The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
What happens to the foreign policies of states when they acquire nuclear weapons? This presentation will offer a new typology of the effects of nuclear weapons on foreign policy. The typology allows scholars to move beyond simple claims of “nuclear emboldenment,” and allows for more nuanced predictions and empirical examinations of the ways in which nuclear weapons affect the foreign policies of current and future nuclear states. In this seminar, MTA/ISP Research Fellow Mark Bell will demonstrate the utility of this typology using a “hard” case: the United Kingdom.