Strategies of the Disarmed: Struggles Over Nuclear Futures in Security Governance
I am a fellow of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate programme on Globalization, the EU and Multilateralism – the GEM PhD School. Currently I am a third year PhD candidate at the University of Warwick in the UK and at LUISS University in Italy working on issues related to multilateral nuclear weapons policies and civil society advocacy in the field of disarmament. The project looks at how transnational civil society engaged with nuclear weapons issues affects the discourses and practices of global nuclear governance.
Before taking up this position, I was a research assistant at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) where I assisted in the managing of a Track II diplomacy project on issues of security in the Middle East. In the past, I also interned at the United Nations University institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) and at the Italian Permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York. I have studied at the Forlì-based Department of Political Science of the University of Bologna (Italy) for my Master and Bachelor degrees, while also spending periods as a visiting student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the Universidad del Paìs Vasco in Bilbao, Spain.
10/2006 - 07/2009 - Master in International Relations - University of Bologna (Italy), Faculty of Political Science “R. Ruffilli”, Forlì campus branch
09/2008 - 03/2009 - Visiting student scholarship - University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
10/2003 - 10/2006 - Bachelor in International Relations - University of Bologna (Italy), Faculty of Political Science “R. Ruffilli”, Forlì campus branch
09/2005 - 07/2006 - Visiting student scholarship - Universidad del Paìs Vasco (UPV/EHU), Bilbao (Spain)
10/2011 – 09/2012 - Research Assistant - Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) – Frankfurt, Germany
04/2011 – 07/2011 - Research Intern - United Nations University institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) – Bruges, Belgium
01/2011 – 03/2011 - Research Intern - Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) – Frankfurt, Germany
02/2010 – 05/2010 - Intern - Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations – New York, United States
12/2009 – 01/2010 - Ethical information analyst - Covalence, SA – Geneva, Switzerland
Specific Research Title, Area and Promotor(s)
Working title: Strategies of the Disarmed: Struggles Over Nuclear Futures in Security Governance
Supervisor: Stuart Croft (University of Warwick) and Raffaele Marchetti (LUISS)
Description of research work
This project seeks to ask whether transnational civil society is able to affect nuclear governance. It departs from a puzzle: the fear of nuclear weapons does not mobilise the masses in the present context, yet civil society is active in the fora of nuclear regulation. Why is it active? How does it put forward its mission? And what are the consequences of its activism? These are some of the questions that the thesis wants to address. Studying civil society in the nuclear world wants to fill a gap in nuclear scholarship where studies of nuclear states have been almost the totality. The aim is to reflect on the relation between between the multiple ways in which these arms are regulated (not just in terms of non-proliferation but also arms control, disarmament and deterrence) and on the power of transnational advocates and experts. By mapping the involvement of civil society actors at the multilateral level it seeks to understand the origins of their mobilisation, the unfolding of their strategies, and the extent of their relations with states. Theoretically, the thesis combines security governance and discourse analysis while adopting a critical constructivist approach. Empirically, it undertakes an ethnographic study of civil society activity at the periodic meetings of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It will argue for the political nature and importance of struggles happening in the sites of nuclear governance where different conceptions of what nuclear weapons are and what purpose they have interact with one another.
Participation in Conferences and Seminars
28th ISODARCO Winter Course: ‘Global nuclear governance: Actors, policies and issues’, Andalo (Italy), 7-14 January 2015
WISC Conference: 'Justice, Peace and Stability: Risks and Opportunities for Governance and Development', Frankfurt, 6-9 August 2014
ISA Annual Convention: 'Spaces and Places: Geopolitics in an Era of Globalization', Toronto, 25-29 March 2014
27th ISODARCO Winter Course: ‘Nuclear governance: Prospects for a strengthened non-proliferation regime’, Andalo (Italy), 8-15 January 2014
Course for young researchers organized by CNR, the Italian National Research Council, Rome, November/December 2013
60th Pugwash Conference: 'Dialogue, Disarmament, and Regional and Global Security', Istanbul, 1-5 November 2013
8th International Student/Young Pugwash Conference: ‘Conflict and Cooperation – The Global Impact of National and Regional Security Issues’, Istanbul, 30-31 October 2013
BISA Conference: ‘Beyond the Ivory Tower: IR and the Real World’, Birmingham, 20-21 June, 2013
CND 2012 Conference: ‘Building towards a nuclear weapons-free Middle East: civil society input for a new Helsinki process’, London, 13 October, 2012
BISA-ISA Conference: ‘Diversity in the Discipline: Tension or Opportunity in Responding to Global Challenges’, Edinburgh, 20-22 June, 2012
59th Pugwash Conference: ‘European Contributions to Nuclear Disarmament & Conflict Resolution’, Berlin, 1-4 July 2011
7th International Student/Young Pugwash Conference: ‘Conflict and Cooperation – The Global Impact of Regional Security Efforts’, Berlin, 29-30 June 2011
Participated also in several Track II seminars organized by the EU Non-proliferation Consortium and by the Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East (PRIF).
Overview of Publications
Roberta Mulas, “Nuclear Governance: Beyond States and the Non-Prolfieration Regime”, in Paolo Foradori, ed., Still the Century of Overkill: Strengthening the Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Berlin: Nomos, 2014).
Roberta Mulas, “The Construction of Nuclear Governance Alternatives: Discourses of Deterrence and Disarmament.” Paper presented at the 4th WISC Conference (Frankfurt, 6-9 August 2014).
Roberta Mulas, “Nuclear Governance: More than States and the Non-Proliferation Regime.” Paper presented at the 55th ISA Annual Convention (Toronto, 26-29 March 2014).
Roberta Mulas, “Security Governance and Nuclear Weapons: Towards a Globalising Approach.” Paper presented at the 8th International Student/Young Pugwash Conference (Istanbul, 30-31 October 2013).
Francis Baert and Roberta Mulas, “‘Does right make might’? A comparative analysis of regional denuclearization.” Paper presented at the BISA-ISA Conference (Edinburgh, 20-22 June 2012).
Bernd W. Kubbig, Roberta Mulas and Christian Weidlich, “States that talk don’t shoot.” Ha’aretz, 16 March 2012.
Bernd W. Kubbig, Roberta Mulas and Christian Weidlich, “Welcome, Mr. Facilitator: The Track II Community Endorses Ambassador Jaakko Laajava.” Policy Brief No. 6, Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, December 2011.
Roberta Mulas, “Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and the Nuclear Powers: Lessons for a WMD/DVs Free Zone in the Middle East.” Policy Brief No. 5, Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, December 2011.
Bernd W. Kubbig, Christian Weidlich and Roberta Mulas, “How to Make the Middle East Conference Happen, Successful, and Sustainable: A Conceptual Framework for a Track II Expert Group’s Contribution.” Policy Brief No. 1, Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, December 2011.
“External actors in nuclear weapon free zones: Lessons for the Middle East.” UNU-CRIS Working Paper, W-2011/3, September 2011.
“External actors in nuclear weapon free zones: Lessons for the Middle East.” Paper presented at the 7th International Student/Young Pugwash Conference, Berlin, Germany, 29-30 June 2011.