Location: Bowdoin / Rebecca Gibbons

Government and Legal Studies

Rebecca Davis Gibbons

Visiting Assistant Professor of Government 

Contact Information

Government and Legal Studies

Dudley Coe Building - 305

Teaching this semester

GOV 2621. The Politics of Nuclear Proliferation and Nonproliferation

Nuclear weapons have had a constant impact on international relations since their advent in 1945. The initial US monopoly on nuclear weapons gave way to bilateral competition with the Soviet Union, followed by the post-Cold War period in which proliferation concerns have grown to include so-called rogue states and non-state actors. Exposes students to the history and theory of nuclear weapons proliferation and encourages engagement in current debates on the topic. Addresses the following topics: technology necessary for developing a nuclear weapons program, why states proliferate, and policies available to address nuclear proliferation.

GOV 3630. America's Place in the World, 1945 to the Present

Following World War II, the United States was left with unrivaled material power in the international system. Focuses on how the US attempted to translate its unprecedented power into a particular global order. Begins by engaging with the academic debate over the character of US leadership through this period. During the Cold War, questions whether the US was an equal to the Soviet Union in a bipolar order, a hegemonic power, or a seeker of informal empire. Also considers what it has meant to be a unipolar power in the post-Cold War period. Then focuses on the ways in which the US has sought to create a particular political and economic order within the international system since 1945. Explores the specific tools of order creation to include establishing multilateral institutions and formal alliances, providing economic incentives, and exercising military power. Concludes by examining the contentious topic of American decline. Explores various theories about America’s future role in the world and considers in particular how the US is addressing China’s rise.


  • B.A., Dartmouth
  • M.A., Ph.D., Georgetown