Testing Organisation Man: The Cuban Missile Crisis and The Limits of Safety

Campbell Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


Scott Sagan’s analysis of the Cuban missile crisis in The Limits of Safety shows how accidents almost triggered a nuclear exchange during that conflict and how they are likely to cause an actual nuclear war at some point in the future. This article examines how Sagan’s crucially important study affects our understanding of the salience of deterrence and non-proliferation in the post-Cold War order and the prospects of nuclear peace. The conclusion contends that Sagan’s advocacy of nuclear arsenal modernisation and active non-proliferation efforts aimed at aspiring nuclear powers may well increase, rather than diminish, the chances of major nuclear war.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2012


  • Cuban missile crisis
  • Deterrence
  • non-proliferation
  • normal accident theory
  • Sagan
  • Waltz


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