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Perfect Deterrence
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  • 38 b/w illus. 15 tables
  • Page extent: 442 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.65 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 355.02/17
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: U162.6 .Z34 2000
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Deterrence (Strategy)

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521787130 | ISBN-10: 0521787130)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$67.99 (C)

This book provides the first general analysis of deterrence since the end of the Cold War, offering a new approach to its assumptions, and analyzing them using non-cooperative game theory. Drawing on numerous historical examples, the authors focus on the relationship among capability, preferences, credibility, and outcomes to achieve a new understanding of threats and responses. The book's distinctive approach yields some surprising conclusions, indicating that credible threats to respond to attack can sometimes make an attack more likely, and that incredible response threats can sometimes promote peace.


Part I. Theoretical Underpinnings: 1. Classical deterrence theory; 2. Rationality and deterrence; 3. Credibility: the magic ingredient of deterrence; Part II. Direct Deterrence: 4. Uncertainty and mutual deterrence; 5. Unilateral deterrence; Part III. Extended Deterrence: 6. Extended deterrence; 7. Modeling massive retaliation; 8. Modeling flexible response; 9. Crisis, escalation, and limited war; Part IV. Implications: 10. Perfect deterrence theory.


"...Zagare and Kilgour are to be commended...They present complex results clearly...Notation is clear and consistent, making it easy to directly compare equilibrium conditions for different models. Throughout the book, each set of findings is illustrated with appropriate examples, drawing from a wide array of historical eras." American Political Science Review

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