Module Identifier IP35520  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Professor Len Scott  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Lecture   (9 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   (6 x 2 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours 2 hour exam  70%
Semester Assessment 2,000 word essay  30%
Semester Assessment OR 1 x 3,000 word essay (50%) + 1 x 3,000 word essay (50%)  100%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

10 ECTS Credits

Brief description

In October 1962 Cold War came close to nuclear war. Ever since scholars, political leaders and military officials have pondered and debated how close we were to Armageddon. The causes, courses and consequences of the crisis continue to generate debate and disagreement among academics and surviving participants on all sides.


1. Introduction : Origins of the Crisis
2. Dynamics of the Crisis
3. Resolution of the Crisis
4. Historiography and Revisionism
5. The Role of Nuclear Weapons
6. Soviet and Cuban perspectives
7. The roles of Kennedy and Khrushchev
8. Britain and the Missile Crisis
9. Lessons of the Crisis

1. Origins: Soviet
2. Origins: American   
3. Dynamics and Resolution
4. The Role of Nuclear Weapons
5. Soviet Views
6. Lessons and Overview


The aim of the module is to explore the debates surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis, and examine how historians, political scientists and students of crisis management analyse the events of 1962. A second aim is to show how the study of the crisis illuminates various aspects of scholarship. What, for example, can recent historiography tell us about the opportunities and challenges for historical method, especially now that the Cold War is over? Third, the possible lessons of the crisis for diplomacy and crisis management are studied not just in the Cold War context, but in the age of weapons of mass destruction which we still inhabit.


This module is at CQFW Level 6