Have a Great Summer!

ACDIS will still be operating on a smaller scale this summer, but we will be back with a full team in the fall! This office has changed quite a bit over the past year, but we still work towards the goal of bringing together various fields of security to broaden the minds of our students.

To all our students – Good luck with finals. We hope you have all had a successful year, and we cannot wait for the next one to start in the fall!

To our graduates – Your time here on campus is coming to a close, but the skills you gained will follow you for a lifetime. We wish you the best in all of your future pursuits. We can’t wait to hear of the places you have gone, the people you have met, and the things you have accomplished.

To everyone else – Enjoy the warm weather while it is here. We will be back before you know it!

Thank you Dr. Scheffran!

Our 1st Jeremiah Sullivan Memorial Lecture saw so many students and faculty in attendance. We are so grateful for everyone who came to the talk. We also wish to extend our sincerest gratitude to Dr. Scheffran for not only speaking for us at the lecture, but for taking the time to speak one-on-one with students and faculty interested in his field of study and the work he has done.

The lecture gave attendees a historical look at how the nonproliferation and disarmament movement has taken shape since the first bomb was dropped in WWII. Seeing this progression caused by various movements and how the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has worked towards the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons gave a brief insight into the world’s current views one of the most crucial topics in global security.

We look forward to hosting more speakers in the years to come, and to continue this lecture series as a send off for our students graduating from our program. Thank you so much for everyone who managed to come out and hear our first lecture, and we hope to see you all in attendance again next year!

Best Wishes to Kathy!

Our Office Manager, Kathy Anderson-Conner, retired on February 28th! After over ten years of working in the program, she has touched the lives of so many students who have pursued the certificate. All of us here at ACDIS cannot express how sad we are to see her go, as she was the heart and soul of our office. However, we know that her retirement is well-deserved, and we wish her the best as she now gets to enjoy endless amounts of freedom and relaxation!

Alumna Leah Matchett named Knight-Hennessy Scholar!

Leah graduated from UIUC with a double major in Global Studies and Geology, and she was a founding member of our ACDIS Security Group. She is currently a Marshall Scholar studying International Relations at the University of Oxford, and now has the opportunity to pursue her Ph.D. in Political Science at Stanford thanks to the newly established Knight-Hennessy Scholar program. We’re so proud of everything she has accomplished so far, and we wish her all the best of luck in pursuing her future goals!!

For further information on what Leah has done, check out this article!

Photo taken by Javier Flores


Events & Announcements

Save the Grid! Policy Writing Game Night July 11th, 4:30-5:30 PM, 1005 Beckman Institute

The UIUC Science Policy Group invites you to join our inaugural policy writing game night on July 11th at 4:30 pm at 1005 Beckman Institute! In this game, you and your friends will play the role of an advisory board in charge of rebuilding the power grid for your city after a natural disaster wreaks havoc on the old one. Can you design a proposal to save the grid that is both popular and under-budget?

Players will be given a budget and an idea of their constituents and will have to design a plan using a variety of energy sources to create a complete package. At the end of the event, attendees will present their ideas to the rest of the group for discussion. Dr Clifford Singer, the Director of the Program in Arms Control and Domestic and International Security at UIUC, will moderate the event.

Refreshments will be provided!

ACDIS alumnus awarded Boren Scholarship


Photo by Naina Gupta

“Gabriel Wacks has been offered a $20,000 Boren Scholarship to support his academic year intensive Chinese language studies at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in China. Wacks, an East Asian languages and cultures major with a minor in history, has conducted research with the campus Program in Arms Control and Domestic and International Security (ACDIS), as well as for the department of East Asian languages and cultures. He previously spent a semester studying abroad in China.

On campus, Wacks has served as the vice president of the registered student organization ACDIS Security Studies Group and as the senior editor of the Illini Journal of International Security, a peer-reviewed undergraduate journal. He also has received recognition for his contributions in Model United Nations. Wacks’ long-term goal is to work as a political analyst or foreign service officer focused on East Asia.”

To find out more about Gabriel, please visit this link:


North Korea Simulation

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, students simulated several reactions to a Korean Peninsula crisis in the 2020s. In the simulation, the United States and North Korean heads of state had previously agreed to a halt to joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea as long as North Korea froze its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. After receiving an intelligence  report about suspected clandestine uranium enrichment in North Korea, the U.S. president issued a demarche demanding prompt elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons materials. The claim of an ongoing clandestine uranium enrichment program was disputed by North Korea, and a summary of the conclusions of the report was not supported by China, Japan, or South Korea. After an initial round of heated statements, the concerned parties in each of the simulations agreed to inspections to verify that North Korea had not been enriching uranium during the agreed upon freeze period. In one simulation, South Korea resorted to announcing its intention to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if the United States did not agree to limit the U.S. role to review of a report by a joint inspection team from the Republic of China and the Republic of Korea. Neither the premise nor the outcome of the simulation should be attributed to any individual or group of students, as the simulation exercise was only intended to draw attention to some of the complexities of the security situation in Northeast Asia.

North Korea Simulation

Red Lines and Chlorine Weapon Use in Syria

Professor Lesley Wexler Writes on Chlorine Gas Attacks in Syria

During World War I, use of chlorine gas a weapon violated prohibitions of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions on use of poison weapons. Use of chlorine gas as a weapon is banned by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Syria acceded to the CWC in 2013 but has since been accused of chlorine gas attacks. Has prospect of attacks on their homelands by much smaller smuggled amounts of potent nerve gas agents like sarin led some of the permanent members of the UN Security council to question whether a “red line” against poison gas attacks by Syria also applies to chlorine gas?  In a 20 February 2018 commentary, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor Lesley Wexler asks how seriously the use of chlorine gas as a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention is being taken.



Shifting Iran-US Relations

For more information on the symposium, click here.

On September 29, 2017 ACDIS and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) hosted the symposium, “Shifting Iran-US Relations: Return to Status Quo Ante or New Alignments in the Middle East Region?Speakers included Asef Bayat, Shireen Hunter, Kevan Harris, Frederick Lamb, Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, and Trita Parsi, Founder and President of the National Iranian American Council, who gave the the keynote speech.

Library Guide on Arms Control, Domestic & International Security

Need help researching topics in security? Use the library as a resource!

The Arms Control Collection consists of indexes, yearbooks, handbooks, bibliographies, monographs and serials dealing with arms control, disarmament, and international security. The collection does not represent all of the library’s holdings on these subjects; additional materials on these subjects are available throughout libraries on campus, and the call numbers listed below will help you find materials on the shelves. In addition, the Library has a large number of electronic (e-) books and journals. E-books can be found in the Online Library Catalog and e-journals can be found in the Online Journals & Databases.