Info 290

War? Politics, Security, and Emerging Technologies

3 units

Course Description

Will artificial intelligence technologies revolutionize warfare? Do cyberattacks represent an act of war? How do governments drive technological innovation in support of national security? What is the responsibility of the private sector when engaging in R&D with dual-use applications? To answer these questions, this course examines the intersection between politics, security, and technology both in the United States and across the globe.

The course is divided into four parts:

  1. Linking Politics, Security, and Technology in Theory
  2. Technology and War: A History
  3. Contemporary Debates: Today’s “Emerging” Technologies
  4. Tomorrow’s Technologies

Given the necessary breadth, our seminar will consider work from international relations, economics, science and technology studies, law, as well as non-academic writing in popular outlets. Topics include: offset strategies, offense-defense balance theory, grey-zone competition, conceptualizing strategic stability, escalation, the economics of industrial policy, and innovation policy. Technologies considered include: robotics, autonomous platforms (UAVs, UUVs), sensors for remote detection, machine learning, hypersonic missiles, missile defense technologies, and nuclear modernization.

Last updated:

September 28, 2021