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Scott D. Sagan
Journal Articles

Does the Noncombatant Immunity Norm Have Stopping Power? A Debate

Scott D. Sagan, Scott D. Sagan, Benjamin A. Valentino, Charli Carpenter, Alexander H. Montgomery
International Security , 2020

Our 2015 survey experiment—reported in the 2017 International Security article “Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran”—asked a representative sample of Americans to choose between continuing a ground invasion of Iran that would kill an estimated 20,000 U.S. soldiers or launching a nuclear attack on an Iranian city that would kill an estimated 100,000 civilians.1 Fifty-six percent of the respondents preferred the nuclear strike.

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Journal Articles

Not Just a War Theory: American Public Opinion on Ethics in Combat

Scott Sagan, Benjamin Valentino
International Studies Quarterly , 2018

This article assesses American public attitudes toward the just war principles of proportionality, due care and distinction. Consistent with the logic of proportionality, the authors find that Americans are less willing to inflict collateral deaths on foreign civilians when the military advantage of destroying a target is lower. Most Americans also are willing to risk the deaths of American soldiers to avert a larger number of collateral foreign civilian deaths, which accords with the due care principle.

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Books

Insider Threats

Scott D. Sagan (editor), Matthew Bunn
Cornell University Press , 2017

High-security organizations around the world face devastating threats from insiders—trusted employees with access to sensitive information, facilities, and materials. From Edward Snowden to the Fort Hood shooter to the theft of nuclear materials, the threat from insiders is on the front page and at the top of the policy agenda. Insider Threats offers detailed case studies of insider disasters across a range of different types of institutions, from biological research laboratories, to nuclear power plants, to the U.S. Army. Matthew Bunn and Scott D.

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Books

Learning from a Disaster: Improving Nuclear Safety and Security After Fukushima (edited volume)

Edward D. Blandford, Scott D. Sagan
2016

This book—the culmination of a truly collaborative international and highly interdisciplinary effort—brings together Japanese and American political scientists, nuclear engineers, historians, and physicists to examine the Fukushima accident from a new and broad perspective.
  

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Commentary

Requiem for a Realist: Remembering the nuclear strategist

Scott Sagan
Foreign Policy , 2013

Scott Sagan, in this piece for Foreign Policy, remembers his longtime friend and colleague Kenneth Waltz. Waltz passed away on May 13. Sagan praised his work, noting that the realist perspective on the stabilizing effects of nuclear weapons struck a chord with international experts and strategists, even though his views were not popular in the United States. Waltz's contributions to the debate about nuclear weapons have left an enguring legacy. 

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Journal Articles

Atomic Aversion: Experimental Evidence on Taboos, Traditions, and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons

Daryl G. Press, Scott D. Sagan, Benjamin A. Valentino
American Political Science Review , 2013
How strong are normative prohibitions on state behavior? The authors examine this question by analyzing anti-nuclear norms, sometimes called the “nuclear taboo,” using an original survey experiment to evaluate American attitudes regarding nuclear use. The authors find that the public has only a weak aversion to using nuclear weapons and that this aversion has few characteristics of an “unthinkable” behavior or taboo. Instead, public attitudes about whether to use nuclear weapons are driven largely by consequentialist considerations of military utility. Americans’ willingness to use nuclear weapons increases dramatically when nuclear weapons provide advantages over conventional weapons in destroying critical targets. Americans who oppose the use of nuclear weapons seem to do so primarily for fear of setting a negative precedent that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons by other states against the United States or its allies in the future.
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Books

The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate

Scott Sagan, Kenneth Waltz
W. W. Norton & Company , 2012

Overview, from W.W. Norton & Company:

A long-time staple of International Relations courses, this new edition continues the important discussion of nuclear proliferation, while looking at the regions and issues now at the forefront of the nuclear question.

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Working Papers

The Conundrum of Close Calls: Lessons Learned for Securing Nuclear Weapons

Scott D. Sagan, Reid Pauly
Nonproliferation Policy Education Center , 2012

In a paper prepared for the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, CISAC research assistant Reid Pauly and senior fellow Scott Sagan share new evidence of instances when nuclear test sites, weapons in transit and deployed weapons were threatened during times of political instability.

 

 

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Commentary

After the Nuclear Posture Review: Obama's disarming influence

Scott D. Sagan
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , 2011

Article highlights (From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

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Working Papers

Shared Responsibilities for Nuclear Disarmament: A Global Debate

Scott D. Sagan, James M. Acton, Jayantha Dhanapala, Mustafa Kibaroglu, Harald Müller, Yukio Satoh, Mohamed I. Shaker, Achilles Zaluar
American Academy of Arts and Sciences , 2010

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has published a paper with seven essays from leading scholars invited to respond to Scott Sagan's concluding essay in the Fall 2009 special issue of Daedalus on the global nuclear future. The paper includes Scott's original essay and responses by James M. Acton, Jayantha Dhanapala, Mustafa Kibaroglu, Harald Muller, Yukio Satoh, Mohamed I. Shaker and Achilles Zaluar.

As Leslie Berlowitz, CEO of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, states in an excerpt from the paper's introduction:

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Commentary

The Great Debate: Is Nuclear Zero the Best Option?

Scott Sagan, Kenneth Waltz
The National Interest , 2010

The nuclear debate continues:

 

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Journal Articles

Alternative Nuclear Futures

Scott Sagan, Steven E. Miller
Daedalus , 2010
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Books

Going Nuclear: Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century

Chaim Braun, Scott D. Sagan, Michael E. Brown, Owen R. Coté Jr., Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Steven E. Miller
MIT Press (International Security reader) , 2010

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the 21st century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

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Books

Inside Nuclear South Asia

Scott D. Sagan
Stanford University Press , 2009

Nuclear-armed adversaries India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their creation as sovereign states in 1947. They went to the brink of a fourth in 2001 following an attack on the Indian parliament, which the Indian government blamed on the Pakistan-backed Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist organizations. Despite some attempts at rapprochement in the intervening years, a new standoff between the two countries was precipitated when India accused Lashkar-e-Taiba of being behind the Mumbai attacks late last year.

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Journal Articles

Shared Responsibilities for Nuclear Disarmament

Scott D. Sagan
Daedalus , 2009

Interest in nuclear disarmament has grown rapidly in recent years. Starting with the 2007 Wall Street Journal article by four former U.S. statesmen-George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn-and followed by endorsements from similar sets of former leaders from the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Australia, and Italy, the support for global nuclear disarmament has spread. The Japanese and Australian governments announced the creation of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in June 2008. Both Senators John

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Journal Articles

Nuclear power without nuclear proliferation?

Scott D. Sagan, Steven E. Miller
Daedalus , 2009

In this introductory essay, we aim first to demonstrate why the question of which states will develop nuclear power in the future matters for global security. To do so, we briefly discuss the connections between nuclear power, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism risks; we present data contrasting existing nuclear-power states with potential new entrants with respect to factors influencing those risks.

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Journal Articles

Case for No First Use, The

Scott D. Sagan
Survival , 2009

The forthcoming U.S. Nuclear Posture Review should broaden the traditional focus of such policy reviews on deterrence requirements and include a thorough analysis of how U.S. nuclear declaratory policy influences the likelihood of nuclear proliferation, the consequences of proliferation, and perceptions of the illegitimacy of nuclear terrorism. Such a broader frame of analysis leads to the conclusion that it would be in the U.S. national interest to adopt a no-first-use declaratory policy, stating clearly that 'the role of U.S.

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Journal Articles

Nuclear Iran, A: Promoting Stability or Courting Disaster?

Scott Sagan, Kenneth N. Waltz
Journal of International Affairs , 2007

On 8 February 2007, at the Kellogg Conference Center at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the Journal of International Affairs and the Middle East Institute hosted a live debate between Scott Sagan and Kenneth Waltz. The two political scientists revisited their classic debate on nuclear weapons, addressing recent developments in Iran and possible global responses. Richard K. Betts moderated the event. Dean Lisa Anderson delivered opening remarks. This article is a transcript of the discussion.

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Journal Articles

How to Keep the Bomb From Iran

Scott Sagan
Foreign Affairs , 2006

The debate over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program is clouded by historical amnesia. Nuclear proliferation has been stopped before, and it can and should be stopped in this case as well. Unfortunately, with Tehran -- as with some of its predecessors -- the price for Washington will be relinquishing the threat of regime change by force.

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Books

Realist Perspectives on Ethical Norms and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sohail H. Hashmi, Steven P. Lee, Scott D. Sagan, Sohail H. Hashmi, Steven P. Lee
Cambridge University Press in "Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction" , 2004

This volume offers a unique perspective on the discussion of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by broadening the terms of the debate to include both secular and religious investigations not normally considered. The volume contains a structured dialogue between representatives of the following ethical traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, feminism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, liberalism, natural law, pacifism, and realism. There are two introductory chapters on the technical aspects of WMD and international agreements for controlling WMD.

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