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Naomi Egel

Graduate Student

Naomi Egel

Educational Background

  • MA in Government, Cornell University and BA in Peace and Conflict Studies (highest honors), UC Berkeley



I'm a PhD candidate in the Government department at Cornell. My dissertation examines why states pursue multilateral agreements to govern various weapons, and how the motivations for doing so affect the design of agreements. Broadly, my research focuses on the intersection of international security and international institutions.


arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament; nuclear weapons; international organizations; multilateralism; global governance; international law; small states



  • Government


My research focuses on the politics of multilateral cooperation, particularly in the governance of weapons. I am especially interested in how power is exercised and contested in international institutions, the implications of framing weapons in different ways, and the role of small states in world politics. I explore these dynamics in my dissertation and in other projects. 

My dissertation examines why states pursue multilateral agreements to govern different weapons, and how the goals they pursue affect the design of these agreements. In doing so, I assess the differences between initiatives led by great powers and initiatives led by small states. I also compare nuclear and non-nuclear weapons governance agreements. My dissertation uses a mixed-methods approach involving elite interviews, archival sources, and quantitative text analysis. In 2019-2020 I was a visiting fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland on a Fulbright fellowship.

I apply my research to policy engagement as the Janne Nolan nuclear security visiting fellow at the Truman Center.