The Fragile Balance of Terror: Deterrence in the New Nuclear Age - Book Event at the Academy

Mar 28, 2023 |
Cambridge, MA or Zoom Videoconference
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Please join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for a co-hosted book event. The Fragile Balance of Terror: Deterrence in the New Nuclear Age, edited by Vipin Narang and Scott Sagan, brings together a diverse group of scholars who analyze how the nuclear landscape is changing. This volume was produced as part of the Academy’s project on Meeting the Challenges of the New Nuclear Age: Deterrence and New Nuclear States.

Some of the new nuclear powers create vulnerable arsenals, are situated in highly unstable regions of the world, and suffer domestic instability. The panels at this event will engage authors of the volume and junior scholars on the risks of these new nuclear powers and the increased fragility of deterrence in the twenty-first century.  

The Russian-Ukraine war has further veiled nuclear threats and brought the dangers posed by nuclear weapons back in the public consciousness. This is on top of the simmering tensions on the Korean Peninsula and between India and Pakistan, the failure to resolve the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the specter of Chinese military action over Taiwan. The event will also feature a roundtable that will engage senior experts in a lively discussion on the robustness and future of nuclear deterrence in the next decade. 


12:15 PM Lunch Available 

1:00 PM Welcoming Remarks by David Oxtoby (Academy) 

Panel I: “Raising the Nuclear Risk: Worrisome Characteristics of New Nuclear States” 

  • Moderator: Francesca Giovannini (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Heather Williams (Center for Strategic and International Studies) 
  • Nicole Grajewski (Harvard Kennedy School) 
  • Nicholas Miller (Dartmouth College) 
  • Doreen Horschig (Academy)  

2:30 PM Coffee Break 

2:45 PM Panel II: “A New Era of Counterforce, Command, and Control” 

  • Moderator: Mariana Budjeryn (Harvard Kennedy School)  
  • Christopher Clary (University of Albany)  
  • David Allison (Harvard Kennedy School) 
  • Giles David Arceneaux (University of Colorado) 
  • Matt Guasco (Harvard Kennedy School)  

4:15 PM Coffee Break 

4:30 PM Roundtable “Can Nuclear Deterrence Last Through the Decade?” 

  • Moderator: Francesca Giovannini (Harvard Kennedy School)  
  • Rebecca Davis Gibbons (University of Southern Maine) 
  • Emma Belcher (Ploughshares Fund) 
  • Steven Miller (Harvard Kennedy School) 
  • Matt Bunn (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Robert Legvold (Columbia University)

5:30 PM Cocktail Reception 


To access a free copy of The Fragile Balance of Terror, visit: https://d119vjm4apzmdm.cloudfront.net/open-access/pdfs/9781501767036.pdf