The instruments of bi- and multilateral nuclear disarmament and arms control are in a state of despair. Russia and the West have entered a new round of conflict. The US–Russian nuclear arms control and disarmament dialog has stalled. East Asia is rattled by North Korea aggressively pushing forward its nuclear and missile programs. Beyond the bilateral and regional levels, frustration about the nuclear-weapons states’ unwillingness to meet their own disarmament obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has already led a majority of UN states to seek alternative venues to ban the risks and threats associated with nuclear arms. That leads to some urgent questions: Which arguments could help to reinvigorate moral and political support for further nuclear disarmament? What can the international community do to move further with multilateral nuclear disarmament? What could or should a stable future US–Russian framework for managing the nuclear relationship look like? How can Europe deal with its nuclear challenges against the background of a missing “grand deal” between NATO and Russia? How can the world better bridge the gap between the need for broader civil society engagement and the lack of interest in many societies?
In this package of articles, early and mid-career scholars from Europe, Russia, and the United States have engaged in a common effort to address these pressing questions and to provide much-needed recommendations on how to move forward with nuclear arms control and disarmament at the global and regional levels. Read this free-access introduction to “The N.EX.T. Project: Arms control and disarmament approaches for a deadlocked age,” in the digital issue of the July/August digital journal.