Mistaken Ideas and Their Effects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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This article describes the negative effects of mistaken ideas focusing on the case of the history of U.S. nuclear war planning and diplomacy. It suggests that nuclear war planning and nuclear war talking were poorly coordinated and there was no overarching coordination of the two systems, which allowed each to be driven by different dynamics, with different audiences for their actions and different environmental constraints. Deterrence rhetoric was also used misleadingly to try to convince audiences that America's war planning was animated by rational, intellectual considerations. That rhetoric was aimed at misleading domestic and foreign audiences into believing that civilian politicians both were in control of nuclear weapons and understood the technologies they had at their disposal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577185
ISBN (Print)0199270430, 9780199270439
StatePublished - Mar 16 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Civilian politicians
  • Deterrence rhetoric
  • Diplomacy
  • Mistaken ideas
  • Nuclear war planning
  • U.S.

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    Clarke, L. (2006). Mistaken Ideas and Their Effects. In The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199270439.003.0016