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Deterrence and Security in the 21st Century 9780804737364

Deterrence and Security in the 21st Century

China, Britain, France, and the Enduring Legacy of the Nuclear Revolution

ISBN-10: 0804737363
ISBN-13: 9780804737364
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: Stanford University Press
Also available at Amazon.com
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Much recent writing about international politics understandably highlights the many changes that have followed from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. This book, by contrast, analyzes an important continuity that, the author argues, will characterize international strategic affairs well into the new century: nuclear deterrence will remain at the core of the security policies of the world's great powers and will continue to be an attractive option for many less powerful states worried about adversaries whose capabilities they cannot match.

The central role of nuclear deterrence persists despite the advent of a new international system in which serious military threats are no longer obvious, the use of force is judged irrelevant to resolving most international disputes, and states' interests are increasingly defined in economic rather than military terms. Indeed, the author suggests why these changes may increase the appeal of nuclear deterrence in the coming decades.

Beginning with a reconsideration of nuclear deterrence theory, the book takes issue with the usual emphasis on the need for invulnerable retaliatory forces and threats that leaders can rationally choose to carry out. The author explains why states, including badly outgunned states, can rely on nuclear deterrent strategies despite the difficulty they may face in deploying invulnerable forces and despite the implausibility of rationally carrying out their threats of retaliation. In the subsequent empirical analysis that examines the security policies of China, Britain, and France and taps recently declassified documents, the author suggests that the misleading standard view of what is oftentermed rational deterrence theory may well reflect the experience, or at least aspirations, of the Cold War superpowers more than the logic of deterrence itself.

Case studies assessing the nuclear deterrent policies of China, B

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 356
CATEGORY: Law, Political Science
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