Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Nicholas Miller

Nicholas Miller

Dean’s Assistant Professor of Nuclear Security and Policy
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs


Nicholas Miller is the Dean’s Assistant Professor of Nuclear Security and Policy. His research focuses on international security, particularly on the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation.

His research has been published in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Security Studies. His dissertation won the 2015 Helen Dwight Reid Award from the American Political Science Association, awarded for the best dissertation in the fields of international relations, law, and politics. It also won the 2015 Kenneth N. Waltz Prize for the best dissertation in international security and arms control.

He received his PhD in political science in 2014 from MIT, where he remains a research affiliate of the Security Studies Program. He graduated with a BA in government from Wesleyan University.


Miller’s research focuses primarily on the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation. Much of it examines the pivotal role of the United States in limiting the spread of nuclear weapons, as well as the historical development of U.S. nonproliferation policy. He also has studied the concept of reactive proliferation or “nuclear domino effects”—both their empirical prevalence and the consequences of policymakers’ belief in the concepts. In addition to working on a book manuscript on U.S. nonproliferation policy, he has an ongoing research project on the relationship between nuclear energy programs and nuclear weapons proliferation.


“The Last Line of Defense: U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan.” With Or Rabinowitz. International Security 40, No 1 (2015): 41-86.

“Questioning the Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Conflict,” With Mark Bell. Journal of Conflict Resolution 59, No. 1 (2015): 74-92.

“The Secret Success of Nonproliferation Sanctions.” International Organization 68, No. 4 (2014): 913-944.

“Political Devolution and Resistance to Foreign Rule: A Natural Experiment.” With Jeremy Ferwerda. American Political Science Review 108, No. 3 (2014): 642-660.

“Nuclear Dominoes: A Self-Defeating Prophecy?” Security Studies 23, No. 1 (2014): 33-73.


POLS1410: International Security in a Changing World

POLS1822A: Nuclear Weapons and International Politics

POLS1600: Political Research Methods

News|Recent News

Debunked: Why 5 Criticisms of the Iran Deal Are Wrong (written by Nicholas Miller)

August 12, 2015 The National Interest

Nicholas Miller in The National Interest, "Yet there is little reason to believe that the Iran deal would lead to a complete reorientation of U.S. policy toward Iran. The Ayatollah himself appears to have little interest in such an outcome, U.S. sanctions on Iran for its human rights violations and support for terrorism will remain in place, and U.S. domestic support for Israel and opposition to groups like Hezbollah is not going away anytime soon."