that the forty-two-year-old treaty is fragile and in need of fundamental reform. But gaining consensus on how to fix the NPT will require reconciling the sharply differing views of nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. Strengthening the international rules is increasingly important as dozens of countries, including some with unstable political environments, explore nuclear energy. The result is an ever-increasing distribution of this technology.

In this volume, Steven E. Miller (Harvard University), Codirector of the Academy’s Global Nuclear Future (GNF) Initiative, outlines the main points of contention within the NPT regime and identifies the issues that have made reform so difficult. How these deep divergences can be managed, minimized, or overcome is a crucial question for the future—and a focus of the American Academy’s GNF project.

For more than five decades, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has played an integral role in nonproliferation studies, beginning with a special issue of Dædalus on arms control published in 1960. Today, the GNF Initiative is examining the safety, security, and nonproliferation implications of the global spread of nuclear energy. Through innovative scholarship and behind-thescenes interactions with international leaders and stakeholders, the Initiative is developing pragmatic recommendations for managing the emerging nuclear order.

The GNF Initiative is supported in part by grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Flora Family Foundation, and Fred Kavli and the Kavli Foundation. The Academy is grateful to these supporters and to the principal investigators for the Initiative: Steven E. Miller, codirector; Scott D. Sagan, codirector (Stanford University); Robert Rosner, senior advisor (University of Chicago); and Stephen M. Goldberg, research coordinator (Argonne National Laboratory). I want to express my thanks to the authors for advancing the work of the Initiative.

Leslie Berlowitz
President and William T. Golden Chair
American Academy of Arts and Sciences