International Security Journal Highlights

Spring 2023

Vol. 47, No. 3 (Winter 2022/23)

The following articles are available in the Winter 2022/23 issue of International Security.

The articles on this page can be read on MIT Press Direct.

The Psychology of Nuclear Brinkmanship

By Reid B. C. Pauly and Rose McDermott

With rational decision-making, the likelihood of strategic nuclear exchange should be zero. But emotions can create uncertainty, contradicting the expectations of the rational cost-benefit assumptions undergirding deterrence theory.

Social Cohesion and Community Displacement in Armed Conflict

By Daniel Arnon, Richard J. McAlexander, and Michael A. Rubin

Mass killing such as cleansing and genocide is a common occurrence in war. Communities face the terrible choice of leaving their homes ahead of military action, or staying. Analysis of the previously restricted “Village Files,” a Zionist survey of Arab Palestinian communities conducted in the 1940s, finds that the key indicator of whether a community flees imminent violence is social cohesion.

The Cult of the Persuasive: Why U.S. Security Assistance Fails

By Rachel Tecott Metz

Why does the U.S. Army rely on persuasion to influence military partners to improve their forces despite repeated failures that undermine U.S. foreign policy goals? The army prioritizes its role as a fighting force, not an advisory group. U.S. leaders have developed an ideology—the cult of the persuasive—to advance army bureaucratic interests.

Push and Pull on the Periphery: Inadvertent Expansion in World Politics

By Nicholas D. Anderson

Great powers may expand their state or empire by choice, or by accident. Nearly 25 percent of important historical instances of great power expansion have been initiated by actors on the periphery without authorization from the center. Leaders at the center are often constrained from withdrawing from new territory, unless they foresee high costs from staying.

Correspondence: Debating China's Use of Overseas Ports

By David C. Logan and Robert C. Watts IV, and Isaac B. Kardon and Wendy Leutert

David C. Logan and Robert C. Watts IV respond to Isaac B. Kardon and Wendy Leutert's Spring 2022 International Security article, "Pier Competitor: China's Power Position in Global Ports."

Recent Awards

We congratulate Elizabeth M.F. Grasmeder of Duke University for winning two awards for her article, “Leaning on Legionnaires: Why Modern States Recruit Foreign Soldiers,” International Security 46, no. 1 (Summer 2021): 147–195. Professor Grasmeder received the American Political Science Association’s Catherine McArdle Kelleher Award for Best International Security Article for 2022 and the 2023 Best Security Article Award from the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

We congratulate Reid Pauly and Rose McDermott of Brown University for their recent Lawfare piece on the limits of rationality in nuclear decisionmaking and how to institute new checks on dangerous brinkmanship. The piece draws on their article, “The Psychology of Nuclear Brinkmanship,” International Security 47, no. 3 (2023) 47 (3): 9–51. 

We also congratulate Rachel Tecott Metz for her recent Lawfare piece drawing on her article, “The Cult of the Persuasive: Why U.S. Security Assistance Fails,” International Security 47, no. 3 (Winter 2022/23): 95–135.

Highlights compiled by International Security journal staff.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: International Security Journal Highlights.” (Spring 2023).