PS 1581 (Fall 2020)

PS 1581: Origins and Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation Capstone
William Spaniel
Fall 2020
Lecture: Mondays, Benedum G29, 1:45-4:10
Office Hours: Tuesdays, Posvar 4446, 1:00-3:00

For more than 70 years, nuclear weapons have had a central role in international relations, beginning with Cold War diplomacy between the United States and Soviet Union to ongoing negotiations with Iran and North Korea today. This class investigates why states develop nuclear weapons and how nuclear weapons affect international politics following proliferation. We will use a seminar method, with students presenting existing research papers and others commenting and criticizing the work. The class culminates in students developing their own papers.

Reading List
All Slides
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November 9
Class Materials: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Atoms for Peace and the Problems with Civilian Nuclear Cooperation, The International Atomic Energy Agency, Weapons Inspections

November 2
Class Materials: Nuclear Compellence, Nuclear Deterrence, Compellence versus Deterrence: A Phantom Distinction, Mutually Assured Destruction

October 26
Class Materials: The Failed Agreed Framework

October 19
Class Materials: Bluffing Preventive War, Intelligence Failures, The Risk-Return Tradeoff, Costly Signaling, Civil War Intervention

October 12
Class Materials: The Hidden Problem with Nuclear Black Markets, The Soviet Union’s Mad Scramble to Build Nuclear Weapons, How Secret Weapons Programs Cause War, The Iran Deal and Nuclear Divestment

October 5
Class Materials: Virtual Nuclear Deterrents, Do Agreements Constrain?, The Shifting Credibility of Preventive War

Bonus: Incapacitated Presidents and Nuclear Codes

September 28
Class Materials: Nuclear Mishaps, Rogue Agents and Nuclear Terrorism, Bargaining over the Bomb

September 21
Class Materials: Problems with Preventive War, Nuclear Sabotage, Are Sanctions Effective?, Accidental Nuclear War

September 14
Class Materials: The Security Model, The Prestige Model, Domestic Politics, How Expensive Are Nuclear Weapons?, Preventive War

September 7
Class Materials: How Implosion Type Bombs Work, How Boosted Fission Bombs Work, How Hydrogen Bombs Work, How Destructive Are Nuclear Weapons?, Nuclear Weapons Delivery Systems, The Capacity Model

August 31
Class Materials: Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, Nuclear Pursuers, Nuclear Explorers, How to Fuel a Nuclear Bomb, How Gun Type Bombs Work

August 24
Class Materials: Introduction, Recognized Nuclear States, Unrecognized Nuclear States