Dr. Michael Cohen is convenor of the NSC’s PhD program. He has expertise in International Security with an empirical focus on the Indo-Pacific and, more specifically, the causes and implications for armed interstate conflict of nuclear weapons proliferation and international alliance dynamics, the role of political leaders and how their foreign policy decision-making can be improved and the efficacy of signalling and coercion in National Security affairs. Empirically he has expertise on the Korean peninsula, South Asia, China, the United States and the U.S.-Australia alliance. He regularly provides media commentary on these issues.
Dr Cohen’s first book, When Proliferation Causes Peace: The Psychology of Nuclear Crises (Georgetown University Press: 2017), addressed how nuclear proliferation influences states’ foreign policy. His co-edited book North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: Entering the New Era of Deterrence (Georgetown University Press: 2017, with Sung Chull Kim) addressed the impact of North Korea’s nuclear program on the Korean peninsula.
Dr Cohen’s other completed and ongoing research addresses nuclear proliferation, deterrence, leaders and foreign policy decision-making and the U.S. alliances with South Korea and Australia. It has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, The Journal of Global Security Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, Asian Security, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, The Non-Proliferation Review, Australian Journal of International Affairs and International Security (correspondence).
Dr Cohen is interested in supervising Master and PhD level research broadly related to his interests. He has twelve years of teaching experience in Australia, Canada and Denmark. Prior to joining the ANU National Security College in 2018, he was Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Security Studies program at the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University (2015-2017) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Center for War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark (2012-2015). Dr Cohen was also a visiting scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University (2014).
-Designed and taught Masters Course “Coercion and National Security to 25/35 graduate students, National Security College, Australian National University, 2019/2020
-Designed and taught Masters Course “Concepts and Methods to 45 graduate students, National Security College, Australian National University, 2020
-Designed and taught Masters Course “Crisis Management and National Security” to 31 graduate students, National Security College, Australian National University, 2019
-Taught Masters Course “Foundations of National Security” to 55 graduate students, National Security College, Australian National University, 2018 and 2019 (with Matt Sussex)
-Designed and taught first year Introductory Course “Introduction to International Security” to 450 undergraduate students, Macquarie University, 2016, 2017
-Designed and taught Graduate Course “Nuclear Weapons” to 75 graduate students, Macquarie University, 2016, 2017
-Designed and taught graduate/undergraduate course “Causes of War in the Twenty-First Century” to 56 graduate and undergraduate students, University of Southern Denmark, Spring 2014, Spring 2015
-Designed and taught graduate course “International Political Organizations” to 20 graduate students, University of Southern Denmark, Spring 2015
-Designed and taught graduate course “Introduction to International Relations Theory” to 60 Masters of International Security and Law students, University of Southern Denmark, Fall 2013, Fall 2012
-Designed and taught third year undergraduate course “Issues in International Security” to 42 students, University of British Columbia, Summer 2011.
-Designed and taught second year undergraduate course “Introduction to Global Politics” to 35 students, University of British Columbia, Summer 2012
-Teaching Assistant Experience, inc Guest Lectures: Introduction to Global Politics; Issues in International Law; Security Studies; Canadian Foreign Policy; Comparative Democratisation; The Politics of India; Australian Foreign Policy