Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations


“Strategic stability” is a much-used, but under-analyzed, term. Before launching into any discussion of strategic stability in this century, it is necessary first to ask what we actually mean by strategic stability. Game theorists endeavor to define the phrase in very precise mathematical terms, but even among these specialists there is no settled agreement on its proper definition.1 In policy debates, meanwhile, the term is used very loosely to describe anything from rough parity in the sizes of nuclear arsenals to the perceived unlikelihood of an acute political crisis.

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