GOVT-270 Nuclear Weapons in World Politics
Fall for 2015-2016
Spring for 2015-2016
This course has three objectives. First, the course provides an introduction to the major theories related to the causes and consequences of nuclear weapons in international politics. We begin by reviewing major theories of international relations. Then, we engage scholarly questions related to nuclear weapons: Why do nuclear weapons spread? Why do countries try to stop nuclear proliferation? Do nuclear weapons deter conflict? How much is enough for deterrence? What are the broader ramifications of nuclear weapons on international politics?

Second, the class provides a history of nuclear weapons in international politics. We structure the historical review through the lens of U.S. presidential administrations to examine the major developments and U.S. policy for managing nuclear issues over time. Not only is this history intrinsically important, but it also provides empirical evidence with which to evaluate the validity of different theoretical approaches and as a basis for policy analysis.

Finally, this class evaluates the most important contemporary policy debates, including those related to: the nonproliferation regime, arms control, global zero, nuclear deterrence, nuclear warfighting, and nuclear-armed powers, including Russia, China, and North Korea, and potential proliferant states, such as Iran.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Spring '16: Kroenig M. (description, file download)
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