Thomas Schelling and the Nuclear Age: Strategy as Social Science by Robert Ayson
An illuminating insight 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 Harvard University professor built a unique intellectual framework using a mix of social-scientific reasoning, from economics to social theory and psychology. As such, this volume offers a rare glimpse into the intellectual history which underpins classical thinking on nuclear strategy and arms control - thinking which still has an enormous influence in the early twenty-first century.
Robert Ayson is Director of Studies, Graduate Studies in Strategy and Defence programme, Australian National University, Canberra.. In his home country of New Zealand, he taught at Massey University and Waikato University, served as adviser to the legislative select committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and worked as an intelligence analyst with the External Assessments Bureau. As a Commonwealth Scholar he completed his PhD in War Studies at King's College, London - this book is based on the doctoral thesis. His main research interests are strategic concepts, nuclear issues, aspects of Asia-Pacific regional security and Australasian defence policies.
Table of Contents
1. From Economist to Strategist 2. Strategy in the Nuclear Age 3. Schelling's General Concept 4. Bargains and Games 5. Prisoner's Dilemmas 6. Strategy as Social Science