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Rishi Paul

Senior Policy Fellow

Dr Rishi Paul is a Senior Policy Fellow at the ELN leading the implementation of Nuclear Policy projects. Prior to this, Rishi was a Policy Fellow and Programme Manager at the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), managing the Programmes on Nuclear Responsibilities and Disarmament, as well as supporting the overall management and growth of the think tank.  

Rishi’s research interests and expertise include nuclear risk and emerging and disruptive technologies, as well as deterrence dynamics in the context of evolving adversarial relationships, especially its effect upon the formation of nuclear strategy and escalation pathways. Rishi’s research interest is also geared towards a critical examination of the thresholds for nuclear escalation and the role of nuclear off-ramps in managing risk reduction and averting nuclear use.  

Rishi’s pioneering work in this space is held in high regard; in late 2022, the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) awarded Rishi First Prize in its global security competition for developing an innovative plan designed to avert nuclear use in crisis and in war.   

Rishi has published widely, addressed the NATO Defence College in Rome, provided media commentary for international news outlets and delivered written evidence to the House of Lords, Select Committee on International Relations, “Rising nuclear risk, disarmament and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.” 

Rishi holds both an MA in Strategic Studies and a PhD from the University of Leeds. Whilst an academic researcher at the University of Leeds, his doctorate successfully examined the dynamics of U.S. nuclear strategy and the challenges posed by incorporating ballistic missile defence into strategic doctrine. 


  • Nuclear risk 
  • Emerging and disruptive technologies 
  • Nuclear deterrence 
  • Nuclear thresholds and escalation control 
  • Missile defence 
  • Nuclear non-proliferation and arms control 
  • India and Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine, posture, and diplomacy 

Content by Rishi Paul


Asia-Pacific flashpoints: Comparing Australian, Japanese, South Korean & UK perceptions

This ELN and APLN report compares Australian, Japanese, South Korean, and UK risk perceptions towards Taiwan and North Korea. It finds that diverging perceptions of risk in the Asia-Pacific are potential obstacles to policy coordination and offers recommendations for how to address this.

Policy brief

Balancing deterrence with assurances: Policy coordination between security partners in the Asia-Pacific

This ELN and APLN policy brief explores the challenges facing Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the UK in their security strategies towards China and North Korea. The paper argues that these security partners must balance deterrence strategies with providing assurances to adversaries.


Ok, Doomer! The NEVER Podcast – Nuclear War: What is it good for?

Listen to the second episode of the NEVER podcast – Ok, Doomer! In this episode, we explore nuclear war, the first man-made existential risk. Featuring an introduction to the topic, disarmament versus deterrence, how governments have dealt with issues such as proliferation, and how they should respond to them in future.