A top New York publisher has selected two leading RMIT academics to edit a prestigious new series on weapons of mass destruction.
The deal with Rowman & Littlefield will see a series of books published by prominent experts in the field, edited by Professor Joe Siracusa and Dr Aiden Warren.
The series will focus on weapons of mass destruction, dissecting issues surrounding nuclear, chemical, radiological, and biological weapons.
It will bring together historical, contemporary, state, traditional and non-traditional approaches from emerging scholars, established academics and other experts in foreign and security policy domains.
"Over the years, this series will contain dozens of the most important books and research on the subject and to get this here at RMIT is a big deal," Professor Siracusa said.
"We are the series editors of what is a new, comprehensive series on weapons of mass destruction.
"We are not just looking at bombs, we are looking at biological and chemical warfare so we are covering the whole spectrum."
When it comes to weapons of mass destruction, the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies duo know what they are talking about.
Professor Siracusa, Deputy Dean of Global and Language Studies, is a long-standing authority on international security matters and has published more than 25 books, earning him global recognition.
Dr Warren, a senior lecturer in International Relations, has written several books on US security strategy, US foreign policy, arms control and non-proliferation.
He said the series was timely and necessary as the focus on terrorism intensifies.
"In the context of the nuclear section of the weapons of mass destruction series, it is evident that despite there being fewer nuclear weapons today than during the Cold War era, the threat remains paramount," he said.
"Terrorists continue to pursue them, and the command and control systems in even the most sophisticated nuclear-armed states remain susceptible not only to system and human error but, increasingly, to cyber-attacks.
"The failure of armed states to disarm, the inability to prevent new states and non-state actors from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, and the expansion of nuclear energy plants present a real security danger."
Emeritus Professor Richard Dean Burns from California State University and US military expert Phil Coyle, a senior advisor to the Obama administration, will write the first book, The challenge of Nuclear Proliferation, which is expected to be published in February, 2015.
The publishing deal comes as RMIT, in collaboration with MIT and the Nuclear Studies Research Initiative, plans to host a three-day conference on nuclear dynamics in January.
Reassessing The Global, Nuclear Order - Past, Present and Future will feature 40 leading scholars on nuclear history, policy and strategy.
"Internationally, we are among the leaders in the field because there are few others working on this scale in this country," Professor Siracusa said.
"We are bringing together technology and weapons possibilities and scenarios… we are the cutting edge.
"And when we have this conference here, we will have the leaders of the world in this field on our doorstep.
"We are going to be the hottest ticket in town in January, aside from the Australian Open."