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Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament (POLS90030)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePOLS90030
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides an advanced introduction and critical review of the development and spread of nuclear weapons, the challenges they present, and approaches to their control and to disarmament. This will include a critical examination of strategies for the use of nuclear weapons, measures to reduce their numbers, proliferation and risk of use (including an examination of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), and whether complete nuclear disarmament is possible and how it might be achieved.

A feature of this subject is that most of the lectures will be delivered by visiting experts, which in 2014 included Professor Gareth Evans, Professor Peter Hayes, Professor Michael Hamel-Green, Colonel Roger Cavazos and Assoc. Prof. Tilman Ruff.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • gain thorough knowledge of major aspects of the history of nuclear weapons.
  • Strengthen analytical capacity about the complexities of competing nuclear strategies such as deterrence.
  • Increase understanding of the consequences of the existence and potential use of nuclear weapons.
  • Review possibilities and requirements for and the potential process of nuclear disarmament.

Generic skills

  • Increasing capacity for contemporary historical analysis of international relations.
  • Strengthening analytical capacity for national and international political and strategic review.
  • Strengthening personal capacity to identify crucial factors influencing issues, analyse them logically and develop persuasive arguments about them.
  • Further development of eloquence as a writer.

Last updated: 20 October 2018