International Security Studies

Events

Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age

November 29, 2012 // 3:30pm5:00pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
Cold War International History Project
History and Public Policy Program
Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

We are at a critical juncture in world politics. Nuclear strategy and policy have risen to the top of the global policy agenda, and issues ranging from a nuclear Iran to the global zero movement are generating sharp debate. The historical origins of our contemporary nuclear world are deeply consequential for contemporary policy, but it is crucial that decisions are made on the basis of fact rather than myth and misapprehension. In Nuclear Statecraft, Francis J. Gavin challenges key elements of the widely accepted narrative about the history of the atomic age and the consequences of the nuclear revolution.

On the basis of recently declassified documents, Gavin reassesses the strategy of flexible response, the influence of nuclear weapons during the Berlin Crisis, the origins of and motivations for U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy, and how to assess the nuclear dangers we face today. In case after case, he finds that we know far less than we think we do about our nuclear history. Archival evidence makes it clear that decision makers were more concerned about underlying geopolitical questions than about the strategic dynamic between two nuclear superpowers. Gavin's rigorous historical work not only tells us what happened in the past but also offers a powerful tool to explain how nuclear weapons influence international relations. Nuclear Statecraft provides a solid foundation for future policymaking.

Francis J. Gavin is the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Gavin is also a senior advisor to the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project at the Wilson Center.

To purchase the book visit the Cornell University Press website.

Location: 
5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
 
Event Speakers List: 
  • Francis J. Gavin // Global Fellow
    Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. Senior Advisor, Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, Woodrow Wilson Center
    Back to top

    EMAIL UPDATES

    Wilson Center Photo Gallery

    Browse or share photos from the Wilson Center’s events.

    Experts & Staff

    • Robert S. Litwak // Vice President for Scholars and Academic Relations and Director, International Security Studies
    • Tonya Boyce // Program Assistant, International Security Studies

    To Attend an Event

    Unless otherwise noted:

    Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

    To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.