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Crisis Diplomacy 2017/18

Crisis Diplomacy: Coercion, Sanctions and the Use of Force in International Relations, 2017/18, Semester 1
Dr Graeme Davies
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week One

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Lecture: Introduction: Crises in international politics.

Seminar: Why should we care about international crises?

Seminar topics:

  • Is Donald Trump doing anything that dangerous with North Korea?
  • What is so wrong about his UN speech?
  • Why do speeches matter at all?

Required Reading:


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Week Two

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Lecture: Coercion and Crises

Seminar: Theorizing Coercion

Seminar topics :

  • What is leverage?

  • How can we make another state comply with our wishes?

  • How is the UK going to “win” Brexit negotiations? How important is domestic politics?

  • Why can’t we bully Assad in Syria? How important is domestic politics?

Required Reading:

Jentleson, Bruce W. and Christopher A. Whytock (2005/06). “Who “Won” Libya? The Force-Diplomacy Debate and Its Implications for Theory and Policy”, International security. Winter 2005/06, Vol. 30, No. 3: 47–86.

Gaskarth, J. (2016). The fiasco of the 2013 Syria votes: decline and denial in British foreign policy. Journal of European public policy., 23(5), 718-734.

Further Reading:

Petersen, Walter J. (1986). “Deterrence and Compellence: A Critical Assessment of Conventional Wisdom”. International studies quarterly., Vol. 30. (Sep.), pp. 269-294.

Ross, Robert S. (2000). “The 1995-96 Taiwan Strait Confrontation: Coercion, Credibility and the Use of Force (in Strait Talk)”. International security., Vol. 25, No. 2 (Autumn), pp. 269-294.

Huth, Paul, and Bruce M. Russett. (1984) “What Makes Deterrence Work? Cases from 1900 to 1980.” World politics. 36(4):496–526.

Huth, Paul, and Bruce M. Russett. (1990) “Testing Deterrence Theory: Rigor Makes a Difference. World politics. 42(4):466–501.

Jervis, Robert. (1989) “Rational Deterrence: Theory and Evidence.” World politics. 41(2):184–207.

Baldwin, David A. (1979) “Power Analysis and World Politics: New Trends Versus Old Tendencies”. World politics. 21(2):161–194.

Lebow, Richard Ned. (1998) “Beyond Parsimony: Rethinking Theories of Coercive Bargaining”. European journal of international relations.4(1):31–66.

Lebow, Richard Ned, and Janice Gross Stein. (1989) “Rational Deterrence Theory: I Think, Therefore I Deter”. World politics. 41(2):209–224.

Lauren, Paul G. (1972) ”Ultimata and Coercive Diplomacy”. International studies quarterly. 16:131–165.

Morgan, Patrick M. (2003) Deterrence now. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Snyder, Glenn H. (1960) “Deterrence and Power”. The journal of conflict resolution. 4:163–178.

Freedman, Lawrence. (2004) Deterrence. Cambridge: Polity Press.

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Week Three

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Lecture: Costly Signals

Seminar: Democracy and Coercive Diplomacy

Seminar topics :

  • What makes a threat credible?

  • Do democracies have an advantage when coercing other states?

  • Would you punish a leader for backing-down?

    Required Reading:

    Fearon, J. D. (1994). “Domestic political audiences and the escalation of international disputes.” The American political science review., 88:577–92.

    Schultz, K. A. (1998). “Domestic opposition and signaling in international crises”. The American political science review.92: 829-844.

    Downes, A. B., & Sechser, T. S. (2012). The illusion of democratic credibility. International organization., 66(03), 457-489.

    Davies, Graeme A.M. and Robert Johns (2013)“Audience Costs among the British Public: The Impact of Escalation, Crisis Type and Prime Ministerial Rhetoric” International studies quarterly. 57.4 : 725-737

    Further Reading:

    Weeks, J. L. (2008). Autocratic audience costs: Regime type and signaling resolve. International organization., 62(01), 35-64.

    Levy, J. S. (2012). Coercive threats, audience costs, and case studies. Security Studies, 21(3), 383-390.

    Snyder, J., & Borghard, E. D. (2011). The cost of empty threats: A penny, not a pound. The American political science review., 105(03), 437-456.

    Trachtenberg, M. (2012). Audience costs: An historical analysis. Security Studies, 21(1), 3-42.

    Gartzke, E., & Lupu, Y. (2012). Still looking for audience costs. Security Studies, 21(3), 391-397.

    Fearon, James, D. (1997). “Signalling Foreign Policy Interests: Tying Hands Versus Sinking Costs”. The journal of conflict resolution.41 (1):68-90.

    Fearon. James, D. (1994). “Signalling versus the Balance of Power and Interests: An Empirical Test of A Crisis Bargaining Model”. The journal of conflict resolution.38 (2): 236-69.

    Schultz, K. A. (2012). Why we needed audience costs and what we need now. Security Studies, 21(3), 369-375.

    Lauren, Paul G. (1972) ”Ultimata and Coercive Diplomacy”. International studies quarterly.16:131–165.

    Partell, Peter J., and Glenn Palmer. (1999). “Audience Costs and Interstate Crises: An Empirical Assessment of Fearons Model of Dispute Outcomes.” International studies quarterly. 43: 389–405.

    Schultz, Kenneth A. (2001). Democracy and coercive diplomacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Schultz, Kenneth A. (1999). ”Do Democratic Institutions Constrain or Inform? :Contrasting Two Institutional Perspectives on Democracy and War,” International organization.52 (Spring): 233–66.

    Smith, Alastair. (1998). ”International Crises and Domestic Politics.” The American political science review.92(September): 623–38.

    Schultz, Kenneth A. (1998). “Domestic Opposition and Signalling in International Crises”. The American political science review.92:829-44.

    Eyerman, Joe and Robert A. Hart. Jr. (1996). “An Empirical Test of the Audience Cost Proposition: Democracy Speaks Louder than Words”. The journal of conflict resolution.40: 597-616.

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Week Four

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Lecture: Reputation

Seminar: Learning during an international crisis.

Seminar topics:

  • Is lying rational?

  • Should states ever bluff?

  • Foreign policy should be made by crazy people.

  • Doesn't Trump have an advantage? Does Trump contradict audience cost theory? 

Redlines and their consequences

Required Reading:

Sartori, Anne. (2002).”The Might of the Pen: A Reputational Theory of Communication in International Disputes” . International organization. 56 (Winter): 123–51.

Mitton, J. (2015). Selling Schelling Short: Reputations and American Coercive Diplomacy after Syria. Contemporary security policy., 36(3), 408-431.

Tertrais, B. (2014). Drawing red lines right. The Washington quarterly., 37(3), 7-24.

Further Reading:

Guisinger, A., and A. Smith. (2002). “Honest threats: The interaction of reputation and political institutions in international crises”. The journal of conflict resolution.46: 172-200.

Axelrod, Robert. (1981). “The Emergence of Cooperation amongst egoists”. The American political science review.75:306-18

Kydd, A. (2000). “Trust, reassurance and cooperation.” International organization., 54(2):325–57.

Goldstein, Joshua S., (1992). “A Conflict-Cooperation Scale for WEIS Events Data”, The journal of conflict resolution. 36(2):369-385

Bond, Doug, Joe Bond, Churl Oh, J. Craig Jenkins & Charles Lewis Taylor. (2003). “Integrate Data for Events Analysis (IDEA)”, Journal of peace research. Vol. 40. No. : 733-747.

Gleditsch, Kristian S. and Kyle Beardsley (2004) “Nosy Neighbors. Third-Party Actors in Central American Conflicts.” The journal of conflict resolution. Vol. 48 No. 3. June: pp379-402

Goldstein, Joshua S., (1991). “Reciprocity in Superpower Relations: An Empirical Analysis”, International studies quarterly. 35(2):195-209

Goldstein, Joshua S. & John R. Freeman, (1990). Three-way street : strategic reciprocity in world politics. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

Goldstein, Joshua S. & John R. Freeman. (1991). “U.S.-Soviet-Chinese Relations: Routine, Reciprocity, or Rational Expectations? ” The American political science review., Vol. 85,No.1: 17-35.

Goldstein, Joshua S. & Jon C. Pevehouse, (1997). “Reciprocity, Bullying, and International Cooperation: Time-Series Analysis of the Bosnia Conflict”. The American political science review. 91(3):515-529.

Goldstein, Joshua; Jon C. Pevehouse, Deborah J. Gerner & Shibley Telhami, (2001). “Reciprocity, Triangularity, and Cooperation in the Middle East, 1979-97”, The journal of conflict resolution. 45(5): 594-620.

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Week Five 

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Lecture: Sanctions and Smart Sanctions

Seminar: The ethics of sanctions.

Seminar topics:

  • Do economic sanctions work?

  • Was it better to invade Iraq or continue with the sanctions?

  • What is at the heart of the debate between Pape and his opponents?

    Required Reading:

    Pape, R. A. (1997). Why economic sanctions do not work. International security., 22(2), 90-136.

    Baldwin, D. A., & Pape, R. A. (1998). Evaluating economic sanctions. International security., 23(2), 189-198.

    Marinov, N. (2005). Do economic sanctions destabilize country leaders? . American journal of political science., 49(3), 564-576.

    Further Reading:

    Elliott, K. A. (1998). The Sanctions Glass: Half Full or Completely Empty? . International security., 23(1), 50-65.

    Allen, S. H., & Lektzian, D. J. (2013). Economic sanctions A blunt instrument? . Journal of peace research., 50(1), 121-135.

  • Bapat, N. A., Heinrich, T., Kobayashi, Y., & Morgan, T. C. (2013). Determinants of sanctions effectiveness: Sensitivity analysis using new data. International Interactions ISSN: 0305-0629, 39(1), 79-98.
  • Lektzian, D., & Patterson, D. (2015). Political Cleavages and Economic Sanctions: The Economic and Political Winners and Losers of Sanctions. International studies quarterly. ISSN: 0020-8833, 59(1), 46-58.
  • Early, B. R., & Spice, R. (2015). Economic sanctions, international institutions, and sanctions busters: When does institutionalized cooperation help sanctioning efforts?. Foreign policy analysis. ISSN: 1743-8586, 11(3), 339-360.
  • Gordon, Joy, (1999). “A Peaceful, Silent, Deadly Remedy: The Ethics of Economic Sanction”, Ethics and international affairs13: 123-142.
  • Minear, Larry, (1998). “The Morality of Sanctions”, in Jonathan Moore, ed., Hard choices : moral dilemmas in humanitarian intervention. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield (229-250).

    Müller, John & Karl Müller, (1999). “Sanctions of Mass Destruction”, Foreign affairs. 78(3): 43-53.

    Buck, Lori; Nicole Galland & Kim Richard Nossal, (1998). “Sanctions as a Gendered Instrument of Statecraft: The Case of Iraq”, Review of international studies. 24(1): 69-84.

    Nossal, Kim Richard, (1989). “International Sanctions as International Punishment”, International organization. 43(2): 301-323.

    Lopez, George A. (1999) “More Ethical than Not: Sanctions as Surgical Tools.” Ethics and international affairsVol. 13: 143–148.

    Pierce, Albert C. (1996) “Just War Principles and Economic Sanctions.” Ethics and international affairsVol. 10: 99–113.

    Welch, David A. (1994) “Can We Think Systematically about Ethics and Statecraft? ” Ethics and International AffairsVol. 8 : 23–37. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

    Buchanan, Allen and Robert O. Keohane. (2004) “The Preventive Use of Force: A Cosmopolitan Institutional Proposal.” Ethics and international affairs18, no. 1: 1-22.

    Gelb, Leslie H. and Justine A. Rosenthal.(2003) “The Rise of Ethics in Foreign Policy: Reaching a Value Consensus.” Foreign affairs.82, no. 3 (May/Jun): 2-7.

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Week Six 

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Lecture: Carrots or Sticks?

Seminar: Economic Statecraft.

Seminar topics:

  • What are the problems with inducements? International and Domestic concerns.

  • Is it better to be nice or nasty?

  • Why are inducements used domestically but not internationally?

    Required Reading:

    Nincic, M. (2010). Getting what you want: positive inducements in international relations. International security., 35(1), 138-183.

    Drezner, D. W. (1999). The trouble with carrots: Transaction costs, conflict expectations, and economic inducements. Security Studies, 9(1-2), 188-218.

    Davies, G. A., & Johns, R. (2015). The domestic consequences of international over-cooperation: An experimental study of microfoundations. Conflict management and peace science, 0738894215577556.

    Further Reading:

    Druckman, D. (2013). Positively Engaged. International studies review.., 15(3), 451-453.

    Colaresi, M. (2004). When doves cry: International rivalry, unreciprocated cooperation, and leadership turnover. American journal of political science., 48(3), 555-570.

    Gortzak, Y. (2005). How great powers rule: Coercion and positive inducements in international order enforcement. Security Studies, 14(4), 663-697.

    Schultz, K. A. (2005). The Politics of Risking Peace: Do Hawks or Doves Deliver the Olive Branch? . International organization., 59(01), 1-38.

    Mattes, M., & Rodríguez, M. (2014). Autocracies and international cooperation. International studies quarterly., 58(3), 527-538.

    Kahler, M., & Kastner, S. L. (2006). Strategic uses of economic interdependence: Engagement policies on the Korean Peninsula and across the Taiwan Strait. Journal of peace research., 43(5), 523-541.

    Kriesberg, L. (1987). Carrots, Sticks, De-escalation: US—Soviet and Arab—Israeli Relations. Armed forces and society., 13(3), 403-423.

    Thompson, P. G. (2015). Economic Interdependence and Security on the Korean Peninsula: The Impact of North Korean Special Economic Zones. Asian security, 11(1), 52-71.

    Prins, B. C., & Daxecker, U. E. (2008). Committed to peace: Liberal institutions and the termination of rivalry. British journal of political science., 38(01), 17-43.

    Haggard, S., & Noland, M. (2012). Engaging North Korea: the efficacy of sanctions and inducements. Sanctions, statecraft, and nuclear proliferation, 232-260.

    Solingen, E. (2014). Domestic coalitions, internationalization, and war: Then and now. International security., 39(1), 44-70.

    Clare, J. (2014). Hawks, Doves, and International Cooperation. The journal of conflict resolution., 58(7), 1311-1337.

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Week Seven

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Lecture: Airpower and Blockades

Seminar: Bullying States

Seminar topics:

  • Can states be strangled into being more cooperative?

  • How do drones affect the use of airpower? Who is held to account?

  • Has airpower worked in Syria?

    Required Reading:

    Horowitz, Michael and Dan Reiter. (2001). When Does Aerial Bombing Work? Quantitative Empirical Tests, 1917-1999. The journal of conflict resolution.45(April): 147-173.

    Byman, D. (2015). Six Bad Options for Syria. The Washington quarterly., 38(4), 171-186.

    Smith, M., & Walsh, J. I. (2013). Do drone strikes degrade Al Qaeda? Evidence from propaganda output. Terrorism and political violence., 25(2), 311-327.

    Further Reading:

    Dunn, D. H. (2013). Drones: disembodied aerial warfare and the unarticulated threat. International affairs., 89(5), 1237-1246.

    Hazelton, J. L. (2016). Drone Strikes and Grand Strategy: Toward a Political Understanding of the Uses of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Attacks in US Security Policy. The journal of strategic studies., 1-24.

    Hazelton, J. L. (2012). Drones: what are they good for? . Parameters (Carlisle, Pa.), 42(4/1), 29.

    Byman, D. L., & Waxman, M. C. (2000). Kosovo and the great air power debate. International security., 24(4), 5-38.

    Neocleous, M. (2013). Air power as police power. Environment and planning. D : society and space., 31(4), 578-593.

    Siniver, A., & Collins, J. (2015). Airpower and Quagmire: Historical Analogies and the Second Lebanon War. Foreign policy analysis., 11(2), 215-231.

    Jakobsen, Peter Viggo. (2000). Reinterpreting Western Use of Coercion in Bosnia- Herzegovina: Assurances and Carrots Were Crucial. The journal of strategic studies. 23:2, 1-22.

    Pape, Robert A. (1996). Bombing to win : air power and coercion in war. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

    Scott A. Cooper, (2001) “Airpower and the Coercive Use of Force”, The Washington quarterly.(Autumn), 81.

    Steven Greffenius, Jungil Gill (1992). “Pure Coercion vs. Carrot-and-Stick Offers in Crisis Bargaining” Journal of peace research. , Vol. 29, No. 1 (Feb.), pp. 39-52

    Glosny, Michael A. (2004). "Strangulation from the Sea? A PRC Submarine Blockade of Taiwan" International security. - Volume 28, Number 4, Spring, pp. 125-160

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Week Eight

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Lecture: North Korea: Mad, Bad or Sad?

Seminar: Counter-Coercion.

Seminar topics:

· Is engagement a viable strategy for dealing with North Korea? Is force an option?

· Wouldn’t President Trump be best placed to deal with North Korea? Why?

· How would domestic politics affect foreign policy of both the US and North Korea?

· Who should we be more worried about Trump or Kim Jong Un?

Required Reading:

Jackson, V. (2016). Threat Consensus and Rapprochement Failure: Revisiting the Collapse of US–North Korea Relations, 1994–2002. Foreign policy analysis..

Cha, Victor D. and David C. Kang. (2004). “The Debate over North Korea”, Political science quarterly., 1 July 2004, vol. 119, no.2, pp.229-254(26)

Cha, Victor, D. (2004). “Can North Korea be Engaged? ”, Survival : global politics and strategy., 2004, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 89-107(19)

Further Reading:

Delury, J. (2017). Trump and North Korea: Reviving the Art of the Deal. Foreign affairs. ISSN: 0015-7120., 96, 46.

Narang, V. (2015). Nuclear Strategies of Emerging Nuclear Powers: North Korea and Iran. The Washington quarterly., 38(1), 73-91.

Onderco, M., & Wagner, W. (2015). The ideational foundations of coercion: political culture and policies towards North Korea. European political science review, 1-24.

Hill, C. R. (2013). The elusive vision of a non-nuclear North Korea. The Washington quarterly., 36(2), 7-19.

Sigal, Leon V. (1998). Disarming strangers : nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.(Princeton University Press, Princeton).

Kang, David, C. (2003). “International Relations Theory and the Second Korean War”. International studies quarterly.Vol. 47, No.3, September 2003. pp. 301-324.

Cha, Victor, D. and David C. Kang. (2003). Nuclear North Korea : a debate on engagement strategies.New York, Columbia University Press.

Smith, Hazel. (2000). “Bad, Mad, Sad or Rational Actor? Why the ‘Securitization’ Paradigm Makes for Poor Policy Analysis of North Korea.” International affairs.76 no. I (January 2000), pp. 111-32.

Snyder, Scott (1999). Negotiating on the edge : North Korean negotiating behavior. (United States Institute for Peace Press, Washington D.C.)

Cha, Victor, (2002). “Hawk Engagement and Preventative Defense on the Korean Peninsula.” International security. 27.1 (Summer 2002), pp. 40-78.

Oberdorf, Don (1997). The two Koreas : a contemporary history.(Warner Books, London)

Wit, Joel S., Daniel B. Poneman, and Robert L. Gallucci (2004) Going critical : the first North Korean nuclear crisis.(Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C.).

Davies, Graeme A.M. (2008). “Strategic Cooperation, the War in Iraq and the Behaviour of the ‘Axis of Evil’”, Journal of peace research. Vol. 45, No. 3 (May), pp. 385-399.

Davies, Graeme A.M. (2006). ‘US Presidential Popularity and Opportunities to Coerce North Korea: A Quantitative Test 1990-2000’. International relations of the Asia-Pacific., Vol. 7, No. 2. (May 2007), pp. 129-53.

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Week Nine

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Lecture: Iran’s nuclear Program

Seminar: Iran Nuclear Deal.

Seminar topics:

  • How does domestic politics influence Iranian-US-EU negotiations?

  • What are the limitations of the current nuclear deal?

  • Why does Trump hate the Iran nuclear deal? Is he right?

  • What are the risks of scrapping the nuclear deal?
  • Required Reading:

    Tarock, A. (2016). The Iran nuclear deal: winning a little, losing a lot. Third world quarterly., 1-17.

    Sebenius, J. K., & Singh, M. K. (2012). Is a nuclear deal with Iran possible? An analytical framework for the Iran nuclear negotiations. Available online at:

    Davies Graeme A.M. (2012) “Coercive Diplomacy Meets Diversionary Incentives: Domestic Politics, Credibility and the Standoff between the United States and Iran.” Foreign policy analysis., 8: 313–331

    Kimball, D. G. (2014). Assessing a Nuclear Deal with Iran. Arms Control Today, 44(6), 3.

    Further Reading:

    Pillar, P. R., Reardon, R., Sebenius, J. K., & Singh, M. K. (2013). Nuclear Negotiations with Iran. International security., 38(1), 174-192.

  • Gordon, P., & Yadlin, A. (2017). Will Iran Become the Next North Korea?. Foreign affairs. ISSN: 0015-7120
  • Miller, J. N., Khoury, N., Pillar, P., & Vakhshouri, S. (2015). Symposium: Iran and the Arab World: Implications of the Nuclear Negotiations. Middle East policy., 22(3), 1-26.
  • Kenneth Waltz, “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Better,” Adelphi papers., Number 171 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1981). Also available online at:

    Sagan, Scott (2006). “How to Keep the Bomb from Iran”. Foreign affairs.(85, 5)

    Bowen, Wyn Q. and Joanna Kidd (2004). “The Iranian Nuclear Challenge”. International affairs.80 (2): 257-276

    Tarock, Adam (2006). “Iran’s nuclear programme and the west”. Third world quarterly.. 27(4), May:645-664

    Gibson, Bryan R. (2015) For all parties involved, the Iran nuclear deal is a big win. USApp– American Politics and Policy Blog (14 Jul 2015) Blog Entry.

    Shirvani, T., & Vuković, S. (2015). After the Iran Nuclear Deal: Europe's Pain and Gain. The Washington quarterly., 38(3), 79-92.

    Hurst, S. (2016). The Iranian Nuclear Negotiations as a Two-Level Game: The Importance of Domestic Politics. Diplomacy and statecraft., 27(3), 545-567.

    Fitzpatrick, Mark (2006). “Assessing Iran’s nuclear programme”. Survival : global politics and strategy.Vol. 48, No. 3, October: 5-26.

    Davies, Graeme A.M. (2008). “Inside Out or Outside In? The Impact of Domestic Politics and the Great Powers on Iranian-US Relations 1990-2004” Foreign policy analysis.(July), pp. 209-225.

    Amuzegar, Jahangir (2003). “Iran’s Crumbling Revolution”, Foreign affairs., January/February: 44-58

    Montgomery, Alexander H. (2005). “Ringing in Proliferation: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Network”. International security.Vol. 30, No. 2 (Fall): pp 153-187.

    Zaborski, J. (2005). “Deterring a Nuclear Iran”. The Washington quarterly.28 (3). Summer: pp 153-167.

    Einhorn R J (2004). “A Transatlantic Strategy on Iran’s Nuclear Program”. The Washington quarterly.27(4) Fall: pp. 21-32.

    Baghat, Gawdat. (2006). “Nuclear Proliferation: The Islamic Republic of Iran”. Iranian Studies. Volume 39. No.3. September: 307-327

    Hiro, Dilip (2005). Iran today. London. Politico’s.

    Huntley, Wade L. (2006) “Rebels without a cause: North Korea, Iran and the NPT”. International affairs. 82(4):723-742.

    Keddie, Nikki R. (2003) Modern Iran. Roots and Results of Revolution.New Haven. Yale University Press.

    Saikal, Amin (2006) “The Iran nuclear dispute”. Australian journal of international affairs 60(2), June: 193-199

    Takeyh, Ray (2003). “Iran’s Nuclear Calculations”. World policy journal.,20 (Summer):23

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Week Ten

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Lecture: How do you get Russia out of Crimea? 

Seminar topics:

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Week 11

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Lecture: Conclusion 

Seminar: Q&A

Discussion Topics:

1. Whatever you want.

Recommended Reading:


This list was last updated on 22/09/2017