How Conventional Conflicts Become Nuclear Wars
From the New Books Network's Book of the Day Podcast
In The Myth of the Nuclear Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2020), Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press tackle the central puzzle of the nuclear age: the persistence of intense geopolitical competition in the shadow of nuclear weapons. The book explains why the race to establish a nuclear deterrent can be destabilizing; how the condition of “mutual assured destruction” can unravel; and why some states threaten to wield the world’s most destructive weapon against conventional threats.
On the episode, authors Lieber and Press discuss the theoretical and policy implications of their work, the role of fear in international relations, and Thomas Schelling’s theory of a nuclear “taboo.”
Keir A. Lieber is Director of the Center for Security Studies and Security Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Government at Georgetown University. He is the author of War and the Engineers.
Daryl G. Press is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Calculating Credibility.
John Sakellariadis is a 2020-2021 Fulbright US Student Research Grantee. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in History & Literature from Harvard University.