This edited volume examines deterrence and the defense efforts of European states neighboring Russia, following the Crimean intervention.

Deterrence, after being largely absent from debates among academics and policy-makers for almost a quarter of a century, has made a comeback in Europe. Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the start of the military conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region, eastern and northern European states have revised their assessments of Russia’s policies and intentions. The approach used by Russia in Ukraine has rendered lessons learned from the Cold War deterrence only partially applicable due to the changing security situation in Europe. The emergence of the cyber realm, a smaller emphasis on nuclear deterrence, and the ideological conflict between Russia and the West, are among the key differences between the Cold War and the current security environment. Structured into two parts, the first part discusses conceptual aspects of deterrence, while the second discusses ten country case studies, which include both NATO and non-NATO countries. This allows for an in-depth analysis of the changing character of deterrence and its practical application by Russia’s European neighbours.

This volume will be of much interest to students of strategic studies, European politics, Russian foreign policy, security studies and international relations in general.

chapter |16 pages


The (un)expected return of deterrence to Europe
ByToms Rostoks

part I|2 pages

Conceptualizing deterrence

chapter 1|17 pages

The evolution of deterrence from the Cold War to hybrid war

ByToms Rostoks

chapter 2|17 pages

NATO’s conventional deterrence posture

ByMartin Zapfe, Nora Vanaga

chapter 3|18 pages

NATO’s nuclear deterrence deficit

ByAndrew Corbett

chapter 4|20 pages

Total defence as a comprehensive approach to national security

ByIeva Bērziņa

part II|2 pages

Country case studies

chapter 5|17 pages

Sweden and its deterrence deficit

Quick to react, yet slow to act
ByRobert Dalsjö

chapter 6|18 pages

Finland’s ambiguous deterrence

Mixing deterrence by denial with ambiguous extended deterrence
ByCharly Salonius-Pasternak

chapter 7|18 pages


NATO in the North?
ByKarsten Friis

chapter 8|17 pages

Estonia’s approach to deterrence

Combining central and extended deterrence
ByHenrik Praks

chapter 9|17 pages

Latvia’s defence strategy

Challenges in providing a credible deterrence posture
ByNora Vanaga

chapter 10|19 pages

The deterrence strategy of Lithuania

In search of the right combination
ByTomas Janeliūnas

chapter 11|18 pages

Belarus’ constrained efforts at national deterrence

ByNora Vanaga

chapter 12|19 pages


NATO’s East European frontline nation
ByZdzislaw Sliwa

chapter 13|19 pages


Rediscovering collective defence, relearning deterrence, redefining its role in European defence
ByClaudia Major, Christian Mölling

chapter 14|18 pages

Romania’s approach to deterrence

ByCarmen Sorina Rîjnoveanu

chapter |14 pages


ByNora Vanaga