Nuclear proliferation and ‘realistic deterrence’ in a new century

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Abstract

Deterrence became an all‐purpose theory and policy solution during the Cold War. The end of the Cold War has caused theorists and policy‐makers to ask whether deterrence is still either practicable or theoretically compelling. The prospect of additional and angry state and non‐state actors armed with nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), together with long‐range delivery systems, threatens to shake the foundations of deterrence stability. In this article we consider whether this is so. First, we examine some of the theoretical arguments for a benign world with nuclear proliferation and some reasons to be skeptical about those arguments. Second, we consider the current status of nuclear weapons spread and some of the particular challenges presented to deterrence and arms race stability by nuclear proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-47
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Security
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations

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