Governance of nuclear knowledges

Governance of nuclear knowledges

Call for one funded PhD Position
Applications are open till the 8th of September 2019 midnight
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Sciences Po Paris is looking for a PhD Candidate to join the European project NUCLEAR, a 5-year long project funded by the ERC.

Nuclear weapons choices commit populations and societies for decades and can wipe them out in matters of minutes. How is the scope of available nuclear weapons choices decided? Direct experience cannot be the answer as no one can rely on personal experience of nuclear war. Most decision-makers no longer even have the experience of the effects of such weapons either given that North Korea has been the only country testing nuclear weapons since 1998. The populations’ wishes do not qualify either, since they are very rarely consulted and only few studies on those attitudes exist. Therefore, this project offers the first in depth global investigation of the grounds on which the scope of publicly available nuclear weapons choices has been set.

The PhD candidate will join the Doctoral School at Sciences Po in the doctoral programme in political science.

He or she will be associated with the research team of CERI under the joint supervision of Benoît Pelopidas and Didier Bigo and will address the following topic: the effects of nuclear weapons programs on political regimes.

The specific research questions to be considered are as follows :

  • 1) whether and how nuclear weapons programs impact the modes of accountability and autonomy of state’s institutions ;
  • 2) whether those effects of governance of knowledge are specific to the nuclear weapons realm or not ;
  • 3) whether those modes of governance spread beyond the nuclear weapons realm ;
  • 4) whether those modes of governance are affected by particular thresholds, such as completion of the weapon program or its dismantlement.

For archival reasons, a focus on the first twenty years of the nuclear age is preferred. Candidates should be able to propose their own case studies depending on their skills.

For further information on the project see


  • Background in political theory and history and appetite for trans-disciplinarity
  • Ability to conduct archival research as well as interviews• Fluent in English, French and any relevant languages for your proposed case studies
  • Great organizational skills and autonomy
  • Keen appetite in fundamental research as well as public engagement (students, educators, policy makers, activists)


  • Investigate the governance of the nuclear weapons knowledges according to the four research questions mentioned above
  • Co-edit a special issue or volume on the topic based on the dissertation but which includes additional case studies
  • Identify relevant authors for this collective work
  • Contribute to fieldwork and outreach with the other NUCLEAR project team members
  • Help organize workshops, seminars and conferences
  • Analyse and publish primary sources
  • Read and give feedback on the written work of all members of the NUCLEAR project team
  • Communicate research results on social media


The PhD is funded. The selected PhD candidate will sign a “contrat doctoral” granting 2120 euros brut per month for a period of three years from 1st of October 2019 to 30th of September 2022.
The PhD candidate will conduct his or her work based at the CERI – Sciences Po in Paris, France.


All applications for the funded PhD position in the framework of the ERC-funded project NUCLEAR have to be made exclusively by email to the following address : . Only complete applications will be reviewed.

  • The applications are made in the Political Science Doctoral Programme
  • Please include in the subject of your email the reference European Project NUCLEAR.
  • Applications requirements are available on the Doctoral school website:
  • Attention: You must include the following documents in your application:
    • A thesis project in PDF or Word format (2, 000 to 5,000 words maximum)
    • A synopsis of your thesis project (two pages) in PDF or Word format
    • Two academic recommendations
    • CV
    • Proof of identity
    • A copy of the last completed degree (for the PhD in political science, highest hon-ours on the Masters thesis is required)
    • Transcripts
    • A signed letter from Prof. Benoit Pelopidas and Didier Bigo, indicating that they ac-cept to supervise your thesis and a letter from the laboratory director indicating that he/she accepts to host you in the laboratory.

SPECIAL DEADLINE for NUCLEAR APPLICATIONS – The applications are open till the 8th of September 2019 midnight. Candidates might be contacted for a Skype interview between the 10th and 20th of September 2019.

For all questions regarding the NUCLEAR project and the academic profile please contact

For further information about the CERI :
For further information about the Doctoral school :

=> Call for one funded PhD Position (PDF, 606 ko)

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