Nuclear Weapons and World Politics

  • A. J. C. Edwards


In the two preceding chapters we have discussed how political tensions, interacting with technological advance, have created the balance of terror and seem likely to preserve it. The present chapter considers how the balance of terror has in its turn affected international political relationships,1 even though neither side has used a nuclear weapon since the Second World War, or even threatened overtly to use one.2 We consider first what extra political power individual countries can derive from the possession of nuclear weapons and then the global effects of nuclear weapons on world politics.


Nuclear Weapon World Politics Military Power Political Offensive East European Country 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    This chapter draws heavily on Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (Yale University Press, 1966). and on Edward N. Luttwak, Strategic Power: Military Capabilities and Political Utility, Washington papers, vol. II (Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetov/n University, 1976).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A possible exception is Khruschev’s threat to use Soviet rockets against Britain and France in the Suez crisis of 1956.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    General Carl von Clausewitz, On War, published posthumously in 1832, translated by Colonel J.J’ Graham and revised by Colonel F. Maude (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd 1911) vol. III, chapter 6, p. 121.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See chapter 4.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bernard Brodie, Escalation and the Nuclear Option (Princeton University Press, 1966) pp. 48–9.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    This section draws on Klaus Knorr, On the Uses of Military Power in the Nuclear Age (Princeton University Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The author wrote this section before seeing the interesting discussion of The David and Goliath Act’ in Klaus Knorr, ibid. pp.74–9.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    German zones of occupation and new frontiers for Poland were broadly agreed by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Yalta Conference of February 1945.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jeremy R. Azrael, Richard Lowenthal and Tohru Nakagawa, An Overview of East-West Relations (New York, Tokyo and Paris: The Trilateral Commission 1978).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Clausewitz (see note 3 to this chapter) Vol. III, chapter 6, pp. 124–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A.J.C. Edwards 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. C. Edwards

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