Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Common Security and Nonoffensive Defense: A Neorealist Perspective

Bjorn Møller
ISBN: 978-1-55587-259-5
1992/285 pages/LC: 91-28864

"A most useful reference.... It gains top marks for depth of research, refined thinking, and usefulness as a reference tool."—Pacific Research

"The most comprehensive account to date of a concept that merits serious consideration."—Perspectives on Political Science


Bjorn Møller explores the implications of switching to a new type of defense structure, nonoffensive defense (NOD), that would maintain an undiminished—or even improved—capability for defense while possessing no offensive capabilities. The advantages of such a switch, he posits, would be enhanced possibilities for arms control and disarmament, increased crisis stability, and the elimination of incentives for preventive war and preemptive attack.

Møller compares NOD with traditional military strategy and elaborates its distinguishing features with regard to land, air, and maritime forces, as well as nuclear strategy. He also analyzes the implications of NOD for alliances in general and NATO in particular, finding no incompatibilities in principle. Placing NOD in theoretical perspective, Moller sees it as a logical corollary of "common security," which in turn is consistent with both "realist" and "neorealist" approaches to the study of international relations.


Bjorn Møller is senior research fellow at the Center for Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Copenhagen. He is author of Resolving the Security Dilemma in Europe: The German Debate on Non-Offensive Defence and is editor of the NOD International Research Newsletter.


  • Introduction: The Study of NOD.
  • Realism, Common Security, and NOD.
  • NOD and Alliances.
  • NOD and the Armaments Dynamics.
  • NOD and War Prevention.
  • NOD and Traditional Strategy.
  • The Strategy of NOD. Conclusion: NOD as an Instrument of Security Policy.
No rights in Europe