Nuclear Weapons and the Birth of the Global Commons



Stephen Buono and Ryan Musto, Stanford University

Date and Time

March 17, 2021 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


RSVP Required.


Virtual Seminar

* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


Seminar Recording:


About the Event: In the middle of the twentieth century, geophysical science and new technologies pried open three of Earth's most remote and inhospitable regions: Antarctica, the ocean floor, and the exosphere—that is, outer space. As human activity in these frigid zones increased, so too did their status as “global commons,” domains belonging to all, and therefore none. This presentation examines how one issue in particular, nuclear weapons, galvanized the politics of the global commons from the 1950s to the 1970s and sheds light on how the United States navigated the new spaces as part of its Cold War foreign policy.



About the Speakers: 

Stephen Buono is a postdoctoral fellow at CISAC. He earned his PhD in History from Indiana University. At Stanford, he is at work on his first book, The Province of All Mankind, a history of how outer space became a realm of American foreign policy and international law in 1950s and 1960s. Before arriving at CISAC, Stephen was an editor for the journal Diplomatic History and an Aerospace History Fellow with the American Historical Association and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration.


Ryan A. Musto is a MacArthur Nuclear Security Fellow at CISAC. He holds a PhD in history from The George Washington University and master’s degrees in international and world history from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. Prior to joining CISAC, Ryan served as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MIT. His work has been published in Diplomatic HistoryDiplomacy & StatecraftPolar RecordBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Americas Quarterly, amongst other outlets. Ryan is currently writing a book manuscript on the international history of regional denuclearization.

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