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Deterrence and Systemism: A Diagrammatic Exposition of Deterrence-Related Processes Leading to the War in Iraq

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This article explores deterrence, a time-honoured concept in International Relations (IR), through the application of systemism, a concept borrowed from the philosophy of science. The purpose of this study is to provide a diagrammatic exposition that establishes the “value added” from systemism vis-à-vis the research on deterrence. A series of exchanges involving US-led efforts to deter Saddam Hussein, from the aftermath of the Gulf War of 1991 to the brink of the Iraq War of 2003, will be used to reveal the insights that systemism can bring over and above existing approaches to the study of deterrence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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