Our seminar offers an interdisciplinary introductory overview of the research on arms dynamics and arms control and presents the development of these issues from the 18th century to the present. We will address questions as to why states arm, what effects the four stages of arms dynamics - disarmament, maintenance of the status quo, arms competition, and arms race - have on international relations, and how arms control is a means to contain competition and the arms race.

The seminar is divided into three parts:

- In the first part, we will discuss various research and explanatory approaches to arms dynamics and arms control.

- In the second part, we will examine the history of arms dynamics and arms control in more detail on the basis of three important phases: the global arms competition before the First World War and the related arms control attempts, the disarmament efforts in the interwar period and the effects of their failure in the 1930s, and the debate on rearmament in the 1980s during the cold war.

- In the third part, we discuss the different research and explanatory approaches using the example of current debates and cases of arms competition/arms race and arms control efforts.

The seminar has two objectives: The first objective is to provide a basic overview of important research perspectives on the topic of arms dynamics and arms control. The second goal is the joint development of empirical knowledge and analytical concepts, which will enable the students to understand both historical and current political debates, problems, and trends in this field.