Civil society has played a very important role in nuclear security over the years, and its role could be strengthened in the future. Some nuclear organizations react against the very idea of civil society involvement, thinking of only one societal role – protesting. In fact, however, civil society has played quite a number of critical roles in nuclear security over the years, including highlighting the dangers of nuclear terrorism; providing research and ideas; nudging governments to act; tracking progress and holding governments and operators accountable; educating the public and other stakeholders; promoting dialogue and partnerships; helping with nuclear security implementation; funding initial steps; and more. Funding organizations (both government and non-government) should consider ways to support civil society work and expertise focused on nuclear security in additional countries. Rather than simply protesting and opposing, civil society organizations can help build more effective nuclear security practices around the world.
Bunn, Matthew. "The Past and Potential Role of Civil Society in Nuclear Security." Project on Managing the Atom, February 2020.