About

What is “nuclearpolitix”?

nuclearpolitix” documents the activities and work of the “Nuclear Politics Study Program” (NPSP). The NPSP is a student-led group and was founded by Fabian Stricker (fabian.stricker@gmail.com), Clemens Binder (cle.binder@gmail.com) and Dominik Rastinger (d.rastinger@gmx.at) in January 2014.

The NPSP 2014

For the first time from 12 – 16 May 2014, the NPSP brought together 34 students and more than 20 technical experts, diplomats and academics from the broad field of nuclear politics.

The one-week agenda included lectures, panel discussions and visits to leading international (non) governmental organizations based in Vienna, Austria. Students from 11 countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Serbia, Switzerland and The Philippines) participated and debated controversial topics including weapons proliferation and modernization, nuclear disarmament, nuclear safety and nuclear energy research.

Statement of Purpose

The underlying goal of the NPSP is to facilitate a better understanding of the diverse field of nuclear politics in the 21st century. Bridging the knowledge gap between nuclear scientists, decision-makers and academics on the one hand and civil society on the other hand is our most aspired outcome.

Today, citizens are ubiquitously consuming the merits of nuclear energy production, yet they remain disengaged in the decision making process, hence rarely manage to shape energy policy and know arguably little about associated weaknesses and threats. Perhaps of greater concern during the cold war, large parts of the populace across the globe have abstract conceptions of nuclear weapons today and merely, but falsely believe that the threat of nuclear warfare is non-existent. Civilian applications of nuclear materials have become commonplace, yet they are generally stigmatised and connoted negatively with radiation and/or lethal health consequences. This phenomenon is highlighted best by the public response to the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011.

Bearing trends of nuclear renaissance and phase-out in mind, where does the average citizen come in? What is his/her say in this important policy field? Is he/she entitled to engage in the decision-making process? Can the current nuclear politics information infrastructure facilitate such an undertaking? Should our governments pull out of nuclear energy indefinitely? How can nuclear disarmament be realized?

The NPSP seeks to answer these questions, but does not promise to provide simple “one-size-fits-all” answers of universal applicability. Our mission is to provide those interested with the most objective and relevant information. Only through education may citizens rightfully reach meaningful decisions and impose their will on their governments, nuclear industries and other actors which are to be held accountable for our and all other generations to follow.

The initiative is student-led and all events will be held in English.

The Blog

The purpose of the “Blog” section” is to discuss and share articles and event announcements. Participants and interested people are encouraged to contribute to the blog during as well as beyond the duration of the program.

Daily Reports

To find out more about the content of the 5 day program and which institutions were visited, please see the “Daily Reports” section.

Essays

Essayistic papers related to nuclear politics were kindly contributed by our participants and can be viewed in the “Essays” section.

Partnering and supporting institutions

  • Project sponsored by the Austrian Students’ Union (Gefördertes Sonderprojekt der Österreichischen HochschülerInnenschaft)
  • University of Vienna, Department of Political Science
  • United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria – Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs (AFA)
  • Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)
  • International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Video and photo contributions

The NPSP thanks Franz Danner and David Gayer for filming and photo-documenting our program. They covered our every step professionally and this blog would not be without their help. We can highly recommend them as a filming team. To get in touch with them, send a mail to scener@gmx.net

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