Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Strategy and Politics of Nuclear Weapons 1945-Present
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,000 word document analysis  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically analyse the debate surrounding nuclear weapons
2. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the historiographical and contemporary contexts of the nuclear debate
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of strategic theory and practice and an awareness of the work of key thinkers in the field of nuclear weapons
4. Evaluate the role nuclear weapons played in shaping the Cold War and why it didn't turn 'hot'
5. Critically assess the nuclear arms control process from 1945-the present
6. Assess why some states continue to proliferate and why some eschew the development of nuclear weapons

Brief description

This module provides a detailed and holistic approach to nuclear history, nuclear/conventional strategy and forces whilst integrating this with efforts to curb non-proliferation through international law (the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and international institutions (the United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency and Nuclear Suppliers Group). In this latter setting this module is also able to examine the major issues facing the world today in areas of non or counter proliferation and the possibility of nuclear terrorism.


1. Introduction to the Module
2. The origins and development of the Manhattan Project and the origins of nuclear strategy
3. Intelligence and espionage: The origins and development of the Soviet nuclear programme
4. 'The Bloody Union Jack' and the Tricolor: Britain, France and 'medium' nuclear powers
5. The Sword and the Shield: NATO and the Warsaw Pact
6. Means of delivery and nuclear weapons: Questions of geography and security
7. The Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Non Proliferation Treaty, Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and INF
8. Nuclear proliferation: Israel, India and Pakistan-The 'nth country' problem
9. Arms control 1991-present: Lessons learned?
10. Global governance, non-proliferation and nuclear terrorism: Is a nuclear weapons free world possible?
11. Overview and conclusion


This module is at CQFW Level 7