Political Theory

Liberty and Responsibility in the Age of the Nuclear Weapons


This conference explored the age of nuclear weapons from just after the end of World War II through the Cold War and up to the present. Issues of nuclear deterrence and proliferation were considered in the context of their potential impact on the free society.


Conference Readings

Brodie, Bernard, eds. The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World Order. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1946.

Alsop, Joseph and Stewart. “Your Flesh Should Creep.” Saturday Evening Post (July 13 1946): 9 and 49-50.

Eisenhower, Dwight D. “Farewell Address to the Nation [Transcript].” Television broadcast, Washington, D.C., January 17, 1961.

FBIS-USR-93-121 of September 20, 1993. “Transcript of Gorbachev-Reagan Reykjavik Talks: Part 4.” Russian Transcript, Iceland, October 1986.

Gavin, Francis J. “Same As It Ever Was: Nuclear Alarmism, Proliferation, and the Cold War.” International Security 34, no. 3 (Winter 2009): 7-37.

Hehir, J. Bryan, “The U.S. Catholic Bishops and Nuclear Arms” In Ethics and Nuclear Arms, edited by Raymond English, 77-82. Washington D.C: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1985.

Ikle, Fred Charles, Hans Speier, Bernard Brodie, et al. “The Diffusion of Nuclear Weapons to Additional Countries: The ’Nth Country’ Problem [AD 315 618].” RAND Corporation research memorandum RM-2484-RC, Santa Monica, October 15, 1959.

Kaufmann, William W., “The Requirements of Deterrence” In Military Policy and National Security, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1956. 12-38.

Kissinger, Henry A. Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1957.

Lemennicier, Bertrand, “Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation or Monopoly?” In The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, 127-143. Auburn, Alabama: Mises Institute, 2004.

Lieber, Keir A. and Daryl G. Press. “Superiority Complex: Why America’s Growing Nuclear Supremacy May Make War With China More Likely.” The Atlantic (July/August 2007): 1-9.

Reagan, Ronald. “Address to the Nation on Defense and National Security.” Broadcast live on nationwide radio and television, from the Oval Office at the White House, March 23, 1983.

Sagan, Scott, “More Will be Worse” In The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed, edited by Scott D. Waltz, 46-87. New York: Norton, 2003.

Schelling, Thomas C. The Strategy of Conflict. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963.

Schultz, George P., William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn. “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons.” The Wall Street Journal (January 4, 2007): Page A15.

Speech of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. “The Strategy of Massive Retaliation.” Before the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C., January 12, 1954.

The Executive Secretary on Basic National Security Policy. “Paper No. 162/2: A Report to the National Security Council.” Approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Washington, D.C., October 30, 1953.

Waltz, Kenneth N. “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Better.” Adelphi Papers, International Institute for Strategic Studies 21, no. 171 (London 1981): 1-30.

Waltz, Kenneth N. “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb: Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability.” Foreign Affairs 91, no. 4 (July/August 2012): 2-5.

Wohlstetter, Albert. “The Delicate Balance of Terror.” Foreign Affairs 37, no. 2 (January 1959): 211-234.