This paper introduces a research agenda intended to extend deterrence theory to address increasingly complex strategic interactions. Deterrence was first consciously formulated and deployed as a strategy and doctrine by the United States during the Cold War. Increasing options for the deployment of force in new domains and the growing technological and economic interconnectedness of the contemporary world creates opportunities, some new and some familiar, for state or non-state opponents to seek asymmetric advantages against competitors. Great complexity generates great uncertainty, undermining both the simple logic of earlier deterrence frameworks and the credibility of policies founded on them. “Cross domain deterrence” seeks to counter threats in one arena by relying on unlike capabilities in another area where deterrence may prove more effective. How, for instance, might threats to cyberspace or outer space be countered by sea power or nuclear weapons, or even non-military tools such as access to markets or normative regimes? The increasing complexity of capabilities, linkages, and actors in the world poses opportunities and challenges that would benefit from an evolution of deterrence theory and practice.
About the Speaker
Erik Gartzke is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, and Professor of Government at the University of Essex. His research interests include nuclear security, the liberal peace, international institutions and the evolving nature of warfare. He has written on the effects of commerce, economic development, system structure and climate change on war. Professor Gartzke’s research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Politics, World Politics, and elsewhere.