Forum on “What We Talk About When We Talk About Nuclear Weapons.”

Over the past decade, two intellectual renaissances have emerged in the field of nuclear security studies. The first is in political science, where exciting new research has been published about such important subjects as the causes of nuclear weapons proliferation, the linkages between the growth of civilian nuclear power and the spread of nuclear weapons, deterrence and compellence theory and practice, and the consequences of new states acquiring atomic arsenals. A second renaissance is occurring in history, as new archives have opened up and scholars are studying such important subjects as Cold War crises, the evolution of international institutions such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the history of medium powers and smaller states that decided to pursue or decided to stop pursing nuclear weapons.

H-Diplo | ISSF Forum, No. 2 (2014)- “What We Talk About When We Talk About Nuclear Weapons.”

Published by H-Diplo/ISSF on 15 June 2014


“Two Renaissances in Nuclear Security Studies,” Introduction by Scott D. Sagan, Stanford University  2

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Nuclear Weapons:  A Review Essay,” by Francis J. Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies, MIT. 11

Response:  “The Case for Using Statistics to Study Nuclear Security,” by Matthew Fuhrmann, Texas A&M University, Matthew Kroenig, Georgetown University, and Todd S. Sechser, University of Virginia  37

Response: “Nuclear Weapons Are (Still) Poor Instruments of Blackmail: A Reply to Francis J. Gavin’s Critique” by Todd S. Sechser, University of Virginia and Matthew Fuhrmann, Texas A&M University  55

“A Superior Theory of Superiority,” Response by Matthew Kroenig, Georgetown University. 63

“Archives and the Study of Nuclear Politics” by Hal Brands, Duke University. 66

“An Apology for Numbers in the Study of National Security . . . if an apology is really necessary” by Erik Gartzke, University of California, San Diego. 77

“The Use and Abuse of Large-n Methods in Nuclear Studies” An Essay by Vipin Narang, MIT. 91

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