- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

International Security Journal Highlights

| Spring 2017

Vol. 41 No. 3; Winter 2016-2017

Is Chinese Nationalism Rising? Evidence from Beijing

Alastair Iain Johnston

Many commentators claim that rising Chinese nationalism has pushed China’s leadership toward aggressive foreign policies. Responses to the Beijing Area Study survey from 1998 to 2015, however, undermine this claim. Factors such as elite opinion, security dilemma dynamics, and organizational interests better explain China’s bellicose behaviors.

Deterrence and Dissuasion in Cyberspace

Joseph S. Nye

Can states deter adversaries in cyberspace? Analogies drawn from nuclear deterrence mislead; nuclear deterrence aims for total prevention, whereas states cannot prevent every cyberattack. Additionally, even though identifying the source of a cyberattack can be difficult, attribution problems do not hinder three major forms of cyber deterrence: denial, entanglement, and normative taboos.

What Is the Cyber Offense-Defense Balance? Conceptions, Causes, and Assessment

Rebecca Slayton

Does cyberspace favor the offense, as many analysts and policymakers claim? Three factors undermine cyber offensive advantage. A cyber operation’s value, not just its cost, affects the offense-defense balance. Second, defenders can shift the balance in their favor by improving organizational capabilities. Third, attacking physical infrastructure is far more challenging than targeting information networks. 

Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation: How States Pursue the Bomb

Vipin Narang

Which nuclear proliferation strategies are available, and how can they be thwarted? States’ proliferation efforts—particularly India’s—show how proliferators choose among four possible strategies: hedging, sprinting, hiding, and sheltered pursuit. Each strategy has flaws that can be exploited to prevent proliferation.

Learning to Deter: Deterrence Failure and Success in the Israel-Hezbollah Conflict, 2006–16

Daniel Sobelman

Israel and Hezbollah’s interactions before and after the 2006 Lebanon War highlight the sources of deterrence stability. Israel and Hezbollah have learned to apply rational deterrence theory, carefully communicating capabilities and resolve. This history also illustrates how a weak actor can deter a stronger adversary by minimizing its own vulnerability and maximizing that of its opponent.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

"International Security Journal Highlights." Belfer Center Newsletter. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. (Spring 2017).