Course Description and Objectives:
The course introduces students to the challenges posed by the invention and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and asks students to think critically and creatively about these challenges and their possible solutions. The course provides students with the theoretical framework for understanding WMD proliferation. It explores reasons for why states and non-state actors might wish to acquire these weapons or give them up; how deterrence works; what international norms and regimes govern proliferation; how nuclear energy relates to proliferation; and what are the prospects for WMD disarmament. Students will be exposed to both historical and contemporary cases of WMD proliferation, and will learn how proliferation challenges have evolved. The course will wrap up with some of the recent issues on proliferation, including rogue proliferators and WMD terrorism. The objective of the course is to 1) provide a historical context for understanding current proliferation challenges; 2) expose students to an array of issues relating to WMD; 3) challenge students to think critically about proliferation problems and possible ways of curbing WMD spread.