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Professor Mark Bell Awarded Stanton Foundation Grant

March 22, 2017

Mark Bell

Mark Bell
Professor Mark Bell

Department of Political Science Assistant Professor Mark Bell has been awarded a grant by the Stanton Foundation to develop a new undergraduate course on the politics of nuclear weapons for spring 2018. The Stanton Foundation's course development grant provides support for the development of new nuclear-related courses for undergraduates or first-year graduate students and is awarded to a tenure-track or tenured professor who has received excellent ratings as a teacher.

Professor Bell, whose research focuses on issues relating to nuclear weapons and proliferation, will develop an undergraduate course that helps students understand the range of issues relating to nuclear weapons and the way they affect international politics. For example, the class will cover the technologies underpinning how nuclear weapons work, why countries have sought and acquired nuclear weapons, nuclear strategy and arms control, the possibility of nuclear disarmament and nuclear terrorism, and the recent Iran nuclear deal. The $50,000 grant will also be used to fund guest lectures from prominent individuals working on these issues, as well as a simulation of a nuclear crisis that students will participate in. Professor Bell’s current research on how nuclear weapons affect the foreign policies of the states that acquire them will also be brought into the classroom.

Today, as countries are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, relations among the nuclear-armed powers are increasingly contentious, nuclear terrorism remains a possibility, and nuclear energy may prove to be an increasingly important energy source. As a result, understanding issues relating to nuclear weapons is as important as ever for students wanting to understand international politics. 

Students should be on the lookout for the topics course taught by Professor Bell in spring 2018.