Topics in International Politics
Global Nuclear Politics
The taming of the atom is one of the defining features of the modern era. The awesome creative and destructive potential of nuclear energy has had enormous impact on great power politics, the environment, economic development, and international institutions. Limiting the risk of nuclear Armageddon is one of the dominant challenges in US foreign policy and global governance alike. In this course, we will study 1) why and how countries pursue nuclear weapons and what happens when they acquire them; 2) the national policies and international regimes that have been devised to curb their spread and use, while allowing for the diffusion of energy technology, 3) the transnational civil society movements that have fought to roll back the nuclear age or limit its harmful effects, and 4) the role of private actors such as scientists and corporations.
Format and Requirements