Three Items in One: Deterrence as Concept, Research Program, and Political Issue
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This paper proposes a broader concept of deterrence than has been standard in the security studies field. It analyzes the past history of debates about deterrence to show that, despite recent doubts about deterrence, the strategy is likely to continue to be used. The paper notes that deterrence has always had critics, both before 9/11 as well as after. Nevertheless, deterrence is still often chosen as a strategy because people find the proposed alternatives even more unsatisfactory than deterrence. To make future deterrence as effective as possible, it is important to work with a concept that includes non-military as well as traditional military forms of deterrence.
Paper prepared for the International Studies Association annual convention, San Francisco, CA, March 26-29, 2008
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