Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session
There are no prerequisites for this course. It is specifically designed for graduate students with a serious interest in security studies, but is open to undergraduates.
Students will be required to write one 20-30 page research paper on a topic approved by one of the instructors.
Nuclear weapons arguably ended World War II and played a dominant role from the beginning of the Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. Some believe that future great power competitions may bring them back to the forefront of U.S. defense policy. Since October 1952, seven other countries have joined the "nuclear club:" Great Britain, France, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea; and Iran appears on the brink of acquiring the capability to join if it so chooses. Many other countries have the capability to acquire nuclear weapons but have so far chosen not to. Some fear that this restraint could change, either because of falling dominos caused by further nuclear proliferation or because of the absence of nuclear disarmament by those who already have weapons. Finally, some worry that modern terrorist groups have acquired the desire and may acquire the capability to use nuclear weapons, either because of lax nuclear security among the major nuclear powers, or because certain states may wish to use terrorists as proxies. These and other dangers may vary both in regard to their plausibility or likelihood, and in their potential consequences, but it is important that we understand how best to reduce both.