Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
International Politics and the Nuclear Age
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 21 Hours. (21 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 4 Hours. (4 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment Seminar performance  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 words assignment in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Discuss the effect of nuclear weapons upon International Politics.
2. Describe and analyse the key features of nuclear history during the Cold War.
3. Demonstrate, through written work and in seminars, an ability to apply historical and theoretical analysis of the nuclear age.
4. Critically analyse the major nuclear policies of the two Cold War superpowers.
5. Discuss why other nuclear states chose to acquire the bomb.
6. Illustrate and evaluate larger theoretical conceptions of the nuclear dilemma.


This module adds to the Departmental provision in the area of international history, nuclear history, and Cold War politics. It complements existing provision in this area and allows interested students to gain specialist knowledge of the history of nuclear crises, proliferation, and war-avoidance during the period 1941-1991.


Dawn of the Atomic Age.
International Politics during the American Monopoly.
The advent of Mutual Assured Destruction.
Years of Crisis.
The acceptance of Mutual Assured Destruction.
Nuclear Weapons and the End of the Cold War.
Theoretical Debates: Robert Jervis and the idea of the Thermonuclear Revolution.

Brief description

This module examines the nuclear rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, especially during the period 1945-62, together with the proliferation of the bomb to other states, the establishment of Mutual Assured Destruction after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the role of nuclear fear in the ending of the Cold War in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


This module is at CQFW Level 6