Strategic Stability in the 21st Century

Dr Ulrich Kühn et al.

What is “Strategic Stability?” Is it still relevant, and what are its most serious challenges in the 21st century?  These are the overarching questions in a new special issue, guest-edited by Dr. Ulrich Kühn, of the Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament.

In his introduction, Ulrich Kühn argues, that strategic stability is not only conceptually fuzzy but nuclear multipolarity, novel technologies, an exacerbating crisis in arms control, and a growing acceptance of “softer” norms are all taking a toll. At the same time, nuclear weapon states are concerned with possible instability to a degree not seen since the most severe crises of the Cold War. It is time, the author argues, to clarify some of the profound challenges to strategic stability & offer novel scholarly as well as policy-relevant approaches.

Besides the introduction, the special issues comprise four articles:

  • Sarah Bidgood (CNS) focuses on the US-Russian dyad and pragmatic efforts to clarify the goals and means of strategic stability between Moscow and Washington.
  • Heather Williams (CSIS) and Marina Favaro (Anthropic) examine how emerging technologies will impact crisis stability.
  • Anna Nadibaidze (SDU) and Nicolò Miotto (independent researcher) compare US and Russian discourse on military AI.
  • David Santoro (Pacific Forum) is probing early discussions on crisis management between Washington and Beijing to get past the Chinese “no” to engaging on nuclear arms control.

The special issue of the Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, Volume 6 (1) was published under an open-access license. You can find the special issue here.