Dr Michael D. Cohen

B. Ec. (Hons: I)(Sydney) M.A. Ph.D. (British Columbia)
Senior Lecturer
College of Asia & the Pacific
T: 02 6125 5452

Areas of expertise

  • International Relations 160607
  • Defence Studies 160604

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


Dr Michael Cohen’s research addresses international security in the Indo-Pacific and explores the causes of armed interstate conflict. His expertise covers nuclear weapons proliferation, the Korean peninsula, South Asia, deterrence and coercion, leaders, foreign policy decision-making and the US-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 US’ alliances with South Korea and Australia. It has been published 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, the 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).


Available student projects

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

Return to top

Updated:  10 August 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers