Course Catalog


NPT Simulation

This course is devoted to a simulation of the 2015 NPT Review Conference (RevCon), which will be held in New York in spring 2015. The RevCon will be the culmination of the five-year review process since the 2010 NPT RevCon, and will involve multilateral negotiations on the implementation of the NPT, with special reference to issues of nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Based on the outcomes of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the 2012, 2013, and 2014 NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings, one would expect major debates at the 2015 RevCon on the subjects of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, further reductions in all types of nuclear weapons, creation of additional nuclear-weapon-free zones (especially in the Middle East), negative security assurances, nonproliferation compliance, international safeguards, nuclear terrorism, peaceful nuclear uses, and provisions for withdrawal from the Treaty. Depending on the current state of US-Russian relations following the 2014 crisis in Ukraine, there also may be major debates over the value of virtues of nuclear renunciation and the value of negative security assurances and extended deterrence.

Students will assume the roles of delegates to the PrepCom from ten or more states, possibly including Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. In most instances, delegations will consist of two students. The precise number of states will depend on the size of the class.

The base point for the simulation is the “real world.” Dr. William Potter will be the principal instructor. He will be assisted in the course by other CNS experts.

(1) The simulation places a premium on interpersonal skills and oral communication.

(2) Emphasis will be placed on developing analytical and political skills relevant to operation in a foreign ministry and other national and international organization bureaucracies. The written component of the course will entail preparation of concise policy papers and drafting of international legal texts.

(3) Students will be required to immerse themselves in the historical record of prior NPT negotiations, especially those related to the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the 2012, 2013, and 2014 NPT PrepComs.

(4) Students will become familiar with the process of multilateral negotiations, which places a premium on coordinating positions across and gaining consensus from a large number of states with diverse national interests and objectives.

(5) Students will be expected to develop an understanding of the multiple expectations of the NPT regime by various states parties and regional groups, as well as to generate constructive ideas to meet the political challenges facing the NPT today.

Nonproliferatn&Terrorsm Stdies
Nonproliferatn&Terrorsm Stdies
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled:
Equivalent Courses:


Fall 2014 - MIIS

NPTG8516A-F14 Lecture (Potter)

Fall 2013 - MIIS

NPTG8516A-F13 Lecture (Potter)