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Going Nuclear: A Symposium on American Nuclear Politics

  • Campbell Conference Facility 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto Canada (map)

At the heart of American nuclear power lies a paradox: Although the United States participated in and propelled a nuclear arms race, no other country has expended more resources in seeking to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Why did the United States pour energy into arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation agreements, in an effort to limit the very weapons it relied upon so heavily? Why does it continue this pattern today? Timothy Andrews Sayle, the Bissell-Heyd Research Faculty Fellow, has convened a symposium to discuss and explore the past, present, and future of U.S. nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation policy. Historians, political scientists, and practitioners will explore American policy over time and place, including discussion of U.S. nonproliferation policy in NATO, the United Nations, and in key regional areas: the Middle East, South Asia, and the Korean Peninsula.

Morning Panel 1: Institutions

Katie Davis, University of Toronto
Susie Colbourn, University of Toronto Ambassador
Paul Meyer, The Simons Foundation Professor
Tom Nichols, U.S. Naval War College

Morning Panel 2: Regions

Professor Jayita Sarkar, Boston University
Dr. John S. Park, Harvard University
Dr. Farzan Sabet, Graduate Institute Geneva


Francis J. Gavin, Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the Inaugural Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Francis J. Gavin is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the Inaugural Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. In 2013, Gavin was appointed the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. Before joining MIT, he was the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas. From 2005 until 2010, he directed The American Assembly’s multiyear, national initiative, The Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions. Gavin’s writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012). He received a PhD and MA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Studies in Modern European History from Oxford University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Gavin is an Associate of the Managing the Atom Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, Senior Fellow of the Clements Program in History, Strategy, and Statecraft, a Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center, a Senior Advisor to the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a life-member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

There are two separate registration lists for this event: Morning Symposium and Afternoon Keynote presentation. For the morning symposium, please register here >> For the afternoon keynote by Prof. Francis J. Gavin, register here >>