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Nuclear weapon

About: Nuclear weapon is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 9666 publications have been published within this topic receiving 91971 citations. The topic is also known as: nuke & atomic weapon.


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Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that bipolarity, an equal military balance, and nuclear weapons have fostered the post-World War II order in Europe, and that domestic political factors, not calculations about military power or international economic system, are the principal determinants of peace.
Abstract: Scholars of security affairs can stop their dreary quarrels over military doctrine and balance assessments, and turn their attention to finding ways to prevent global warming and preserve the ozone layer. European leaders can contemplate how to spend peace dividends. This chapter assesses this optimistic view by exploring in detail the consequences for Europe of an end to the Cold War. It examines the effects of a scenario under which the Cold War comes to a complete end. The chapter argues that bipolarity, an equal military balance, and nuclear weapons have fostered peace in Europe. It offers an explanation for the peacefulness of the post-World War II order. The chapter examines the theories underlying claims that a multipolar Europe is likely to be as peaceful, if not more peaceful, than Cold War Europe. The peace-loving democracies theory holds that domestic political factors, not calculations about military power or the international economic system, are the principal determinant of peace.

1,996 citations

Book
01 Jan 1980
TL;DR: The War Ledger as mentioned in this paper provides fresh, sophisticated answers to fundamental questions about major modern wars: Why do major wars begin? What accounts for victory or defeat in war? How do victory and defeat influence the recovery of the combatants? And are the rules governing conflict behavior between nations the same since the advent of the nuclear era?
Abstract: "The War Ledger" provides fresh, sophisticated answers to fundamental questions about major modern wars: Why do major wars begin? What accounts for victory or defeat in war? How do victory and defeat influence the recovery of the combatants? Are the rules governing conflict behavior between nations the same since the advent of the nuclear era? The authors find such well-known theories as the balance of power and collective security systems inadequate to explain how conflict erupts in the international system. Their rigorous empirical analysis proves that the power-transition theory, hinging on economic, social, and political growth, is more accurate; it is the differential rate of growth of the two most powerful nations in the system-the dominant nation and the challenger-that destabilizes all members and precipitates world wars. Predictions of who will win or lose a war, the authors find, depend not only on the power potential of a nation but on the capability of its political systems to mobilize its resources-the "political capacity indicator." After examining the aftermath of major conflicts, the authors identify national growth as the determining factor in a nation's recovery. With victory, national capabilities may increase or decrease; with defeat, losses can be enormous. Unexpectedly, however, in less than two decades, losers make up for their losses and "all" combatants find themselves where they would have been had no war occurred. Finally, the authors address the question of nuclear arsenals. They find that these arsenals do not make the difference that is usually assumed. Nuclear weapons have not changed the structure of power on which international politics rests. Nor does the behavior of participants in nuclear confrontation meet the expectations set out in deterrence theory.

1,274 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that although realism's concepts of anarchy, self-help, and power balancing may have been appropriate to a bygone era, they have been displaced by changed conditions and eclipsed by better ideas.
Abstract: Some students of international politics believe that realism is obsolete.1 They argue that, although realism’s concepts of anarchy, self-help, and power balancing may have been appropriate to a bygone era, they have been displaced by changed conditions and eclipsed by better ideas. New times call for new thinking. Changing conditions require revised theories or entirely different ones. True, if the conditions that a theory contemplated have changed, the theory no longer applies. But what sorts of changes would alter the international political system so profoundly that old ways of thinking would no longer be relevant? Changes of the system would do it; changes in the system would not. Within-system changes take place all the time, some important, some not. Big changes in the means of transportation, communication, and war Žghting, for example, strongly affect how states and other agents interact. Such changes occur at the unit level. In modern history, or perhaps in all of history, the introduction of nuclear weaponry was the greatest of such changes. Yet in the nuclear era, international politics remains a self-help arena. Nuclear weapons decisively change how some states provide for their own and possibly for others’ security; but nuclear weapons have not altered the anarchic structure of the international political system. Changes in the structure of the system are distinct from changes at the unit level. Thus, changes in polarity also affect how states provide for their security. SigniŽcant changes take place when the number of great powers reduces to two or one. With more than two, states rely for their security both on their

1,116 citations

Book
01 Jan 1952
TL;DR: In this article, the effects of nuclear weapons are presented as accurately as possible, within the limits of national security, a comprehensive summary of this information, and the conclusions reached in this summary represent the combined judgment of a number of the most competent scientists working the problem.
Abstract: This book is a revision of "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" which was issued in 1957. It was prepared by the Defense Atomic Support Agency of the Department of Defense in coordination with other cognizant governmental agencies and was published by the U.S. Atomc Energy Commission. Although the complex nature of nuclear weapons effects does not always allow exact evaluation, the conclusions reached herein represent the combined judgment of a number of the most competent scientists working the problem. There is a need for widespread public understanding of the best information available on the effects of nuclear weapons. The purpose of this book is to present as accurately as possible, within the limits of national security, a comprehensive summary of this information.

823 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the consensus view, focusing on national security considerations as the cause of proliferation, is dangerously inadequate because nuclear weapons programs also serve other, more parochial and less obvious objectives.
Abstract: The central purpose of this article is to challenge conventional wisdom about nuclear proliferation. The author argues that the consensus view, focusing on national security considerations as the cause of proliferation, is dangerously inadequate because nuclear weapons programs also serve other, more parochial and less obvious objectives. Nuclear weapons, like other weapons, are more than tools of national security; they are political objects of considerable importance in domestic debates and internal bureaucratic struggles and can also serve as international normative symbols of modernity and identity. The body of this article examines three alternate theoretical frameworks - called {open_quotes}models{close_quotes} in the very informal sense of the term - about why states decide to build or refrain from developing nuclear weapons: {open_quotes}the security model,{close_quotes} according to which states build nuclear weapons to increase national security against foreign threats, especially nuclear threats; {open_quotes}the domestic politics model,{close_quotes} which envisions nuclear weapons as political tools used to advance parochial domestic and bureaucratic interests; and {open_quotes}the norms model,{close_quotes} under which nuclear weapons decisions are made because weapons acquisition, or restraint in weapons development, provides an important normative symbol of a state`s modernity and identity. Although many of the ideas underlying these models exist in the vastmore » case-study and proliferation-policy literatures, they have not been adequately analyzed, nor placed in a comparative theoretical framework, nor properly evaluated against empirical evidence. Models are compared to their theoretical conceptions of the causes of weapons development, present alternative interpretations of the history of some major proliferation decisions, and contrast the models` implications for nonproliferation policy. 71 refs.« less

629 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
20241
2023307
2022611
2021166
2020215
2019248