Dr Reuben Steff

Reuben Steff

Undergraduate Adviser (Political Science, Public Policy, IRSS), Senior Lecturer

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

About Reuben

Dr Reuben Steff is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato, where he teaches courses on New Zealand Foreign Policy, International Relations and Global Security. He is also a member of Te Puna Haumaru - NZ Institute for Security and Crime Science.

His academic research stretches across a number of areas and includes the implications of Artificial Intelligence for the global balance of power and small states, the intersection between nuclear deterrence theory, ballistic missile defence and the security dilemma, New Zealand and US foreign policy, and great power competition. He is the author of four books, including: (1) Emerging Technologies and International Security: Machines, the State and War (Routledge 2020), (2) US Foreign Policy in the Age of Trump: Drivers, Strategy and Tactics (Routledge, 2020), (3)  Security at a Price: The International Politics of US Ballistic Missile Defense (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) and (4) Strategic Thinking, Deterrence and the US Ballistic Missile Defense Project: from Truman to Obama (Routledge, 2014).

He also has a number of journal articles published in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Pacific Review, Contemporary Security Policy, Defense and Security AnalysisNew Zealand International ReviewNational Security JournalProfessional Journal of the Royal New Zealand Navy, and the Australian Journal of International Affairs.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

Current doctoral researchers include:

  • Aleksi Rantaniemi: The Genie that got out of the Bottle? Assessing the Proliferation of Lethal Autonomous Technologies
  • Akkas Abbasi: China's Evolving Nuclear Strategy and Implications for International Security
  • Ahn Nguyen: Towards the Development of an Effective Regional Mechanism to Combat Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery in Southeast Asia
  • Estelle Townshend: Religion & Foreign Policy: the Impact of Religion on the Foreign Policies of Qatar & UAE
  • Muhammad Karim: Governance as a Key Driver of Conflict in Pakistan
  • Francis Okpaleke: Automated Weapons and US Grand Strategy

Research Interests

I am interested in research collaborations and supervision in the following areas:

Deterrence Theory and Missile Defense; Arms Controls/Arms Races; Security Dilemma; US Foreign Policy; Russian and Chinese Foreign Policy; New Zealand Foreign Policy and Security; Great Power Competition; Science, Technology and International Security (including Missile Defence, Hypersonic Missiles, Railguns, Artificial Intelligence and Drone Warfare); Asia-Pacific Security; International Terrorism.

Content cannot be accessed


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