PS21 update weekending January 12

A really great event to begin the year last week hosted by the Cabinet Office looking ahead to 2017 really helped us discern some of the big themes for the year. We know, of course, that this is the year in which Brexit will begin to really mean Brexit. Within days, Donald Trump will be in the White House. Our discussion, though, went rather  wider, looking at the really big questions of whether the liberal order is really in permanent retreat and what it might take for a more progressive, leftist message to emerge once again.

Some of those issues are considered on PS21 this week with this piece looking at whether Germany is genuinely moving to the right. My own peaceful Reuters, meanwhile, looks at the impact of the more salacious Russia-linked allegations around Trump and how that will likely dog his presidency, whether they are ultimately found to be true or not.

A really excellent discussion coming up in London next week will look at one of our perennial larger themes, the future of nuclear proliferation – or nonproliferation, for that matter. Clearly, this is going to be one of the themes of the Trump presidency, which appears to be keen on a nuclear deal with Russia even as it looks to tear up the one the Obama administration did on Iran. North Korea, meanwhile, lingers in the background, with a very real potential that it will finally perfect a credible nuclear tipped ballistic missile at some point in the coming presidency.

We have a range of other really great events timetable for the future, including some interesting wargames and scenario discussions. Amongst other topics, we will be looking at the rise of extremism in Europe, the future for humanitarianism and human rights after events in Aleppo and the largest questionable – how globalization can possibly work in an increasingly fraught decade and century.

We look forward to seeing you there,





The future of nuclear [non?] proliferation

Tuesday, January 24, six p.m.. Kings College London, Strand

From North Korea to Iran, Europe to the South China Sea, nuclear tensions seem on the rise this century. PS21 examines the drivers and technologies that encourage and allow this trend, and asks what – if anything – Western states can do to keep the risks in check.

Peter Apps [moderator] is executive director, PS21 and global affairs columnist, Thomson Reuters.

Cristina Varriale is a Research Analyst with RUSI’s Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Team. She specialises in non-proliferation, deterrence policy and CBRN security. Prior to joining RUSI, she worked in nuclear policy and research with the International Centre for Security Analysis (ICSA) and the British American Security Information Council (BASIC). Cristina holds an MA in Non-proliferation and International Security from King’s College London. She has also been a contributor at IHS Jane’s, and has written on nuclear issues for publications such as the Huffington Post and Prospect Magazine.

David Smart is a former UK civil servant who worked on Counter-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism, and pioneered the exploitation of Financial Intelligence (FinInt) in these areas. Since leaving government service he has acted as a senior advisor to public and private sector clients on risk and security, with particular emphasis on economic crime and cyber-security.

John Bassett OBE worked for the British foreign service from 1991 to 2010. He was an adviser to the UK delegation during the final phase of negotiations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and has 25 years of experience in various aspects of counterproliferation and arms control.

Paul Ingram is Executive Director of BASIC, responsible for developing its strategy to help reduce global nuclear dangers through disarmament and collaborative non-proliferation. Paul has authored a number of BASIC’s reports and briefings covering a variety of nuclear and non-nuclear issues since 2002. Paul has an extensive media experience and hosted a weekly peak-time talk show on IRINN (Iranian domestic TV News in Farsi) addressing issues relevant to global security 2007-2012. He also taught systems approaches on the flagship Top Management Programme at the UK government’s National School of Government 2006-2012.

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