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Atomic Anxiety : Deterrence, Taboo and the Non-Use of U.S. Nuclear Weapons (Hardcover) (Frank Sauer)
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Centring on the concept of 'Atomic Anxiety', this study offers a novel perspective on one of the most important and longstanding puzzles of international politics: the non-use of U.S. nuclear weapons. It explains how emotion is at the heart of nuclear non-use, and explores the intricate interplay of the two most prominent mechanisms said to cause nuclear non-use in particular: nuclear deterrence and the nuclear taboo. Overturning conventional wisdom, Dr Sauer demonstrates that nuclear deterrence and the nuclear taboo are working at cross purposes by asserting that the taboo is not stabilizing but hampering deterrence praxis. Additionally, this study identifies fear as the key precondition for both these mechanisms, a factor that has been overlooked and under-appreciated thus far. This comprehensive and theoretically sophisticated study will be of great interest to scholars of Security Studies and International Relations.