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.”
At 10:00 AM on May 20th, Sven-Eric Fikenscher will present an MTA Seminar, titled "Regaining Lost Pride: The Impact of Status Claims on Nuclear Policy." This presentation will enquire into the meaning and implications of status-seeking in the nuclear realm. The status-seeking notion is a particularly contentious one, since there is not even a consensus in the literature on whether status-seekers are prone to proliferate (as most first-generation analyses point out) or likely to exercise restraint (as the majority of more recent studies claim). Fikenscher will argue that a country’s nuclear policy is shaped by a government’s claimed level of importance and its perception of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The more the nuclear non-proliferation regime is perceived to undermine a government’s claims to greatness, the more likely that government is to pursue a nuclear weapons program. The theoretical model’s explanatory power is being tested in the context of India’s nuclear tests and overall test ban policy. Coffee and tea provided - open to the public!