Cambridge, MA – Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As Secretary of Defense, Carter, a physicist, became known for pushing the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box” in order to transform the way the military fought adversaries and strengthened alliances, managed its budget and talent, developed its technology, and more. He will now lead the Belfer Center’s programs and will focus his scholarship on the role of innovation and technology in addressing challenges at home and around the world.
The U.S. response to mass killings abroad has been the subject of frequent debate and critique. Critics argue that the United States has failed to adequately apply its immense military and soft power to halt these massacres throughout history. Conventional arguments suggest that a lack of "political will" for engagement has led to limited responsiveness. Yet scholars and policymakers still understand very little about what specifically contributes to "political will," and why the United States does change policy to respond more forcefully in certain cases. Drawing on historical materials collected from research at eight archives, this seminar will offer a theory of presidential decision-making in response to mass killing, illuminating the historical factors that typically lead to changes in policy and uncovering dramatic stories of internal government infighting, secret deliberations, and cover-ups, as various administrations have struggled to define their policy response.
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.