Spring 2020 - 58370 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Emerging Technology and International Security

International security has always been highly dependent on the ability of major powers to access and adopt new military technologies. However, modern advances in science and the emergence of disruptive new technologies are speculated to alter the military power of many states substantially.

The 2019 National Intelligence Strategy, for instance, notes that “advances in technology are driving evolutionary and revolutionary change across multiple fronts,” posing many challenges to U.S. military superiority and national security. Similarly, the 2017 National Security Strategy declared that “access to technology empowers and emboldens otherwise weak states.” In this course, students will collaboratively explore the truth and hype behind these expectations.

Some of the technologies we will explore are:

Advances in nuclear weapons technologies
Hypersonic missiles technologies
Precise and stealthy cruise missiles
Proliferation & Advances in extremely capable military drones
Low-cost persistent overhead monitoring satellites & anti-satellite weapons
Cyber and other systemic threat to critical infrastructure
Military advances in Nanotechnology and biotechnology

During the semester, students will become well-versed in contemporary debates on the impact of new and emerging technologies on the nature of war and international security. Students will emerge with the tools and techniques needed to examine these technologies critically and to evaluate their impact.

Students are expected to have limited exposure to the national security policymaking process. However, students are not required to have training in science or engineering.