Michael Cohen

Dr Michael Cohen


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Personal profile


Dr. Michael Cohen is convenor of the National Security College’s PhD program. He has expertise in International Security with an empirical focus on the Indo-Pacific. His more specific research interests include the causes of armed interstate conflict, the impact of nuclear weapons proliferation and international alliance dynamics on armed interstate conflict, 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 bookWhen 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).



Research interests

International Security; International Relations; Causes of Interstate Conflict; International Relations of the Asia-Pacific; Foreign Policy Decision-Making; Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Proliferation; Coercion and Deterrence; Australian Foreign Policy and the U.S.-Australia Alliance

Available student projects

Dr. Cohen is interested in supervising research projects broadly related to his above research interests.


B. Ec. (Hons: I)(Sydney) M.A. Ph.D. (British Columbia)

Expertise Areas

  • Defence Studies
  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
  • International Relations


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