Skip to content

Our Policy Research Programmes

The ELN’s policy-focused research is directed towards our strategic goals: to reduce the risks of existential conflict; to advance conflict resolution, education and research on improving security and related challenges in Europe; and to strengthen multilateral nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Our members, staff and contributors study and analyse different possible routes to these goals and make practical recommendations for their achievement. They are united by a shared desire to prevent nuclear war and to strengthen European security.

We work across our networks to identify the gravest risks and prioritise the ones where we believe we can make the greatest difference, based on our track record, capacity and expertise. We also consult regularly with other expert organisations to ensure we are contributing new knowledge and ideas for the public benefit.

Our policy research is clustered around three mutually reinforcing programmes of work:

Our Policy Research Programmes

We aim to bolster the multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament regimes, particularly the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We provide ideas, analysis and research resources that support the efforts of serving diplomats in the NPT process. We also focus on specific regional challenges to the multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament system, including the future of nuclear diplomacy with Iran, and (in partnership with our sister Asia-Pacific Leadership Network) understanding Indo-Pacific perspectives on strategic risks. The ELN’s work has supported the P5 Dialogue, with a view to encouraging the NPT nuclear weapon states to engage jointly in strategic risk reduction. We also work to support the CTBT and encourage its entry into force and want to deepen the understanding of the concept of irreversibility in nuclear disarmament.

Current priority projects:

Some of our previous projects on multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation include the reinvigoration of the P5 process. Please follow the links for selected resources including an impact case study and a report on ‘Reinvigorating the P5 Process a decade on’.

From its beginnings in 2011, the Network has been devoted to work towards a safer Europe. Our work addresses the acute security risks, especially nuclear, in the Russia-West confrontation. Russia’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine has transformed, accelerated and intensified these risks. Through dialogue and exchange and – where possible – joint analysis of the drivers and futures of conflict, we attempt to reduce risks of miscalculation, misunderstanding, misjudgement, and accident in relations between Russia and the West. Reducing risks of nuclear war in Europe drives our Russia-West activities. ELN staff and members contribute ideas and analysis to a number of Track Two and Track 1.5 dialogues involving participants from across wider Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, alongside participants from the US and other parts of the world. Our research is also aimed at finding sustainable long-term security arrangements in wider Europe.

  • Eurasian Futures

Nuclear weapons have unique catastrophic effects.  Reducing risks of their use is a key element of reducing existential risks. Our researchers and members study the intersections between nuclear weapons and emerging and disruptive technologies, as a contribution to nuclear risk reduction. Our research looks in particular at the growing complexity that the simultaneous emergence of multiple disruptive technologies introduces. We aim to provide guidance for decision makers on how they can maintain strategic stability and make progress towards arms control and disarmament under such circumstances. ELN experts also examine the question of whether other technologies could eventually present similarly catastrophic risks as nuclear weapons.

Current projects:

Previous projects include:

Policy & Research Team