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(p. 84) 5. Strategic Culture 

(p. 84) 5. Strategic Culture
(p. 84) 5. Strategic Culture

Jeffrey S. Lantis

and Darryl Howlett

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date: 08 July 2020

This chapter examines the scholarly and policymaking relevance of strategic culture in the contemporary world. Strategic culture may challenge and at the same time enrich prevailing neo-realist assumptions regarding strategy and security. It bridges material and ideational explanations of state behaviour, adding valuable perspectives to understand different countries' contemporary security policy choices. The chapter first considers approaches that address the relationship between culture and nuclear strategy during the cold war before discussing theoretical issues related to strategic culture, including the contribution of constructivism to security studies; the question of ‘ownership’ of strategic culture; and whether non-state, state, and multi-state actors can possess distinctive strategic cultures. It also reviews recent work that explores the link between strategic culture and the acquisition of and threats to use weapons of mass destruction.

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