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Prospects of Deterrence: Deterrence Theory, Representation and Evidence
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Maritime Operations Division. KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden .
2024 (English)In: Defence and Peace Economics, ISSN 1024-2694, E-ISSN 1476-8267, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 145-159Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Game theoretic analysis of deterrence has been criticized for not capturing how actors realistically behave. It is alleged that prospect theoretical re-modeling provides a better foundation for a deterrence theory. The article analyzes how the strategies change when a prospect theoretical function is applied to a central deterrence game. While the probability distributions changes, it cannot alter the general dynamics. When considered together with previous research, it shows that prospect theory neither can or should replace standard assumptions when constructing a deterrence theory. However, viewed as a compliment, prospect theory expands the modeling possibilities and opens up for important new aspects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 35, no 2, p. 145-159
Keywords [en]
Deterrence Theory, Game Theory, Theory of Science
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10958DOI: 10.1080/10242694.2022.2152956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-10958DiVA, id: diva2:1677961
Available from: 2022-06-28 Created: 2022-06-28 Last updated: 2024-02-07
In thesis
1. Deterrence Games for the 21st Century: Representation, Theory and Evidence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deterrence Games for the 21st Century: Representation, Theory and Evidence
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Deterrence is the backbone of military strategy. Dissuading an opponent from taking a specific action by threat of violence is the definition of deterrence. From the outset of the Cold War there has been a strong link between the study of deterrence and game theoretic analysis. There are compelling epistemic reasons for studying deterrence as a game. By doing so, the strategic interaction between actors is placed at the centre of the analysis, mapping the possible outcomes and revealing the strategies available to the actors. Discussions about various models’ appropriateness and model comparison therefore play a central role in deterrence research; from underlying assumptions and deterrence representation to theory and evidence. This dissertation treats aspects of all of these topics. Article I, “Prospects of Deterrence – Deterrence Theory – Representation and Evidence”, analyses the relationship between model and theory and what happens to a deterrence theory when the rationality assumption is switched to a prospect theoretical utility function. Article II, “A Misfit Model – Bounded Rationality and Deterrence Representation”, defends and remodels Schelling’s idea of irrational threats for effective deterrence. Article III, “Comparable Deterrence – Target, Criteria and Purpose”, treats the issue of how one can compare game theoretic models with one another and proposes a meta-model for how this can be done. Article IV, “Deterring the Dauntless – Appraising the Effects of Naval Deterrence against the Somali Piracy”, estimates whether and to what extent Somali piracy was deterred by the naval intervention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2022. p. 45
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 2147
Keywords
Deterrence Theory, Game Theory, Theory of Science
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10960 (URN)978-91-8040-101-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-05-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 15:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-07-11 Created: 2022-06-28 Last updated: 2023-11-17Bibliographically approved

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