Prof. Benoît Pelopidas (PhD) founded the program Nuclear Knowledges and holds the chair of excellence in security studies at CERI (Sciences Po). He is also an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and has been a frequent visiting fellow at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.
In France, Nuclear Knowledges is the first scholarly research program on the nuclear phenomenon, which is fully independent and transparent on its funding sources.
He has been awarded four international prizes for his research. In 2017, he has been awarded one of the most competitive EU grants: an ERC Starting Grant (1,5 million € over five years) on nuclear weapons choices.
He focuses on the construction of knowledge about nuclear weapons, their institutional, conceptual, imaginal and memorial underpinnings. Conceptually, he elaborates nuclear vulnerability beyond its material and strategic dimensions. Empirically, Benoit’s focus is on nuclear “close calls”, crisis management and French nuclear history.
Over the last seven years, he has been engaging with policymaking elites in the US and Europe as well as civil society groups to advocate innovative nuclear disarmament and arms control policies.
Since 2013, he has been coordinating a team of 13 international researchers to write the first global history of the so-called "Cuban Missile Crisis" based on primary sources worlwide, which revisits fundamental concepts of IR and security studies such as the nuclear revolution, power, sovereignty, neutrality and alliance dynamics.
Dr Kjølv Egeland is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in Security Studies at Sciences Po, focusing on strategic narratives and global nuclear order. He completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2018. In his thesis, Kjølv investigated the evolution of the institutional architecture for multilateral nuclear disarmament from 1968 to 2017. Kjølv’s scholarly interests lie in nuclear discourse and politics, the philosophy of international law, and ideology critique. Writing on topics spanning from treaty-making processes to emerging military technology, his work has appeared in journals such Global Change, Peace & Security, Critical Studies on Security, Survival, and Global Governance.
Hassan Elbahtimy is an affiliated researcher to the Nuclear Knowledges program at CERI (Sciences Po). The focus of Elbahtimy's work in affiliation with the overall project of the Chair of Excellence in Security Studies is a project on Egyptian nuclear history, as well as nuclear vulnerability and leadership style.
Dr Elbahtimy is a Teaching Fellow in Science and Security at King's College London, and was awarded a PhD from the War Studies Department in 2013, which focused on the historical origins of Egypt's nuclear policy between 1955 - 1968. In 2014, Dr Elbahtimy ran a collaborative research and training project with Atomic Weapons Establishment, UK (AWE) and Norwegian Institute of Energy Technology. Dr Elbahtimy has also worked as a senior researcher at VERTIC, with a focus on nuclear verification on IAEA safeguards and nuclear disarmament. Before that, Dr Elbahtimy has worked at the Multilateral Department in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Charlotte Epstein (PhD, cantab.) is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her interests lie in the relationships between language, politics, and the body, and she has published on these questions in broad range of journals across International Relations, Politics and Sociology that include the Review of International Studies, International Organization, the European Journal of International Relations, International Political Sociology and Body and Society among others. She is the author of The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse (MIT Press, 2008, runner-up to the ISA Sprout award). Prior to Sydney she taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Georges Lurcy fellow. She read Philosophy and English at L’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, and International Relations at the University of Cambridge. She is a visiting researcher at the CERI where she is also affiliated with the Nuclear Knowledges program.
Since October 1, Thomas Fraise has been a PhD candidate within Nuclear Knowledges at CERI within the ERC-funded project NUCLEAR. He graduated from the Université d’Auvergne in law and in international relations from Sciences Po. His dissertation project under the supervision of Benoit Pélopidas (Nuclear Knowledges, Sciences Po) and Didier Bigo (King’s College/Sciences Po) focuses on a comparative analysis of nuclear knowledges governance regimes in democracies. More specifically, he investigates the impact of nuclear weapons programs on the governance of national security knowledge. This is intended as a contribution to the broader discussion about the extent, meaning and effect of the nuclear revolution.He previously was a research assistant to Jacques Semelin (CERI, Sciences Po), and is also interested in the study of wartime violence and mass violence.
Dr Fabrício Mendes Fialho has been a postdoctoral research fellow with the Nuclear Knowledges program at CERI-Sciences Po since March 2018. He specializes in political psychology, comparative public opinion with extensive use of cross-national survey data, and statistical modeling. At CERI, he currently works on the planning and design of a survey on attitudes toward nuclear weapons in the European Union within the ANR Project “de la vulnérabilité politique à l’âge nucléaire”. From 2013 to 2015, he was a J. P. Lemann Fellow at the UCLA Center for Brazilian Studies. In 2016-17, he received a Dissertation Year Fellow. As a Teaching Fellow, he taught Public Opinion and Voting Behavior at UCLA in 2016. He received a PhD in Political Science and a MS in Statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles in December 2017.
Dr Sébastien Philippe is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. His research focuses on developing new verification technologies and approaches to support future nuclear arms control and disarmament efforts. In parallel, he pursues research interests on French nuclear policymaking as a visiting fellow with Sciences-Po Paris’ Nuclear Knowledges Program. Before joining Harvard, Philippe was a Research Associate with Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. He earned his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and was recognized by the University as an Honorific Fellow for “outstanding performance and professional promise.” He also worked in the French Ministry of Defense, where he was a nuclear safety expert for the strategic nuclear forces.
Dr Nari Shelekpayev has been a postdoctoral research fellow with the Nuclear Knowledges program since November 2018. Within the ERC funded project NUCLEAR on ‘governing nuclear weapons choices’, he will focus on the intellectual history of categories used to make sense of nuclear realities and possibilities in Russian and Chinese in the post-Cold War context. He specializes in the intellectual history, comparative history of empires in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Soviet and post-Soviet history. He was the 2018 Albert Einstein Fellow and scholar-in-residence of the Einstein Summer House at the Einstein Forum and Daimler & Benz Foundation in Potsdam, Germany. Previously, he was Visiting Research Fellow at Free University in Berlin (2016-2017), Scholar-in-Residence at the Canadian Center for Architecture (2015), and Associate Doctoral Fellow at the IRTG ‘Diversity,’ formed by Université de Montréal in Canada and Universities of Trier and Saarbrucken in Germany (2016-2019). Nari has taught at Université de Montréal (2016), Università di Roma La Sapienza (2018), and Eurasian University in Astana (2015-2016).
Trained as a historian of international relations, Dr Clément Therme is a post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Nuclear Knowledges program at Sciences Po (CERI) and a Research Associate at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. His research within the ANR funded VULPAN project and teaching at Sciences Po (PSIA) focus on the history and politics of (non)-proliferation with Iran as a case study. Previously, he was a Research Fellow for Iran at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Lecturer at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, INALCO) in Paris. His articles have appeared in Iranian Studies, The Middle East Journal, Survival, Politique étrangère, Maghreb-Machrek and Politique américaine, and he is the author of Les relations entre Téhéran et Moscou depuis 1979 (PUF, 2012, based on his award-winning dissertation) and the co-editor of a book entitled Iran and the Challenges of the Twenty- First Century (Mazda Publishers, 2013). Most recently, he edited Iran and its rivals (Passés composés, 2020) [in French]