Perspectives on Nuclear Deterrence (Chatham House)

Authors: Mulitple authors, see webpage | Chatham House | Published 20 April 2020

This collection of essays explores, from the perspectives of eight experts, four areas of deterrence theory and policymaking:

  1. the underlying assumptions that shape deterrence practice;
  2. the enduring value of extended deterrence;
  3. the impact of emerging technologies; and
  4. the ‘blurring’ of the lines between conventional and nuclear weapons.

Nuclear deterrence theory, with its roots in the Cold War era, may not account for all eventualities in security and defence in the 21st century, given the larger number of nuclear actors in a less binary geopolitical context. It is clear that a number of present factors challenge the overall credibility of ‘classical’ nuclear deterrence, meaning that in-depth analysis is now needed.

Read the article online or download the full report (pdf, 1MB) (external links to Chatham House website)