Linguistics In Security Studies: Content Analysis Of Nuclear Doctrines


The paper is devoted to exploring the use of content analysis as a method of studying nuclear doctrines to uncover linguistics aspects of complicated, multi-layered documents. The described approach, originally developed within linguistics, has been extensively adopted in political science. However, there are few scholarly content analyses of nuclear doctrines, which indicates a lack of discourse around the subject. The interdisciplinary nature of such studies represents an opportunity to bridge the gap between the two fields. The definition of a nuclear doctrine and quantitative/qualitative iterations of the technique are described in this article. Case studies based on the examples of U.S., Russian and P.R.C. nuclear doctrines are presented. Based on the results, findings are provided regarding the advantages as well as the limitations of utilising content analysis for the given purpose. Among the former are the formalised language of the documents, the applicability of the method for all major IR schools of thought, and public availability of the corresponding software. Disadvantages include the dissimilar nature of the documents in different nations hindering the comparability, difficulties related with translation issues (which can yield unequal results from the same document analysed in varying languages), and obvious lack of transparency due to the sensitivity of the topic. Finally, recommendations are made for further academic research.

The article is not prepared yet for the html view. Check back soon.

Copyright information

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Cite this paper as:

Click here to view the available options for cite this article.



Online ISSN