Difficult Conversations: Fingers off the Button

Andrew Futter

On Thursday 5 May 2022, Prof Andrew Futter, Dr Cameron Hunter, Dr Olamide Samuel, Marion Messmer & Dr Matthew Bolton participated in the Difficult Conversation Series. ‘Fingers off the Button’ was the fourth installment of the series.

The panel primarily considered questions regarding nuclear weapons in the UK.  

View the recording of this session, by clicking the link below. 

Defence Concepts and Capabilities: from Aspiration to Reality

Andrew Futter

On Tuesday 17 May 2022, Andrew Futter gave evidence to the UK House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee on the subject: Defence Concepts and Capabilities, from aspiration to reality. View the recording of this session, by clicking the link below. 

Cambridge Center for Existential Risk workshop : War Gaming and the Third Nuclear Age

1st March 2022

March 1 2022, Prof. Futter presented a talk titled ‘War Gaming and The Third Nuclear Age’ at the Cambridge Center for Existential Risk. 

You can download the presentation here:

Professor Andrew Futter

TNA Project Runs procurement politics simulation

12th January 2022

The Third Nuclear Age Project Team ran a simulation of the politics of technological procurement.  The players were briefed on their starting positions and then were left free to choose whatever technologies they felt their team required to maintain national security over the long-term. This closed game was part of a process of developing and refining scenarios for future events with stakeholders.

Held at the imaginary “ERSATZ” classification level, the players took on the roles of senior defence procurement bureaucrats in the fictional region of “Archipelagia.” Each turn simulated 3 years of in-game time, allowing players to see the consequences of their procurement decisions and respond to their regional rivals. Competition was intense, and the players’ decisions resulted in a deteriorating security environment. At its conclusion, the game designers extrapolated how a military crisis in the region would play out in light of the new weapons capabilities that the players had selected.

Feedback from the players was incredibly positive, highlighting requirements and implications for the methodology of future games.

The finale session gave players an overview of actions taken by the game designers and their opponents – actions that were otherwise secret while the game was in progress.

The briefing was delivered by the fictional superpower’s military featured in the game.

Nuking the Site from Orbit?

China's 'Hypersonic' Weapons Test

Join resident and guest experts on the military uses of outer space for a virtual panel event to discuss the realities and hyperbole behind the alleged test of a Chinese Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS), and what it means for nuclear strategy, space security, and US-China relations. It is hosted by the Third Nuclear Age project at the School of History, Politics, and International Relations.

Valdai Club to Discuss a New Cold War in the Indo-Pacific

Prof Andrew Futter to speak at event

submarine, kings bay, georgia-95610.jpg

On November 10, at 15:00 Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club will host an expert discussion, titled “AUKUS: A New Cold War in the Indo-Pacific?”

Derby House Principles

We are delighted to announce that the Third Nuclear Age Project is now signed up to the Derby House Principles on diversity and inclusion in professional wargaming

This means that:

As professional gamers we are committed to the Derby House Principles:

1. Promoting inclusion and diversity in professional wargaming, through the standards we set, the opportunities we offer, and access to activities we organise.
2. Making clear our opposition to sexism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination across the board, as well as in wargaming.
3. Encouraging a greater role and higher profile for colleagues from underrepresented groups in our professional activities.
4. Seeking out and listening to the concerns and suggestions of our colleagues as to how our commitment to diversity and inclusion could be enhanced.
5. Demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion through ongoing assessment of progress made and discussion of future steps.

As a team we feel it is particularly important for us to publicly commit to these principles as we plan to ramp-up the conflict simulation component of our project over the next two years. We want to ensure that these professional skills, increasingly valuable in the national security job market, are available to all regardless of background. These commitments closely complement one the primary objectives of the Third Nuclear Age project, which is to equip and develop the next generation of nuclear policy analysts.

The Guns of AUKUS

This expert panel met to discuss the recent weapons technology cooperation announcements between Australia, the UK, and the USA and what this means for nuclear proliferation in the wider world. After each panellist provided opening remarks, there was a Q&A and discussion. Our expert panellists were:

Dr Ben Zala (Australian National University)
Dr Francesca Silvestri (University of Leicester)
Ludovica Castelli (University of Leicester)
Dr Bleddyn Bowen (University of Leicester)


Professor Andrew Futter (University of Leicester)

More Events

Online-Event: Disruptive Technologies and Strategic Stability

Multilateraler Dialog KAS

Prof Andrew Futter (Third Nuclear Age, UoL) took part in an online event with Multilateral Dialogue of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Vienna, with Dr Elke Schwarz (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr Marina Favaro (Institute for Peace Research, Hamburg) and Moderator Tariq Rauf (Atomic Reporters).