Machiavelli in the Ivory Tower is a new podcast series on arms control, nonproliferation, and international security issues. In each episode, hosts Sarah Bidgood and Hanna Notte discuss cutting-edge research and what it means for the most pressing challenges facing policymakers today. In conversation with expert guests, Sarah and Hanna break down these complex topics in ways that bridge the divide between scholarship and the real world. Join them each month as they bring Machiavelli into the Ivory Tower!
The third episode of the series, published on April 25, 2022, deals with nuclear escalation and the war in Ukraine. Sarah and Hanna invite Dr. Kristin ven Bruusgaard, a Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo, to discuss the implications of Russian nuclear strategy and the modernization of its conventional forces for the ongoing war in Ukraine. Will the Russian government likely decide to resort to nuclear weapons? Tune in to find out.
In the second episode, Sarah and Hanna speak with Dr. Mariana Budjeryn, a research associate with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. Dr. Budjeryn discusses her new book, Inheriting the Bomb: The Collapse of the USSR and the Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine. In their conversation, the hosts and guest draw connections between Dr. Budjeryn’s findings and the war in Ukraine, focusing in particular on the implications of Russia’s unprovoked invasion for nonproliferation and arms control and Russia’s spurious allegations that Ukraine is pursuing a nuclear capability.
In the first episode, Sarah and Hanna speak with Prof. Scott Sagan, who is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, about the relationship between nuclear doctrine and the law of armed conflict, related ethical and legal concerns, the implications for US policymakers and military planners, recommendations for the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review, and more generally the dangers inherent in “siloing” legal and strategic studies.
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