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.”
How do nuclear weapons affect the foreign policies of the states that acquire them? In this presentation, MTA/ISP Predoctoral Research Fellow Mark S. Bell will first offer a typology of behaviours that nuclear weapons facilitate, distinguishing between aggression, expansion, independence, bolstering, steadfastness, and compromise. Second, he will offer a theory to explain why different states use nuclear weapons to facilitate different combinations of these behaviours. Third, he will useprimary evidence from the South African and British cases to offer an initial test of the theory.
This event is open to the public. Coffee and tea provided. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.