Benjamin Wilson (Berlin): Stability and Danger

Ideas and Politics in the Nuclear Age

24.11.2016 16:00 Uhr – 18:00 Uhr

wann: Donnerstag, 24. November 2016, 16-18 Uhr

wo: Historicum, Schellingstr. 12, Raum K026

Vortrag im Rahmen des Oberseminars "Perspektiven der Wissenschaftsgeschichte"

"The concept of “stability” lay at the foundation of Cold War nuclear strategy and the doctrine of mutual assured destruction. Where did the idea come from? Many say it was a consequence of the invention of thermonuclear weapons. But I claim that stability was a construction — an idea borrowed from the mid-twentieth-century “systems sciences.” For the American nuclear strategist Thomas Schelling, stability was a concept — and a specific graphical technique — he had encountered in his training and research as a Keynesian macroeconomist in the 1940s. A decade later, he creatively reapplied the technique to the problem of nuclear deterrence, helping to usher in the age of strategic stability." - Benjamin Wilson