• Class Number 7492
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Benjamin Zala
    • Dr Benjamin Zala
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

Numerous nuclear threats and challenges play out in the Asia-Pacific region. The region includes six of the nine nuclear-armed states and is a key site for 'extended nuclear deterrence' guarantees; it includes three of the most 'latent'  nuclear states in the world; it is at the forefront of the so-called civilian nuclear 'renaissance'; it is also on the front line of emerging debates about the link between advanced conventional weapons (missile defence, anti-satellite weapons etc.) and nuclear balances; and it is also a central focus for those concerned with arms control and disarmament. In addition to presenting the fundamental conceptual approaches to understanding the politics of nuclear issues in the region, this course examines how these and other real-world policy challenges are playing out against the backdrop of a region in the midst of a major power transition.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the key concepts, historical evolution and likely future trajectory of nuclear proliferation, disarmament and deterrence issues in the Asia-Pacific;
  2. Possess a critical understanding of the key regional and systemic drivers of nuclear behaviour, military and civilian, in the Asia Pacific;
  3. Understand different perspectives from across the region on key strategic and ethical debates relating to nuclear weapons;
  4. Develop the capacity to present strong arguments in their written and oral work and to link relevant concepts to actual practice skills (as developed through written assessments, in-class discussions and tutorial-based activities).

Research-Led Teaching

Dr Benjamin Zala is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, at the Australian National University. His work focuses on the politics of the great powers and the management of nuclear weapons. His work has appeared in over a dozen different peer-reviewed journals such as Review of International Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, Third World Quarterly, The Nonproliferation Review and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His book Power in International Society: A Perceptual Approach to Great Power Politics is under contract with Oxford University Press and his edited volume, National Perspectives on a Multipolar Order, was published by Manchester University Press in 2021. He has been a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow in the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at Harvard University and has previously held positions in the UK at the Oxford Research Group, Chatham House, and the University of Leicester. He is also currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Leicester, UK where he contributes to the European Research Council-funded project, Towards a Third Nuclear Age (https://thethirdnuclearage.com/).

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Asian in the Global Nuclear Order: Major Concepts and Debates
2 The Nuclear Superpowers in Asia (US and Russia)
3 China’s Nuclear Politics
4 South Asian Nuclear Politics (India & Pakistan)
5 The North Korean Nuclear Programme
6 Nuclear Ambiguity in Asia: Latency and Secret Programmes Mid-term quiz held in class (during the lecture)
8 University teaching break
9 The Nuclear Balance and Strategic Technology in Asia Essay due (Monday 25 September 11:55pm)
10 Nuclear Arms Control and Disarmament in Asia
11 Nuclear Power, Security & Counter-Terrorism in the Asian Century
12 Australia's Nuclear Dilemmas: Weapons, Power, and Submarines
13 The Future of Asia's Nuclear Order: Wrap-Up & Review for Final Examination

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration will be available through Wattle in Week 1.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Tutorial participation - 10% 10 % * 1,2,3,4
Mid-term quiz - 15% 15 % 31/08/2023 1
Essay - 35% 35 % 25/09/2023 4
Exam - 40% 40 % * 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Tutorial participation - 10%

Students will be asked to participate effectively in the tutorial in which they are enrolled. They will be expected to participate in a discussion on required reading assigned and on the lecture delivered during the prior week. While attendance is not assessed as part of the tutorial participation component, attending one’s assigned tutorial regularly enhances a student’s chance to score a higher mark for this particular assessment and will also facilitate a student’s ability to keep up with key readings and to discuss them meaningfully in a tutorial setting. It is expected that students will help facilitate the development of a common pool of knowledge about the key issues to be examined during the semester.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 31/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1

Mid-term quiz - 15%

The quiz will be administered at the lecture section prior to the semester break (Thursday 31 Aug) during the second hour of the lecture period. Multiple choice questions will be asked on key points covered in the first five lectures and required reading material assigned in conjunction with those lectures. Each multiple choice question will contain four possible answers of which only one answer is correct. This assessment is designed to measure how well students are keeping up with key concepts and material halfway through the course. All students will be required to attend this lecture and take the quiz. The Quiz will be closed book (no materials permitted). All electronic devices must be switched off and placed in the student’s bag (or handed to the convener/tutor) for the duration of the Quiz. Students must not remove the exam paper from the room and all exam papers must be returned to the convener/tutor before or at the completion of the quiz.  

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 25/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 4

Essay - 35%

Essay length: 2,000 words (not including the bibliography)

Due date: Monday 25 September (11:55pm)

Submission: Via Wattle (through Turnitin)

Details: All students will write a 2,000 word essay on one of the topics listed in the course guide.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 4

Exam - 40%

The final exam will be two hours in length and held in-person. All students will answer the first question in Part A which will be designed for them to offer a broad based assessment of nuclear politics in Asia. Students can then choose one question to answer from three possible options in Part B which will be structured to address more country-specific or issue-specific aspects of Asian nuclear politics. The test will be conducted in a normal closed book final examination environment. The exam will be held sometime during the semester two examinations period (exact date to be confirmed in class).

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Benjamin Zala

Research Interests

Dr Benjamin Zala

Wednesday 15:00 16:00
Wednesday 15:00 16:00
Dr Benjamin Zala

Research Interests

Dr Benjamin Zala

Wednesday 15:00 16:00
Wednesday 15:00 16:00

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