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Thomas Schelling and the Nuclear Age: Strategy as Social Science

Overview

"This book offers insights into the work of Thomas Schelling, one of the most influential strategic thinkers of the nuclear age. By the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the United States' early forays into Vietnam, he had become one of the most distinctive voices in Western strategy. This book shows how Schelling's thinking is much more than a reaction to the tensions of the Cold War. In a demonstration that ideas can be just as significant as superpower politics, Robert Ayson traces the way this economics professor built a unique ...
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Overview

"This book offers insights into the work of Thomas Schelling, one of the most influential strategic thinkers of the nuclear age. By the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the United States' early forays into Vietnam, he had become one of the most distinctive voices in Western strategy. This book shows how Schelling's thinking is much more than a reaction to the tensions of the Cold War. In a demonstration that ideas can be just as significant as superpower politics, Robert Ayson traces the way this economics professor built a unique intellectual framework using a mix of social-scientific reasoning, from bargaining and game theory to organisational theory and social psychology. As such, this volume offers a rare glimpse into the intellectual history that underpins classical thinking on nuclear strategy and arms control - thinking which still has an enormous influence in the early twenty-first century." Thomas Schelling and the Nuclear Age is unique in placing the development of US strategic thought in the context of a broader history of ideas. In unwrapping Schelling's ideas, it not only helps us understand the intellectual horsepower behind the 'golden age' of nuclear strategy, but also says much about the evolution of American social-scientific thinking in the twentieth century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714685441
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/24/2004
  • Series: Strategy and History Series
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Ayson is Professor and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He was for many years the Director of Studies with the Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. He has also taught at Massey University and Waikato University and worked as a New Zealand government official. This book is based on a doctoral dissertation he completed as a Commonwealth Scholar at King's College London. Also the author of a study of the thinking of Hedley Bull, a contemporary of Schelling's, his main research interests are strategic concepts, nuclear issues, Asia-Pacific regional security and Australasian defence policies.

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Table of Contents

1 From economist to strategist 13
2 Strategy in the nuclear age 52
3 Schelling's general concept 87
4 Bargains and games 113
5 Prisoner's dilemmas 142
6 Strategy as a social science 160
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