Nukes with Numbers: Empirical Research on the Consequences of Nuclear Weapons for International Conflict

Posted: 13 May 2016

See all articles by Erik Gartzke

Erik Gartzke

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Matthew Kroenig

Georgetown University

Date Written: May 2016

Abstract

Research on nuclear security has gone quantitative. Rapid growth in empirical approaches to the consequences of nuclear weapons in recent years promises to settle some controversies, even as it initiates or resurrects debates that may eventually be resolved with better estimates or data. The toolkit for studying nuclear security had long been bereft of quantitative approaches, undermining the virtuous cycle between theory and evidence. New data and growing confidence in statistical approaches have finally produced a systematic empirical literature on the consequences of nuclear weapons. We review existing studies, organizing the literature along thematic lines. We also discuss challenges facing the emergent quantitative literature and suggest several avenues for future research. Although the terminus of the basic research agenda has been anticipated more than once, the literature on nuclear consequences has shown a remarkable ability to generate novel and often unexpected research questions.

Suggested Citation

Gartzke, Erik and Kroenig, Matthew, Nukes with Numbers: Empirical Research on the Consequences of Nuclear Weapons for International Conflict (May 2016). Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 19, pp. 397-412, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2779568 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-110113-122130

Erik Gartzke (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

Matthew Kroenig

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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