Om Reconceptualizing Deterrence
This book offers a reconceptualisation of conventional deterrence theory, and applies it to enduring rivalries in the Middle East. The work argues that many of the problems encountered in the development of deterrence theory lay in the fact that it was developed during the Cold War, when the immediate problem it had to address was how to prevent catastrophic nuclear wars. The logic of nuclear deterrence compelled a preoccupation with the problem of stability over credibility; however, because the logic of conventional deterrence is different, the solution of the tension between credibility and stability is achieved by deference to credibility, due to the requirements of reputation and costly signaling. This book aims to narrow the gap between theory and evidence. It explores how a reconceptualization of the theory as a process that culminates in the internalization of deterrence within enduring rivalries is better suited to account for its final success: a finding that has eluded deterrence theorists for long. This interdisciplinary book will be of much interest to students of deterrence theory, strategic studies, international security, Middle Eastern studies and IR in general.