• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Kalman Robertson
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course will examine the origins of the drive for nuclear weapons, the history of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, and incentives and disincentives for nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation.  Students will analyze current nuclear weapons states, “threshold” states, and states that purposefully chose to forgo nuclear weapons development – as well as the importance of non-state actors who seek to influence these states.  The course will also explore the contemporary disarmament debate to shed light on the major obstacles to nuclear disarmament and possible paths around them.  Finally, students will evaluate future trends in nuclear politics, from the importance of regional efforts toward disarmament to the critical role civil society may play in influence the global nuclear future.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use their understanding of nuclear science to analyse current debates surrounding uranium enrichment, nuclear fuel banks, plutonium production, and more.
  2. Assess the utility of international organizations in managing a serious security issue such as nuclear weapons.
  3. Critically examine how policymakers might be influenced by incentives and disincentives for both proliferation and nonproliferation.
  4. Dissect debates surrounding nuclear disarmament to come to reasoned conclusions about the promise and peril of pursuing “global zero”.
  5. Make informed arguments about the best ways to use policy to reduce nuclear proliferation and encourage nuclear restraint.

Indicative Assessment

Nuclear Science Exam (10%) (multiple choice and short answer) [Learning Outcome 1] (in class).

Analytical Policy Report (45%) (2000 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5].

Final Sit-Down Exam (45%) (short answer and essays) [Learning Outcomes 1-5] (during exam period).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Students are expected to spend approximately 10 hours a week on this course, participating in a weekly 3-hour lecture and discussion (forum) segment, working through the reading program, and completing the assessment tasks.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed POLS1005 or POLS1006; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts






Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2576 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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