The Cultural Topography Analytic Framework

  • Jeannie L. Johnson
  • Marilyn J. Maines
Part of the Initiatives in Strategic Studies: Issues and Policies book series (ISSIP)


This chapter walks the reader through the development of the Cultural Topography Analytic Framework (CTAF), describes the analytical shortcomings it is meant to remedy, and explains the process of employing the framework as a research method. At the core of the CTAF is the goal of isolating the key identity factors, values, norms, and perceptual lens of the state contemplating crossing a nuclear threshold, and then designing a tailored set of traditional and nontraditional foreign policy levers for interlocutors to use to impact that decision. The chapter briefly introduces the field of strategic culture and its early contributions to the nuclear policy literature and highlights continuing deficiencies within this methodological field that the CTAF model is designed to remedy—including failures to account for shifts in national behavior and the inability to identify which of several, often competing, national security narratives will dominate a regime’s nuclear decisionmaking.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeannie L. Johnson
    • 1
  • Marilyn J. Maines
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Study of LanguageUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations