George Perkovich

Vice President for Studies
Perkovich’s research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, with a concentration on South Asia, Iran, and the problem of justice in the international political economy.


PhD, University of Virginia
MA, Harvard University
BA, University of California at Santa Cruz 


English; French; Russian


George Perkovich is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, with a concentration on South Asia, Iran, and the problem of justice in the international political economy.

Perkovich is author of the award-winning book India’s Nuclear Bomb (University of California Press, 2001) and co-author of the Adelphi Paper “Abolishing Nuclear Weapons,” published in September 2008 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. This paper is the basis of the book Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, which includes seventeen critiques by thirteen eminent international commentators. He also co-wrote a major Carnegie report entitled “Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security,” a blueprint for rethinking the international nuclear-nonproliferation regime. The report offers a fresh approach to dealing with states, terrorists, nuclear weapons, and fissile materials to ensure global safety and security.

He served as a speechwriter and foreign policy adviser to Senator Joe Biden from 1989 to 1990. Perkovich is an adviser to the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ task force on U.S. nuclear policy. 

  • Down to the Wire With Iran
    Q&A March 5, 2015
    Down to the Wire With Iran

    It’s easy to forget just how remarkable the nuclear talks with Iran are and that there is no better alternative to the current approach.

  • Testimony Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Senate Armed Services Committee February 25, 2015
    Regional Nuclear Dynamics

    The most immediately pressing objective of U.S. policy should be to apply vigorous, creative diplomatic and political energy to prevent another crisis between India and Pakistan, and if one cannot be prevented, to manage it with minimal escalation.

  • Q&A November 25, 2014 Русский 中文
    Iran Nuclear Talks Extended, Again

    Washington and its allies should strategically continue patient diplomacy unless Iran resumes provocative nuclear activities.

  • Op-Ed Washington Post July 11, 2014
    How to Resolve the Iran Impasse

    If Iran, the United States and the others could agree to pre-stock fuel for Bushehr and focus Iran’s enrichment program on research and development, it would be in everyone’s interest to extend the negotiations on this basis.

  • Podcast June 25, 2014
    One Year After Sunnylands: Assessing the U.S.-China Relationship

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Asia in April 2014 underscored the importance of the U.S.-China relationship one year after the landmark U.S.-China Summit at the Sunnylands estate.

  • Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice June 6, 2014
    Verghese Koithara’s “Managing India’s Nuclear Forces”

    In the book “Managing India’s Nuclear Forces,” Verghese Koithara explores the real-life challenges of nuclear maturity with clinical insight and exemplary balance.

  • Op-Ed National Interest June 3, 2014
    India and Pakistan: A Thin Line Between War and Peace

    The challenge for Indians and Pakistanis—and for the U.S. government, which inevitably would be impelled to mediate a new conflict—is to take steps now to prevent major terrorist attacks on India and to prepare modalities to manage consequences if prevention fails.

  • Op-Ed Council on Foreign Relations May 21, 2014
    The Coming Struggle Over Iran Nuclear Pact

    Iran and the P5+1 are unlikely to reach an agreement on Iran’s controversial nuclear program by July 20, but a partial accord is possible by the end of the year.

  • Op-Ed National Interest April 5, 2014
    Nuclear Zero After Crimea

    Today, five years after Prague, the idea of seeking to eliminate all nuclear weapons has nearly evaporated from international politics.

  • Q&A March 27, 2014 Русский 中文
    What Are the Global Implications of the Ukraine Crisis?

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea and possible future incursions into eastern Ukraine could reshape the geopolitical map of Europe and derail cooperation between Moscow and the West for years to come.

  • March 24, 2015
    Turkey’s Nuclear Future

    Turkey is a rising economic and political force with the ability to affect dynamics in the greater Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. To meet its rising energy needs, the country—already an important actor in the international nuclear order—plans to establish nuclear power plants on its territory.

  • April 1, 2013
    Do Unto Others: Toward a Defensible Nuclear Doctrine

    President Barack Obama should articulate a narrowed framework for the legitimate use of nuclear weapons that the United States believes would be defensible for others to follow as long as nuclear weapons remain.

  • Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace February 13, 2009
    Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate

    A distinguished group of experts from thirteen countries explore how to overcome obstacles to nuclear disarmament and pose questions that require further official and nongovernmental deliberation.

  • Adelphi Paper September 16, 2008
    Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

    In this new Adelphi Paper published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), George Perkovich and James M. Acton examine the challenges that exist to abolishing nuclear weapons completely, and suggest what can be done now to start overcoming them.

  • Strategic Studies Institute October 1, 2005
    Iran Gets the Bomb—Then What?

    The acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists or any additional states would shake the international system. The more strategically important the state, the greater the potential threat to global security.

  • Cover - India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global
    University of California Press, Oxford University Press in South Asia November 5, 2001
    India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation


  • Cover - India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global
    Berkeley, University of California Press December 2, 1999
    India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation

    Why did India bid for nuclear weapon status at a time when 149 nations had signed a ban on nuclear testing? What drove India's new Hindu nationalist government to depart from decades of nuclear restraint, a control that no other nation with similar capacities had displayed? How has U.S. nonproliferation policy affected India's decision making?

  • March 24, 2015
    Iran: Assessing Prospects for a Comprehensive Agreement

    Is there an intersection between what negotiators can agree and what domestic politics in Tehran and Washington can bear? If a comprehensive agreement is possible, can it be insulated against future political shocks and with incentives for compliance by all sides?

  • March 24, 2015
    The India Deal: A 10 Year Assessment

    From its announcement in 2005 to today, the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal has been controversial. A decade after the fact, how should we assess the impact of the deal?

  • February 5, 2015 Washington, DC
    Overcoming the U.S.-India Divide

    President Barack Obama’s visit to India for Republic Day on January 26 carries the hope that Washington and New Delhi will establish a firm foundation for cooperation.

  • December 3, 2014 Washington, DC
    The Outcome of the Iran Talks and the Next Steps

    Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran have agreed to extend the talks on Iran’s nuclear program to June 2015. Many issues are still to be solved, such as establishing a formula for verifiably limiting Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity as well as an acceptable process for relieving sanctions. Still, all parties to the talks have stressed the need to reach a comprehensive agreement.

  • October 7, 2014 Washington, DC
    Unmaking the Bomb: A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation

    Nuclear disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation, and the threat of nuclear terrorism are among the most critical challenges facing the world today.

  • September 23, 2014 Washington, DC
    Carnegie Open House

    An opportunity to learn about Carnegie’s role in public policy and international relations, working in a think tank, and Carnegie’s Junior Fellows Program.

  • June 24, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani on India-Pakistan Relations

    As Narendra Modi’s government takes shape in New Delhi, questions abound about the future of the India-Pakistan relationship.

  • May 28, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    One Year After Sunnylands: Assessing the U.S.-China Relationship

    President Obama’s recent visit to Asia underscored the importance of the U.S.-China relationship and the challenge of managing it in the context of increasing interdependence, but also tension and mistrust.

  • April 14, 2014 Washington, DC
    A Complicated Arrangement: India and the United States Since 1947

    Over the last two decades, the U.S.-India relationship has evolved from one of mutual suspicion to one of strategic partnership. Yet the relationship between the two great democracies is still a work in progress.

  • March 25, 2014
    Introduction and Presentation of Survey Results

    A unique recent survey of voter attitudes in India reveal some interesting trends that could have a significant impact on upcoming elections.


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