The Fourth Wave in Deterrence Theory: A Critical Appraisal
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Research on deterrence since the end of the Cold War and especially since 9/11 has produced a distinct fourth wave in deterrence studies. The fourth wave encompasses studies that address the general role of deterrence in the new security environment plus research focused on the specific problems of deterring rogue states and/or terrorism, with a special emphasis on deterring WMD terrorism. This review essay seeks to identify what is and is not new in the latest research, the main areas of consensus and disagreement, and remaining gaps and problems in the literature. The overall evaluation is positive. More work is needed, however, to clarify the trade-offs that would be involved in attempting to implement various studies' recommendations regarding deterrence.
Paper prepared for the APSA Convention, Boston, MA, Aug. 28-31, 2008
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