2021 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Analysis I

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Technology and Innovation Management
Ikegami Masako 
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Course description and aims

This course is designed to introduce the historical case studies of critical decision-making over the development and use of nuclear weapons and technology, methods and theories of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and management of technology (MOT) by examining major cases of science and technology policy involving innovative technology and its impacts on the human being, with focus on the research and development (R&D) decision-making process and its consequence.
This course will give students an understanding of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the global efforts to control their spread and reduce their dangers, by covering policy tools from treaties and diplomacy to sanctions and war.
Topics include: the Manhattan Project, atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Cuban missile crisis, nuclear arms race during the Cold War, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, North Korean and Iranian nuclear crises, missile defence, arms control & nuclear non-proliferation, and nuclear energy. Some policy issues, such as nuclear arms control and disarmament, nuclear deterrence, nuclear diplomacy and nuclear energy, are also included.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:
• Acquire the basic concepts and understanding of the topics covered in this course thorough literature reading;
• Develop capabilities of analyzing the historical and current cases of critical decision-making over the development and use of nuclear weapons;
• Demonstrate capabilities of discussing the complexity of specific nuclear policy issues through critical thinking and essay work.


science & technology (S&T), research & development (R&D), decision-making, policy analysis, defense & security, nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), nuclear non-proliferation, arms control & disarmament

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course consists of obligatory lectures and seminars. Each student is required to read assigned readings in advance to be prepared for discussion in the classes. Active participation, oral presentation and essay work are required to pass the course. Basic knowledge of international politics is preferable for effective participation. The evaluation is based on the followings:
• Regular class attendance and active participation in discussion: 50%
• Oral presentation of each student’s independent study 20%
• Essay work (final paper) 30%

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction: The genesis of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): the Manhattan Project Why weapons of mass destruction (WMD) matter?
Class 2 Decision-making of the use of Atomic bombs re-examined Why the A-bombs were used against Hiroshima, Nagasaki? was it necessary to end the war?
Class 3 Managing WMDs: Nuclear arms race and arms control during the Cold War The Cold War nuclear arms race, nuclear deterrence doctrine and strategy
Class 4 Nuclear Proliferation: the cases of North Korea, India, Pakistan, Israel, etc. Nuclear weapons proliferation problems after the Cold War
Class 5 Terrorism with the use of WMD and the evolving threat of nuclear terrorism and the actual use of nuclear weapons The risk of nuclear terrorism and the actual use of nuclear weapons is examined
Class 6 Envisioning a world without nuclear weapons: Is it possible and if so, how? Is it possible to abolish nuclear weapons? How can it be possible?
Class 7 Oral presentation of students’ independent studies and Wrap-up discussion Oral presentation of students’ independent studies and Wrap-up discussion
Class 8 Back-up date: Available day

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Readings listed in the syllabus (downloadable)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

A compendium of articles and book chapters may be included as hand-outs

Assessment criteria and methods

The evaluation is based on the followings:
• Regular class attendance and active participation: 50%
• Essay work (final paper) of independent research with oral presentation: 50% (Oral presentation 20% + Essay 30% )

Related courses

  • TIM.C511 : Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Analysis II
  • TIM.C532 : Research, Development, Test & Evaluation of Advanced/Defense Technology

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

To complete with "Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Analysis II" is recommended.


The class is given in a class room as well as via Zoom.

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