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in International Security Publication date 2019-03-14
SNYDER Ryan
LIEBER Keir A
PRESS Daryl G
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Ryan Snyder and Benoît Pelopidas respond to Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press's spring 2017 article, “The New Era of Counterforce: Technological Change and the Future of Nuclear Deterrence.”

in Revue internationale et stratégique Publication date 2010
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Plan de l'article : - Résignation et soupçon : deux attitudes épargnant les politiques de non-prolifération - Pour une approche politique et stratégique des choix nucléaires militaires

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Security studies scholarship on nuclear weapons is particularly prone to self-censorship. In this essay, I argue that this self-censorship is problematic. The vulnerability, secrecy, and limits to accountability created by nuclear weapons (Deudney 2007, 256–57; Born, Gill, and Hânggi 2010; Cohen 2010, 147) call for responsible scholarship vis-à-vis the general public. This need for renewed and expanded scholarly responsibility is especially pressing given current plans among nuclear-weapon states to “modernize” their nuclear arsenals, committing their citizens and children to live in nuclear-armed countries and, a fortiori, a nuclear armed world (Mecklin 2015). Despite this need, the existing reflexive literature in security studies—calling for greater scholarly responsibility (see Steele and Amoureux 2016; Waever 2015, 95–100)—has neither specifically focused on nuclear weapons nor explored the forms of self-censorship identified here as shaping a modality of responsibility. In making this case, I define self-censorship in nuclear weapons scholarship as unnecessary boundaries on scholarly discourse within security studies. In this article, I identify three forms of self-censorship: an epistemological self-censorship that denies the normative foundations of nuclear studies; a rhetorically induced form of censorship that leads scholars to stay away from radical reorderings of the world (e.g., world government or the abolition of nuclear weapons) because of the joint rhetorical effects of the tropes of non-proliferation and deterrence; and, finally, a “presentist imaginal” form of self-censorship that leads scholars to obfuscate the implicit bets they make on their considered possible futures and their constitutive effects on the “present” they analyze. I do not claim that these are the only forms of self-censorship. I also leave aside the non-discursive structures of knowledge production and the institutional and political constraints on nuclear studies. However, as I show in the concluding section, these three forms of self-censorship result in an

As Californians and many people in the United States know, the two-day closure of a critical highway in Los Angeles last weekend was predicted by some to lead to a so-called Carmageddon. How does such a word come into existence and reach the status of a ritualized utterance? Combining a monster traffic jam and the apocalypse is far from obvious, after all. How can gridlock on the roadways be compared to mass death? The use of the word as the title for a violent video game, the media's tendency to sensationalize the news, and the Californian focus on the Hollywood past of mass destruction of its former governor are not enough to account for this strange portmanteau word...

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La crise nucléaire nord-coréenne et le prix Nobel de la Paix décerné à la Campagne internationale pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires (ICAN) pour son action conduisant à la conclusion d’un traité d’interdiction de ces armes ont récemment généré une prolifération des discours « experts » sur le nucléaire. Une série de contre-vérités et d’arguments d’autorité est venue saturer le discours public sur ce sujet, alors même que la France s’engage dans la perpétuation de son arsenal. Dans ce contexte, cette brève intervention vise à rétablir quelques faits fondamentaux à la lumière des avancées de la recherche et veut proposer des moyens de détecter le prêt-à-penser, les contrevérités et la désinvolture du discours « expert » français sur les armes nucléaires.

Publication date 2014-04
LEWIS Patricia
WILLIAMS Heather
PELOPIDAS Benoît
AGHLANI Sasan
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Nuclear weapons have not been detonated in violent conflict since 1945. The decades since then are commonly perceived – particularly in those countries that possess nuclear weapons – as an era of successful nuclear non-use and a vindication of the framework of nuclear deterrence. In this narrative, the fear of massive retaliation and a shared understanding and set of behaviours are believed to have prevented the use of nuclear weapons. Yet the decades since 1945 have been punctuated by a series of disturbing close calls. Evidence from many declassified documents, testimonies and interviews suggests that the world has, indeed, been lucky, given the number of instances in which nuclear weapons were nearly used inadvertently as a result of miscalculation or error...

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Though national and regional conflicts and international terrorism remain rife, since 1945 the world has not been subjected to truly pan-regional or trans-continental war. Over the following pages four experts in international security debate the role nuclear arsenals may have played in curbing large-scale conflict.

in Site du CERI Publication date 2017-03-23
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Avec l’arrivée au pouvoir de Donald Trump et les tensions entre la Russie et l’OTAN, les armes nucléaires sont à nouveau un sujet de préoccupation, et pas seulement celles dont dispose Pyongyang ou celles dont les experts nous disent depuis dix ans que l’Iran va se doter à très court terme. Les dirigeants des Etats nucléaires vont devoir faire des choix cruciaux dans les cinq prochaines années alors que les Etats dotés ont ou vont lancer des programmes dits de « modernisation », qui engagent leurs communautés politiques pour au moins trente ans et qu’un traité visant à interdire les armes nucléaires va être négocié à New York. La recherche a un rôle essentiel à jouer dans ce cadre. Un débat public éclairé exige qu’une recherche indépendante éclaire les termes des paris présentés.

in San Francisco Chronicle Publication date 2011-12-11
PELOPIDAS Benoît
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The supercommittee's failure to reach an agreement on debt reduction will probably result in unexpected reductions of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. That possibility concerns the defense establishment, but it also presents an opportunity: It might finally be possible to have an honest debate about the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategy and the prospect for further arms reductions...

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