The concept of ‘virtual nuclear abolition’ appeals to the same realist self-help arguments that are normally invoked to explain why nuclear disarmament is neither feasible nor desirable. This chapter explores the conditions under which virtual deterrence would be stable and under which states would have minimal incentives to rearm out of the fear that an adversary might do so.

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This chapter was originally published in Global Nuclear Disarmament: Strategic, Political, and Regional Perspectives, published by Routledge.