Introduction: Sociocultural Approaches to Understanding Nuclear Thresholds

  • Kerry M. Kartchner
Part of the Initiatives in Strategic Studies: Issues and Policies book series (ISSIP)


This chapter serves as the introduction to the volume Crossing Nuclear Thresholds: Leveraging Sociocultural Insights into Nuclear Decisionmaking, introducing the key conceptual and policy issues addressed in the text and providing an overview of the structure and content of the book. The concept of nuclear thresholds, those associated with decisions both to acquire nuclear weapons and to use them, is developed and situated in the existing nuclear literature; and the unique contributions of turning a sociocultural analytic lens to the question of nuclear decisionmaking are explored. In particular, the author evaluates the novel concept of “sacred values,” as it might apply to nuclear aspirations, and gives attention to the strength or fragility of the so-called nuclear taboo. Finally, this chapter provides an overview of the structure and contents of the book by introducing the authors and the principal contributions of each chapter.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerry M. Kartchner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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