Dr Reuben Steff

Graduate Adviser (Political Science, Public Policy, IRSS), Lecturer

Qualifications: MInSt, (Otago), PhD (Otago)

School of Social Sciences


About Reuben

Dr Steff has a PhD in Security Studies and a Masters in International Studies (MInSt) from the University of Otago, Dunedin. After receiving his PhD, he spent two and a half years working for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trade, firstly in the International Security and Disarmament Division, where he worked on counter terrorism and transnational crime issues, and then in the Strategic Policy Division, where he was responsible for developing strategic policy and providing support to NZ Inc agencies.

At the University of Waikato he will teach courses on New Zealand Foreign Policy, International Relations and International Security. He is the author of Strategic Thinking, Deterrence and the US Ballistic Missile Defense Project: from Truman to Obama (Ashgate, 2014).

His research on nuclear deterrence, missile defence and the security dilemma examines the nature of contemporary great power competition within a unipolar system. Additionally, he is interested in New Zealand foreign and defence policy, and US, Russia and Chinese foreign policy.


Globalisation; International Relations; New Zealand Politics; Politics; Security

Research Interests

International Relations, Security Studies, Deterrence Theory, Strategic Stability, Missile Defence, Geopolitics, Ideology, NZ Foreign Policy, US/Russian/Chinese Foreign Policy, Political Philosophy

Featured Publications

Reuben Steff & Nicholas Khoo. (2014) Hard Balancing in the Age of American Unipolarity: The Russian Response to US Ballistic Missile Defense during the Bush Administration (2001–2008), Journal of Strategic Studies, 37:2

Reuben Steff & Nicholas Khoo. (2014) "This program will not be a threat to them": Ballistic Missile Defense and US relations with Russia and China, Defense & Security Analysis, 30:1

Reuben Steff. (2013) Strategic Thinking, Deterrence and the US Ballistic Missile Defense Project: from Truman to Obama (Ashgate)

Reuben Steff. (2013) Cooperative Ballistic Missile Defence for America, China, and Russia, Contemporary Security Policy, 34:1

Forthcoming Publications

Dr Reuben Steff & Dr Nicholas Khoo, Security at a Price: The International Politics of US Ballistic Missile Defense (Rowman & Littlefield, November 2017)

Recent Publications

  • Steff, R. M. (2017). Security at a Price? The emerging great power technological arms race. In New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (Waikato Branch), University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

  • Steff, R. M. (2017). No, New Zealand does not have an 'independent foreign policy'. Retrieved from

  • Steff, R. M. (2017). Looking to the future: Expanding New Zealand foreign relations beyond traditional partnerships (Case Study: Latin America). In SSANSE Project: Small States and the Changing Global Order: NZ Faces the Future. Conference held at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

  • Steff, R. (2017). The audacity of Trump: How he won and what we missed. New Zealand International Review, 42(2), 2-5. Retrieved from Open Access version: hdl:10289/10941

View all research publications by Reuben Steff

Papers Taught

Associations and Memberships

NZ Political Studies Association (University of Waikato Politics Programme Representative)

Research Associate - Small States and the New Security Environment

NZ Institute of International Affairs (Waikato Branch) Organising Committee

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Steff, Dr Reuben 9325 rsteff J.2.14 Political Science & Public Policy