PSCI 226
Nuclear Weapons and World Politics Spring 2024
Division II
Cross-listed LEAD 226
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This is a course about international politics in the nuclear age. The class will address a combination of conceptual, empirical, and policy questions, such as: Have nuclear weapons had a “revolutionary” effect on world politics, such that, fundamentally, international relations no longer works in more or less the same way that it did before the advent of nuclear weapons in 1945? Do nuclear weapons have an essentially stabilizing or destabilizing effect? How, if at all, do nuclear weapons affect how political disputes run their course? How significant of a threat are concerns like nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and nuclear accidents? How does a state’s nuclear posture affect basic political outcomes? Is it possible to return to a world without nuclear weapons? The course will focus on these questions using an interdisciplinary perspective that leverages political science concepts, historical case studies, and contemporary policy debates to generate core insights. It will not only survey the history of the nuclear age–and of individual countries’ nuclear development–but also grapple with important contemporary policy dilemmas in the nuclear realm.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 25
Expected: 20-25
Class#: 3680
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation; two 6-8 page papers; short in-class presentations; final exam
Prerequisites: PSCI 202 or a significant amount of other PSCI coursework
Enrollment Preferences: Preference to students majoring in political science, particularly in the international relations subfield, and/or doing a concentration in leadership studies
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSCI 226 Division II LEAD 226 Division II
Attributes: PSCI International Relations Courses

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