Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Deterrence and the Limits of Strategy

14. April 2011

Dr. Thomas Rid (King´s College London)

What if victory is no longer an option? This question was prominently raised only in the cold war. As a result, strategic thinkers started developing the concept of deterrence. But the nuclear fallout from Hiroshima contaminated much strategic thought on deterrence for the next half-century and beyond. With respect to deterring political violence, internal threats may be more enlightening than external ones.

For many centuries, violent actors, mainly criminal but also occasionally political ones, have challenged the State`s monopoly of the use of force. Final victory was never considered an option against crime. As a result, legal and political philosophers developed another, much older concept of deterrence. Once the time axis has been stretched out, once the enemy has been conceptually broken up, and once the role of the actual use of force for purposes of deterrence is recognised, two novel aspects become visible: the limits of strategy and the normative dimension of force.

Do, 14. April 2011, 18 Uhr s.t.
Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg Konstanz
Otto-Adam-Str. 5
78467 Konstanz


Fred Girod
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