No such thing as a free donation? Research funding and conflicts of interest in nuclear weapons policy analysis
20 December 2022
Funding of epistemic actors by nuclear vested interests Operationalizations and method To probe the connections between the foreign policy expert community and actors with interests in the nuclear weapons enterprise, this study relies on a cross-sectional investi- gation of the funding sources of some of the most influential expert milieus in the field Egeland and Pelopidas 5 of foreign policy (Se. [...] While the majority of the think tanks in the sample are based in Europe and the United States, the sample also includes a number of think tanks from China, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. [...] A sponsorship manager for a company involved in the production of nuclear weapon systems asserted that one of the main reasons their company provided funding for think tanks was to enhance the ‘brand’ of the company – to associate the company with respectable strategic studies and intellectual engage- ment.45 Some of the interviewees on the other side of the table had felt this acutely. [...] One of the interviewees cited above mused that ‘the level of 12 International Relations 00(0) censorship varies from place to place, probably depending on the culture of the think tank, the culture of the country, and the nature of the funders’. [...] As the project concluded, the think tank published a report recommending the acquisition of a mili- tary hardware sold by the contractor.91 Conclusions and implications Discussions of nuclear weapons and security often emphasize material vulnerabilities, such as the dangers of escalation or the intricacies of missile defence.