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Nuclear Crisis Management; A Dangerous Illusion

Lebow, Richard Ned

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ISBN 10: 0801419891 / ISBN 13: 9780801419898
Published by Cornell University University, Ithaca, NY, 1987
Condition: Very good Hardcover
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About this Item

226, [6] pages. Notes. Index. Minor sticker residue inside front cover. Richard Ned Lebow (legal date of birth, April 24, 1942) is an American political scientist best known for his work in international relations, political psychology, classics and philosophy of science. He is Professor of International Political Theory at the Department of War Studies, King's College London, Bye-Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, and James O. Freedman Presidential Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College. Born in Paris, France Lebow lost his entire family in World War II, was adopted by an American family, and grew up in New York City. He graduated from Lynbrook Senior High School in 1959 in New York, Long Island. A critical evaluation of the assumptions about nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union, and crisis management which have shaped U.S. security policy. Could the superpowers now emerge unscathed from a major confrontation as they did from the Cuban missile crisis of 1962? Why do today's nuclear forces and their complex, exceedingly vulnerable command and control make a superpower crisis so difficult to manage? What can be done to prevent nuclear crises and to increase our chances of survival if one were to occur? Nuclear Crisis Management takes up these questions in a searching comparison of crisis management past and present. Richard Ned Lebow spells out the implications of historical experience for American perceptions of the place of crisis management in superpower strategic relations. Identifying and discussing three reasons for the outbreak of World War I- preemption, loss of control, and miscalculated escalation- he argues that all three are equally serious threats to peace and survival. He documents how psychological stress in past crises has induced erratic, dysfunctional behavior from national leaders, even paralysis. A nuclear crisis, he argues, would generate even more acute stress because of the unprecedented destructiveness of nuclear weapons and the extreme time pressure that leaders are likely to face. Although pessimistic in its assumptions, this book is not fatalistic in its conclusions. Lebow makes several practical recommendations, both political and technical, that would reduce crisis instability, and with it the likelihood of war. "Official US thinking has remained rigid and doctrinaire," he writes, "at a time when international relations have become more complex and the consequences of miscalculation incalculably tragic." His primary objective is to encourage a conceptual shift in our thinking about the nature of nuclear crisis and appropriate means of preventing and coping with it. Nuclear Crisis Management stands as a challenge to conventional approaches to nuclear strategy and crisis management. Political scientists, psychologists, policymakers, and everyone concerned with the threat of nuclear war will find its arguments provocative and compelling. Bookseller Inventory # 73175

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Nuclear Crisis Management; A Dangerous ...

Publisher: Cornell University University, Ithaca, NY

Publication Date: 1987

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Edition: Presumed First Edition/First Printing.

About this title


Argues that the stress generated by a nuclear crisis could result in dangerous mistakes by world leaders, and suggests ways to avoid or alleviate such an event

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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