Accueil > Security in a Nuclear-armed World

KINT 5025 - Security in a Nuclear-Armed World

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

This course will introduce the main debates about nuclear weapons and their effects on international security. Every session will be devoted to a crucial problem of the ‘nuclear age' which is still relevant to contemporary security policymaking. How do we know that something “is nuclear” or not? Is there a “nuclear revolution” and if so, what does it mean? How do nuclear weapons affect military strategy? How to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons? How can we explain the nuclear arms race? What is at stake in the debate about nuclear disarmament? Why have nuclear weapons not been used in anger since 1945? What are the political implications of referring to “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD)? What is the ongoing initiative on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons? These questions will be introduced through the study of concepts as well as historical events and their political operationalization.


PELOPIDAS, Benoît M. (Assistant Professor)

Pedagogical format

This will depend on the size of the class. If the class is under 20 students, the sessions will be divided into two parts: 1 hour lecture by the instructor on the topic of the day, including 15 to 20 minutes of questions and answers; 1 hour of groupwork, debate in class or policy simulation. If the class is larger than 20 students, it will be a lecture class with built-in active participation and simulation.

Course validation

This will depend on the size of the class. If the class is small, the students will be assessed in two ways. 1. An analytical and critical book review of 1500 words (40% of the grade) Under the readings for each session below, I suggest books you might choose for your review. 2. A final paper of 4000 words on the topic of the class (60% of the grade) The book review should participate in the process of writing the final essay and does not need to be disconnected from it. If the class is larger, I am working on assessments based on active participation and policy simulations.

Required reading

  • William Walker, A Perpetual Menace. Nuclear Weapons and World Order. London; Routledge, 2011
  • Michael Bess. (1993). Realism, Utopia, and the Mushroom Cloud. Four Activist Intellectuals and Their Strategies for Peace, 1945-1989. Louise Weiss (France), Leo Szilard (USA), E. P. Thompson (England) and Danilo Dolci (Italy). Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Georges Le Guelte. (2009). Les Armes nucléaires. Mythes et Réalités, Arles: Actes Sud

Plans de cours et bibliographies