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This is a write-up of a lecture given at the Fourth ITER International Summer School held at the IFS, U. Texas in June 2010. A simple rigid plasma model is used to show that axisymmetric plasma instabilities (in two-dimensions) will occur on a resistive timescale and do not depend on the plasma mass. This is the justification for ignoring the inertial term in two-dimensional studies of plasma shape control and vertical stability. In three dimensions, it is not normally possible to ignore thedoi:10.13182/fst11-a11693 fatcat:sfjdo65rxne3rgcfnlatyfqqfu