• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

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 analyse current nuclear weapons states, “threshold” states, and states that purposefully chose to forego 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 influencing the global nuclear future.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Conduct historically-informed analysis of the different nuclear postures of those states that possess nuclear weapons.
  2. Critically examine how policymakers might be influenced by incentives and disincentives for both proliferation and nonproliferation.
  3. Dissect debates surrounding nuclear arms control and disarmament including the contemporary and likely future prospects for both.
  4. Make informed arguments about the best ways to use policy to reduce nuclear proliferation and encourage nuclear restraint.
  5. Assess the impacts of new technological developments and make informed judgements about their roles in in challenging the global nuclear order.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 2,3,4,5]
  2. Mid-term quiz (15) [LO 1]
  3. Research Essay (2,500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Final take-home examination (2,500 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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This course comprises some 130 hours of activity over 12 weeks, including some 24 hours of lectures or an equivalent activity and some 12 hours of tutorials or equivalent activity. The course comprises a maximum of 6k words of assessment or the equivalent. Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 24 units of university courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed POLS2124 or INTR2024.

Prescribed Texts



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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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