Annual British Student Young Pugwash Conference

The Annual British Student Young Pugwash Conference is an initiative launched by students from the University of Oxford, Warwick, SOAS and King’s College London in 2016, with the aim of providing a platform for students, young researchers, scholars and professionals to discuss matters that lie at the intersection of science and world affairs with regards to conflict, security and development studies and to encourage students to join the British Student Young Pugwash Group.


2017 conference – report!

Our last conference, held in March 2017 at SOAS, was titled:

‘Uncharted Territory: Arms control and disarmament in the New Nuclear Age’

Despite the challenging international context, our members wanted to explore where there might be some opportunities for progress over the coming years.

The conference brought together a mix of students, young researchers and established experts, who considered presentations within the following Working Groups: ‘Treaties and the Laws of War’, ‘Science, Technology and Industry’ and ‘International Relations’.

Summaries of Working Group presentations and the full agenda can be found here.

If you would like to help plan next year’s SYP Conference, please get in touch on syp@britishpugwash.org


2016 conference

The first Annual British Student Young Pugwash Conference was held on the 21st of March 2016 at SOAS, University of London.

The culmination of months of preparation and advertisement, resulted in 70 student applications from 11 universities across the UK and the participation of eminent scholars, members of the civil society and state representatives.

The conference began with a panel session questioning the ‘Salience of nuclear weapons in world politics’. Guest speakers included:

  • Dr Nick Ritchie (Professor at the University of York)
  • Ms Andrea Berger (Deputy Director of the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme at RUSI)
  • Mr David McIlroy (Deputy Head of the Counter Proliferation Department at the FCO)

In the afternoon, the participants focused on the following thematic issues:

  • Climate Change and Energy Policy/Security
  • New Security Context in Europe
  • Security challenges in the Middle East
  • Nuclear Governance in the United Kingdom
  • New Technologies and Warfare
Below you will find the papers of 20 students who presented their research at the conference.

Working Group on Climate Change and Energy Policy/Security

1. Stephen Kakouris, Japan’s Energy Security Post Fukushima
2. Ryan Kelly, How do concepts and theories influence the way we analyse politics and is this a problem?
3. Ricardo Rosselli, Energy Security and Climate Change
4. Alp Katalan, Why the UK government should abandon Fracking

Working Group on New Security Context in Europe

5. Ioana Popescu, Security, Refugees and Multiculturalism
6. Alberto Pérez Vadillo, The new arms race: blurring the line between conventional and nuclear war
7. Christopher Newbery, The Jungle
8. Helen Taupin, New European Security Context
9. Pietro Dalla Vedova, New Security Context in Europe
10. Anna Guilia Ponchia, New Security Context in Europe

Working Group on Nuclear Governance in the UK

11. Andrea Howard, Nuclear Weapons are the only weapons suitable for strategic deterrence by punishment
12. Sebastian Brixey Williams, Underwater wars and washed up robots: how autonomous drones could undermine deterrence and turn oceans into invisible battlegrounds

Working Group on Security Challenges in the Middle East

13. Ezra Friedman, A Saudi Perspective
14. Danny Anderson, Saudi Arabia and Iran: Playing with Fire in Petroland
15. Aleem Datoo, The Iran Nuclear Deal
16. Jordan Salida, Daesh, taxation and oil revenue: What does this mean for the Middle East?

Working Group on New Technologies and Warfare

17. Alexander Lee, Challenges for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in the Field of Information Communications Technology
18. Baptiste Bourgoin, Implications of Modern Technologies in Warfare
19. Navomee Ponnamperuma, Drones and their impact on Warfare
20. Klisman Murati, The outer space regime, sovereignty and the changing nature of warfare
21. Maya Pillai, Dual-Use Satellite Technology

The British Student Young Pugwash Group would like to thank the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at SOAS for hosting the event and British Pugwash for its moral and financial support.