Episode 30: Coercion: Deterrence and Compellence

Episode 30: Coercion: Deterrence and Compellence


Jon O'Gorman


Daniel Post, Reid Pauly, Greg Bowen



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This week Jon O’Gorman and Daniel Post host two outside guests to talk about coercion theory. First, Dr. Reid Pauly, Dean’s Assistant Professor of Nuclear Security and Policy, Watson Institute, Brown University, and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Brigadier General Greg Bowen, U.S. Army (Ret), former Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, and member of the National Institute for Deterrence Studies. We begin with laying out the concept of coercion and discussion of the different types of coercion (deterrence and compellence), the differences between them, the challenges and advantages of each, and how this has worked in recent history, particularly during the nuclear era. We look at the stability/instability paradox of nuclear weapons and if this changes the coercion theory. We discuss how states must have the assurances that another state will make good on their threats for the concept to work. We explore this in the context of places like Syria, North Korea, Ukraine, and China. Lastly, we look at how these concepts fit with understanding strategy and grand strategy especially in a nation that can change administrations every four years.

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156 MB

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theory, strategy, deterrence, compellance, nuclear weapons, c coercion, assurances, Syria, North Korea, Ukraine and China

Episode 30: Coercion: Deterrence and Compellence