Course Title: Technology, Security and Global Politics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Technology, Security and Global Politics

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Prior to Semester 1 2022 this course was titled 'Global Politics of Arms Control'


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2015


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Aiden Warren

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 3758

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.5.26

Course Coordinator Availability: On appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides you with a critical understanding into the changing dynamics and global challenges surrounding the security implications of emerging technologies, as well as ongoing efforts at arms control. 

Topics covered will include the politics and security issues surrounding weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including nuclear, chemical, radiological, biological weapons; issues associated conventional arms and the arms trade; and the roles played by states, non-state actors, MNCs, and civil society in the addressing and exacerbating the tensions deriving from such weapons.  

Topics will also extend to the debates and arm controls challenges presented by the emergence of new technologies, including: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), such as drones; and the advent of Lethally Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) which raise ethical questions about the use (and misuse) of military power.  

Additionally, other emergent technologies contributing to the complexity of security and arms control dynamics, including 3D printing, nanotechnology and quantum computing, bioengineering, and digitisation technologies, will also be explored.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  1. Identify and analyse the key theoretical concepts, perspectives and practices associated with the regulation of weapons and the security implications of emerging techologies  
  2. Formulate and debate a position in relation to a contemporary arms control issue 
  3. Synthesise information and ideas from a range of authoritative sources to inform decision makers on a contemporary security challenge associated with arms control and emerging technologies

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will have the opportunity to actively engage with the material via discussion, debate and group work. 

Learning in this course takes place through weekly lectures and tutorials. The lectures will introduce each topic, contextualise the set reading material, and highlight the political and security relevance of each issue by drawing on recent information from a variety of sources. The tutorials provide an opportunity for added discussion of issues raised by the lecture and set readings, as well as an opportunity to discuss and work on the assessment tasks. 

This course may be delivered online or on campus. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment Tasks 

Assessment Task 1 – Case study – 1000 words (25%), CLO 1 

Assessment Task 2: Research Essay – 3000 words (50%), CLO 1, CLO 2  

Assessment Task 3: Briefing Paper – 1000 words (25%), CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO 3  

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.