Anna M. Weichselbraun

Anna M. Weichselbraun , PhD



Stanford University

Encina Hall, C225

Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 725-0936 (voice)

Research Interests

Norms of nuclear governance | IAEA safeguards | treaty verification | cultures of expertise | bureaucracy | nonproliferation & disarmament discourses


Anna Weichselbraun is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at CISAC. She received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago in August 2016. Her book manuscript based on 24 months of ethnographic fieldwork and multi-archival research, investigates how nuclear safeguards inspectors, bureaucrats, and diplomats at the IAEA negotiate the international and institutional boundaries of politics and technology in their working lives. She asks how organizational products such as bureaucratic procedures, technical inspection reports, policy papers, and official diplomatic statements contribute to the logical ordering of technocratic expertise within the IAEA. She is especially interested in how individuals at international organizations communicate across different epistemic paradigms, and how particular types of speaking become recognized as authoritative and legitimate. To that end she has begun research on recent nuclear disarmament efforts—which include the newly agreed international treaty to ban nuclear weapons—to interrogate how shifts in discursive paradigms and logics have succeeded in breaking the decades-long gridlock on hegemonic nuclear norms.