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DHP P239: Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century

Course Description

The Global Nuclear Order is changing in dramatic ways. Evolving and emerging military technologies are increasingly undermining nuclear and conventional deterrence. Norms – such as nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear non-use are weakening. Growing geopolitical tensions among nuclear weapons states have prompted all nuclear players to expand and modernize their arsenal and adopt assertive nuclear posture lenient towards a more explicit use of nuclear warheads in warfare. The principle of nuclear deterrence, once the cornerstone of the current nuclear order, is today eroding as new scenarios for “limited nuclear wars” enter into the mainstream policy debate.

This course seeks to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the many dilemmas that a changing nuclear order raise. The course concentrates predominantly on the issues that the United States will have to confront in a nuclear multipolar world. However, we will dedicate a few lectures also to explore potential escalation pathways to nuclear use in regional theaters around the world including Europe, Northeast and South Asia and the Gulf Region.

Course duration: Full semester
Credits/Units: 3.0