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Deterrence and Nuclear Strategy: A Conceptual Analysis


The text explores various theoretical approaches to the concept of
deterrence. It links deterrence with other strategies that utilize a threat of
military action to achieve political goals. Furthermore, the di!erence
between deterrence by punishment and deterrence by denial is highlighted
in the article. To develop the debate further, the various roles of nuclear
weapons in deterrence are examined, while four types of nuclear
deterrence strategies – namely nuclear primacy, maximum assured
destruction, minimum assured destruction, and automatic deterrence – are
distinguished. The text shows the unique role of the strategy of nuclear
primacy. This strategy relies on denial, while the conceptual foundations of
the other three strategies lie in punishment, and it is well suited not only for
deterrence, but also for compellence, as it eliminates mutuality from the
deterrence relation.


deterrence, coercive diplomacy, nuclear strategy, nuclear weapons, MAD

PDF Consultation (Czech)

Author Biography

Jan Ludvík

Born in 1984, he studied at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles
University and the University of Richmond. He is a researcher at the Center
for Security Policy CESES FSV UK. At the same time he teaches Strategic
Studies and Security Policy of the Czech Republic at the Department of
International Relations of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University.
His research interests include issues of strategic studies, US foreign and
security policy and foreign and security policy of the Czech Republic.