Events

  • President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a public speech at Columbia University in New York City, 24 September 2007.

    Wikimedia CC/Daniella Zalcman

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Causes and Consequences of Public Cueing in Nuclear Decision-Making

    Thu., Jan. 28, 2021 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speakers: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom; Ariel Petrovics, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    This seminar seeks to examine the causes and consequences of public involvement in nuclear programs in two parts: first, exploring why some leaders involve the public in nuclear discussions, and then assessing shifts in public opinion in response to such cueing. Together, these  parts can help better understand when and how domestic publics can affect the trajectory of their states’ nuclear programs.

    Everyone is welcome to us via Zoom! Register before the seminar here: 
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEpceGprj0qHtYbTdT-_mgWIZVU_VNPqtZa

  • Cartoon depicting the application of the "water cure" by United States Army soldiers on a Filipino. In the background soldiers representing various European nations look on smiling. The Europeans say, "Those pious Yankees can't throw stones at us any more", meaning that the USA no longer has the moral standing to criticize European colonial practices. Cover of Life magazine, Vol. 39, #1021 first published on May 22, 1902

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Recurring Nightmare: The Endurance of American Torture

    Thu., Jan. 21, 2021 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: William d'Ambruoso, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    What explains the United States' repeated turn to torture as an interrogation method in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns? Using illustrations from the Philippine-American War through the post-2001 war on terror, this seminar shows that actors seek methods that are simultaneously nasty enough to be effective and sufficiently mild-sounding to evade condemnation.

    Everyone is welcome to us via Zoom! Register before the seminar here: 
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0odu2hqjMrHNQRt9FUJHlhDsvTDEgtzl3W

  • London. Westminster Bridge and House of Parliament. Postcard, c.1910

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform: Grand Strategy and Britain's Liberal Empire, 1846–1914

    Thu., Dec. 17, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Graeme Thompson, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    Liberal ideas of foreign policy and international order helped to shape the British Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. From 1846, the Pax Britannica rested on an integrated world system characterized by naval supremacy, free trade, and increasing globalization. Yet after 1870, the geopolitical context shifted rapidly as Britain's "liberal empire" faced rising economic and military competitors, notably imperial Germany. How did liberal politicians and intellectuals grapple with the challenge to British global power? Could the catastrophe of the First World War have been avoided? Focusing on Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898), this seminar outlines liberal attempts to articulate and implement a grand strategy of restraint. 

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAvduqpqTwiHNSoXA6xfGs_yZYtCrfN_H9H

  • Vera Micheles Dean, research director of the Foreign Policy Association.

    University of Rochester Archives

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Women and the Making of the U.S. Foreign Policy Community

    Thu., Dec. 10, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: David Allen, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow, International Security Program

    Who made the foreign policy community in the United States, and why does the answer matter? Scholars have traditionally looked to the men clustered around the Council on Foreign Relations, the Rockefeller and Carnegie philanthropies, and the Ivy League faculties to find the roots of the foreign policy "elite" or "establishment" in the years after World War I.  But this seminar will show that this focus has obscured the absolute centrality of progressive white women in the making of the U.S. foreign policy community, particularly those former suffragists, trained scholars, and expert activists who helped to build what was then the most prominent internationalist institution in the country, the Foreign Policy Association. 

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrf-2grDMtGdRFmZ5NQobCBYkvAqyvjzcJ

  • Demonstrators wave flags and chant in Nepalese, near the Thamel shopping area of Kathmandu, Nepal. There was no violence at this point but off image (behind the camera) there is a heavy military/police presence, 1 Apr. 2004.   Later in the day, low degree violence took place involving the police/military and protesters.

    Wikimedia CC/Rich

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Violence After Victory: Explaining Human Rights Outcomes After Conflict Termination

    Thu., Dec. 3, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Christopher Wiley Shay,  Research Fellow, International Security Program

    What stops human rights abuse? Christopher Shay explores this question in the context of conflict terminations, moments when leaders can plausibly turn away from repressive tactics. Many leaders fail to seize this opportunity, however, even in cases of democratization. Drawing on cross-national quantitative findings and qualitative research conducted in Nepal, Shay argues that these leaders' options are often constrained by powerful security institutions—and that civil-military relations are critical to understanding human rights outcomes.

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYocuiqrjopGNTxGJiOOsiUiylmF52NRnC5

  • Military Police of the Armed Forces in Cali, Colombia

    Secretariat of Security and Justice, Cali, Colombia

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Fighting Crime with an Iron Fist: An Experimental Evaluation of Militarized Policing in Cali, Colombia

    Thu., Nov. 12, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    SpeakersMichael Weintraub, Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes Bogotá, Colombia; Robert A. Blair, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University

    Governments across the developing world rely on the armed forces for domestic policing operations. Advocates of these "mano dura" (iron fist) policies view them as a necessary measure to control violent crime, while detractors claim they undermine human rights without reducing crime. The speakers experimentally evaluate a militarized policing intervention in Cali, Colombia, the country's third largest city and among its most violent.

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwoduyrrzksHtcUaM2Dj9vKMhnSG3pxDPBq

  • Secretary of State George Schultz testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the Reagan administration's current policies toward South Africa and proposed sanctions against their government, July 23, 1986.

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Buchanan Channel: How the Pro-Apartheid Movement Undercut the Reagan Administration's Anti-Sanctions Effort, 1985–1987

    Thu., Nov. 5, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Augusta Dell'Omo, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    This seminar examines how the institutional failure of the Reagan White House to invigorate a sterile sanctions debate created a window of opportunity for pro–South Africa conservatives. Led by White House Director of the Office of Communications Patrick Buchanan, a cadre of pro–South Africa Congressmen, and South Africa's surrogates, the pro-apartheid movement injected a white supremacist dialogue into the White House's discussions on sanctions policy that fundamentally undercut the efforts of the White House to rally a successful veto defense

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYpfuGsqT4jGtfNZ081oEvhhMGJSOugoCMh

  • A deserted classroom in Pripyat, Ukraine, three decades after the Chernobyl disaster, 10 March 2013.

    Wikimedia CC/DmytroChapman

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Recent Lessons for the Recovery from Acts of Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism

    Thu., Oct. 29, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Julius Weitzdörfer, Junior Professor of East Asian Law, Hagen University, Germany

    Risks stemming from CBRN-terrorism (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) are characterized by relatively low frequency, yet extraordinary potential impact. To help reduce the enormous potential costs associated with radiological and nuclear terrorism, drawing on cases from Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this seminar seeks to derive and improve recovery policies towards a well-rounded, holistic approach to mitigating the risks of nuclear and radiological terrorism.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAoc-yhrjwrEtEXOUTdHqGhMvLscB5VO38u

  • Tactical High Energy Laser / Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator, 20 August 2005

    U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Imagining the Unimaginable: War, Weapons, and Procurement Politics

    Thu., Oct. 22, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Sanne Verschuren, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Rather than assuming convergence in countries' military capabilities, this seminar examines why and how countries decide to develop different weapon capabilities within similar domains of warfare. To answer these questions, this seminar will explore the role of ideas and institutional bargaining in shaping decisions about military technology. This talk will subsequently apply the theory to the development of missile defense in the post–Cold War period.

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrcOmtqD0jE9R3_UZriEHVVRxUjR8q8HZs

  • President Richard Nixon Bidding Farewell to South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu at the Door to the Air Force One Helicopter, Flanked by an Honor Guard on the Helipad of the Western White House, La Casa Pacifica, in San Clemente, California, 3 April 1973

    White House Photo Office Collection

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Client's Dilemma: Great Powers, Counterinsurgent Governments, and Resistance to Reforms

    Thu., Oct. 15, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Jacqueline L. Hazelton, Associate, International Security Program

    This seminar presents a theoretical mechanism explaining the hierarchy of interests the counterinsurgent government considers and the options available to it when a great power intervener insists on reforms. It demonstrates this mechanism in a paired set of cases, South Vietnam under President Ngo Dinh Diem, when the United States was supporting the government in an advisory role, and under President Nguyen Van Thieu, when the United States was withdrawing from the war as quickly as possible.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJApceCpqD8oHdCDM-o59vdrub4glAuUoFqc

  • The G20 Summit working lunch, 7 July 2017.

    White House Photo/Shealah Craighead

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    China's Rise in Europe: A Threat to U.S. Hegemony?

    Thu., Oct. 8, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Thomas Cavanna, Assistant Research Professor, Center for Strategic Studies, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University

    After decades of engagement, European leaders have recently adopted an increasingly defensive stance vis-à-vis China. Experts are thoroughly debating the implications of this pushback for the United States. But less attention has been given to the deeper historical and geopolitical dimensions of the matter: What does China's rise in Europe mean for U.S. grand strategy?

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting:  https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcrcOGqqzsiHdOyZkV41u_yqYbdbXbuDWiN

  • Chinese President XI Jinping & Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gala evening dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and China, 5-June-2019.

    Wikimedia CC/kremlin.ru

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Russia-China Relations in the Age of COVID-19: Strategic Partners, Extra-Regional Rivals

    Thu., Oct. 1, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Samuel Ramani, D.Phil. Candidate in International Relations, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford

    This seminar will examine this contradiction in the Russia-China relationship and assess whether lessons from the Cold War–era Sino-Soviet Split can help predict the partnership's future direction. It will also examine how these contradictory trends in Russia-China relations could impact U.S. foreign policy and assess whether Russia and China chiefly pose a combined threat or two disparate challenges to U.S. hegemony in the post-pandemic era.

    Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEtduCrqTkvGNfXBx_5jgfRvTV0s5aAFKgP

  • A nighttime view of the Lujiazui peninsula of Shanghai, seen from the Bund, 25 November 2019. Lujiazui is Shanghai’s financial district.

    Wikimedia CC/Phizz

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    When Fast-Growing Great Powers Slow Down: Historical Evidence and Implications for China

    Thu., Sep. 24, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Michael Beckley, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Tufts University

    Most discussion on U.S.-China policy focuses on the implications of a rising China. This presentation, by contrast, considers some of the challenges that could be posed by an economically stagnating China. How would a severe and sustained economic growth slowdown affect China's foreign policy and military modernization? Would military conflict between China and the United States become more or less likely? This presentation addresses these questions by comparing China to past rising great powers that experienced major economic slowdowns.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/j/96550562494?pwd=REx3b1RWaVYxZWdhVW5Hbk9Ra3JEQT09

  • Cascade of gas centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium in the U.S. gas centrifuge plant in Piketon, Ohio, 1984.

    DOE Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    A-Bomb for the People: Domestic Drivers of Nuclear Latency

    Thu., June 4, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speakers: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom; Ariel Petrovics, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Though only nine states in the world today are believed to possess their own nuclear weapons, many more states have the capability to pursue a nuclear bomb if they choose. This capability – or nuclear latency – has recently drawn attention in international relations scholarship, which largely focuses on the effects of latency on international deterrence, compellence, and bargaining. While this research helps explain the security benefits and motives that may drive states to pursue nuclear capabilities short of the bomb, it has yet to determine how domestic politics play into these considerations. This project explores how public opinion factors into state decisions to pursue or forgo latent nuclear capabilities. In doing so, it seeks to offer new insight into when and why latency can become a salient topic to domestic audiences, and the implications of these domestic drivers for the future of nonproliferation.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwuc-qrqj4pG90vSX2_VoG35zaE6L6mkPQt

  • A nuclear advanced designated marksman assists in a launch facility exercise.

    USAF/Beau Wade, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    A Sense of Purpose: The Bedrock of the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

    Thu., May 21, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Lt. Col. William C. Smith, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    How do leaders motivate Airmen to give their best to perform this unsung duty, day after day, for years at a time? A recent study found clarity of purpose to be the basis of verifiable mission success, purposeful leadership, and esprit de corps, which suggests that clearly communicating the higher purpose of their work to Airmen would help them find meaning in their tasks. A sense that their work is meaningful, the result of internalizing a higher purpose, underpins the safety and security cultures critical to a successful nuclear enterprise. The speaker will build on their findings by introducing five leadership concepts, identifying the particular importance each plays in providing a credible nuclear deterrent, and offering an effective method for implementation. These principles have broad application to organizational leadership as a whole, and if collectively and effectively implemented, would provide the bedrock for safe, secure, and effective nuclear operations.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvdO-sqT4oH9VljkvSrgNBBGATIdqGjGBY

  • First meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1 April 1974.

    UN Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    After the Negotiations: Understanding Multilateral Nuclear Arms Control

    Thu., May 14, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Stephen Herzog, Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Arms control has languished as a field of academic inquiry, despite a renaissance in nuclear security studies and significant advances in understanding proliferation. Few studies have attempted to emulate past academic shaping of arms control agreements and outcomes, with particularly limited emphasis on multilateral efforts. This is a problematic situation as the world looks beyond bilateral U.S.–Russian arms control toward the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ), and even the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The speaker attempts to fill this gap by offering a theory of state entry into multilateral nuclear arms control agreements.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
    https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEtc-mrqz8jH9coGNTF7bloNM75UeKB3bJW

  • The USS Pennsylvania, a nuclear-armed Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine

    U.S. Navy Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Nuclear Platform Diversification: A New Dataset

    Thu., May 7, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speakers: Giles David Arceneaux, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Kyungwon Suh, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Syracuse University

    The deterrent capacity of a state's nuclear forces is dependent upon the platforms and delivery systems that constitute the arsenal. The mere possession of nuclear weapons does not provide a robust deterrent and nuclear states cannot credibly deter potential adversaries with nuclear threats in the absence of adequate delivery capabilities. The project presents a new dataset that measures the possession of seven nuclear delivery platforms across all nuclear powers from 1945–2019, including: submarine-launched missiles, strategic land-mobile missiles, strategic solid-fuel missiles, nuclear cruise missiles, multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, long-range ballistic missiles, and tactical nuclear weapons.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcsf-6uqTwoHdZZJ3qqoP1Ohy78rsXBc5en

  • Ruins of Nikolaevsk in the Russian Far East, June 1920

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Massacre and Memory: Analyzing Violence in the Russian Civil War

    Thu., Apr. 30, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Paul Behringer, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    Massacres are a common occurrence during times of war. Although the reasons vary as to why and the context within which this type of killing transpires, massacres also share certain characteristics across space and time. The greatest atrocity of the Russian Civil War in the Far East occurred in 1920 at Nikolaevsk, a town of 15,000 residents located near the mouth of the Amur River. By examining those who perpetrated the massacre, the types of violence they deployed, the victims who died, and how observers chose to document it, scholars and policymakers can understand what often seems at first glance to be senseless violence.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcuce2uqjssGtQlipRsIG2OTS0adywtkgT-

  • Aftermath of the 1981 Red Army Faction bombing of U.S. Air Forces Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, August 1981.

    USAF Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Terrorism and Political Legitimacy

    Thu., Apr. 23, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Anina Schwarzenbach, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program

    Nowadays, the availability of large databases on terrorist events allows researchers to shed light on patterns of terrorist activities and provides for new insights on how and where terrorism proliferates. Still, scholars and policymakers know little as to why in some countries, and periods in time, terrorist activities are much more frequent than in others. As for now, popular explanations on the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, have resulted in inconsistent empirical evidence. Other concepts widely applied in political science and criminology, such as approaches drawn from political legitimacy, have been neglected in the study of terrorism.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUqcuGsrTwrH9fnixp6gfngWf4DMq5itcO4

  • Buccaneer aircraft of 800 Squadron from HMS EAGLE on patrol over Aden airfield during the withdrawal of British troops on 29 November 1967.

    Imperial War Museum

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Lessons in Retrenchment: The Legacy of the United Kingdom's Withdrawal from "East of Suez"

    Thu., Apr. 16, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: William James, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow, International Security Program

    Why did Britain withdraw from its military bases in the Persian Gulf, Malaysia, and Singapore? The current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, believes that the drawdown was a mistake, taken rashly in January 1968 as pro-European Cabinet members seized on a financial crisis to end the "East of Suez" role. This interpretation — that retrenchment was the result of Britain's weak economic position and domestic politics — aligns with most of the historiography. In this seminar, that view will be questioned. Based on extensive archival research, the speaker offers an alternative explanation on the timing and motives for the withdrawal. The talk will conclude with policy recommendations for current practitioners in London, who are charting a return "East of Suez" under the post-Brexit banner of "Global Britain."

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/v5MocuCqqzIi2Lg5FwAv24-wwUO2wr5XXg

  • President Donald J. Trump signs an EO on Iran Sanctions in the Green Room at Trump National Golf Club, August 5, 2018, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

    White House Photo/Shealah Craighead

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Turning Paper Screws: The Effectiveness of Economic Sanctions in International Security

    Thu., Apr. 9, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Ariel Petrovics, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Economic sanctions are one of the most common coercive tools of foreign policy, used regularly in an effort to change target state behavior. Yet despite their versatility and prevalence in international relations, sanctions are at best an unreliable tool of foreign policy. Indeed, many of the most important and publicized sanction attempts have failed to produce any desired change in the target. Existing literature on the effectiveness of sanctions has largely focused on whether or not sanctions eventually succeed, but this overlooks the arguable more policy relevant questions of when and under what conditions sanctions are effective tools of statecraft. The speaker's research  finds that sanctions with the greatest implications for international security such as those that combat nuclear proliferation or foreign military aggression fail even more catastrophically than their less salient counterparts.

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Click here. Meeting ID number: 810311271

  • The Syrian Democratic Forces announce an offensive north of Deir ez-Zor, 9 September 2017.

    VOA

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    An Enigmatic Insurgency: An Analysis of the Syrian Kurds' Campaign from mid-2014 to mid-2017

    Thu., Apr. 2, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: John Holland-McCowan, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In the U.S.-led coalition's campaign against ISIS in Syria, the controversial and understudied Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have served as the tip of the spear. This seminar will present what underpinned the Syrian Kurds' remarkable success from mid 2014 to mid 2017 before discussing the broader implications for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East

    Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom!  Click here. Meeting ID number: 596848662

  • Bernard Fall with C Company, 1/9 Marines, February 20, 1967

    USMC Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare in Indochina

    Thu., Mar. 26, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker: Nathaniel L. Moir, Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    This seminar investigates how Vietnam War scholar and Indochina expert, Bernard Fall (1926–1967), developed his conception of Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare and how he applied this knowledge to his analysis of the First and Second Indochina Wars.

    Please join us online via Zoom!  Click here.  Meeting name: International Security Program - March 26 2020

  • A mujahadeen guard walks with U.S. military members of the Afghanistan Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) during a site visit Mar. 5, 2009, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

    USAF/Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Failed Assumptions and Missed Opportunities: The American Way of War and Its Implications in Afghanistan

    Thu., Mar. 19, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Online

    Speaker:  Lt. Col. Patrick Kolesiak, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar will be online. Please join us remotely via Zoom!  Click here to join.

    As America pursues a negotiated peace deal with the Taliban and Afghan government, it is critical to return to analyze how a war that was supposed to last mere months turned into "America's Longest War." The failure of U.S. policy in Afghanistan was catastrophic misalignment between a rapidly emerging strategy in Afghanistan and the triad of "ends, ways, and means." This talk seeks to specifically explore how a divergence between a "Washington Way of War" and a "U.S. Military Way of Battle" led to failed assumptions, mismatched objectives, and missed opportunities. The speaker will explore six key mistakes made during the waning days of combat operations and the movement into post-conflict stability operations.

    This seminar will be online. Please join us remotely via Zoom!  Click here to join.

  • Attack on and capture of the Crête-à-Pierrot fort, Haiti (March 4–24, 1802). Original illustration by Auguste Raffet, engraving by Hébert.

    Histoire de Napoleon, M. de Norvins, 1839, page 239/Auguste Raffet (1804–1860)

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    From Revolution to Recognition: Assessing the Effect of Proslavery Ideology on British and U.S. Isolation of Haiti, 1804–1862

    Thu., Mar. 12, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Lindsay Hundley, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar will be online. Please join us remotely via Zoom!  Instructions below.

    In recent years, the world has increasingly witnessed international conflict along ideological fault lines. Western policymakers warn that authoritarian countries like Russia and China are seeking to exploit divisions within democratic societies to promote autocratic tendencies, while for decades, authoritarian countries have accused the West of doing the same—of manufacturing domestic uprisings as a way to force liberalism upon them. While history is filled with examples of conflicts along these types of ideological lines, there is little consensus among scholars about whether ideology has any effect on relations between states. This presentation will focus in on British and U.S. reactions to the Haitian Revolution to advance scholars' and policymakers' understanding of the relationship between ideology and international conflict.

    Please join us via Zoom! Click here to join.

  • Map of Europe in 1700, based on an image in G. M. Trevelyan's England Under Queen Anne Volume I.

    Wikimedia CC/Rebel Redcoat

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Diplomats, Elites, and Hegemony: Failures of Global Governance in Historical and Contemporary Perspective

    Thu., Mar. 5, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Jonah Stuart Brundage, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do certain states, at certain points in time, establish leadership and governance over regional or global systems of states? This seminar contributes to explaining this process of hegemony by emphasizing cases in which it failed to occur despite the presence of the necessary military and economic conditions. In particular, the speaker will present a historical case study of British diplomacy in eighteenth-century Europe, showing that Britain failed to become a regional hegemon at this time despite its unrivalled military and economic capabilities.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs

    Thu., Feb. 27, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Peter Andreas, John Hay Professor of International Studies, Brown University; Author, Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs

    There is growing alarm over how drugs empower terrorists, insurgents, militias, and gangs. But by looking back not just years and decades but centuries, Peter Andreas reveals that the drugs-conflict nexus is actually an old story, and that powerful states have been its biggest beneficiaries.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • The USS New Jersey fires a salvo from its 16"/50 guns during a deployment off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, 9 January 1984

    U.S. Navy'Ron Garrison

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Warkeeping: Intervention in Lebanon, 1982–1984

    Thu., Feb. 20, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Emily Whalen, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    This presentation examines a period of direct U.S. participation in Lebanon's war, the eighteen months during which U.S. Marines were deployed in Beirut as part of a Multinational Peacekeeping Force (MNF).  Existing scholarship on the MNF intervention in Lebanon tends to focus on the infamous barracks bombing of October 1983, overlooking how the securitization and militarization of U.S. policy in Lebanon changed both the Lebanese state and the U.S. foreign policy process. Juxtaposing discussions in Washington with events on the ground in Beirut during the months preceding the barracks bombing, this presentation uses the intervention in Lebanon to cast light on the relationship between intentions and outcomes in U.S. foreign policy.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Argentina's Mauricio Macri alongside Germany's Angela Merkel and China's Xi Jinping at the G20 2017 summit, 7 July 2017.

    Wikimedia CC/Casa Rosada

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Burning (Atlantic) Bridges? U.S. Grand Strategy and the Rise of China in Europe

    Thu., Feb. 13, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Thomas Cavanna, Visiting Assistant Professor, Center for Strategic Studies, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University

    Is the United States losing Europe to China? What could that mean from a grand strategic perspective? Those questions may appear far-fetched given the huge influence that America has exerted over Europe since 1945, the benefits that it has provided to its allies, and the latter's recent push back against Beijing and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Yet the China challenge is real and emerges in a time of major uncertainty over Washington's intentions and capabilities.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Fiery Cross Reef, Spratly Islands, South China Sea, in May 2015. Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef.

    U.S. Navy

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Law as a Battlefield: The United States, China, and Global Escalation of Lawfare

    Thu., Feb. 6, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Jill Goldenziel,  Associate Professor, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia

    This presentation will argue that the United States needs to develop a Lawfare strategy to combat its adversaries. It will first define the concept of Lawfare and discuss how its use has evolved and escalated in recent years. It will illustrate this phenomenon by examining three different types of Lawfare between China and the United States or its allies: international arbitration over China's claims to the Spratly Islands, China's non-uniformed maritime militias, and litigation involving the United States and Huawei.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Visionary or Follower? Rethinking the Foreign Policy of Theodore Roosevelt

    Thu., Jan. 30, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Aroop Mukharji, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    Admirers of Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy tend to point to his realist sensibilities, his acute awareness of the global balance of power, his reluctance to use force, and his velvet glove (and iron fist). Critics cast him as a reckless blowhard who misread the world around him, issued excessive threats, and kicked off a slew of heavy-handed interventions in Latin America, souring the United States' relationship with its hemisphere for decades to come. Both camps, however, seem to agree that he was his own man: a fiercely independent leader with a well-defined mission. In this seminar, that belief is questioned.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Arrival ceremony welcoming King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, 27 May 1971. Pictured left to right: King Faisal Ibn Abd Al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, President Nixon, and Mrs. Nixon.

    NARA/Robert L. Knudsen

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    A Diplomatic Counterrevolution: The Transformation of the U.S.–Middle East Alliance System in the 1970s

    Thu., Jan. 23, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Carl Forsberg, Ernest May Fellowship in History & Policy, International Security Program

    Two developments have defined Middle Eastern international politics in the 2010s: first, the Arab spring and its failures, and second, polarization between Iran and a coalition of Arab states allied with the United States. This seminar locates the historical logics behind these developments in the regional transformations of the 1970s. During that decade, the regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and imperial Iran collaboratively forged a diplomatic counterrevolution with U.S. support. Animated by a fear of alliances between the Soviet Union, revolutionary regimes, and the domestic left, these states advanced a new regional order designed to reinforce the security of authoritarian rule. The counterrevolutionary coalitions and strategies developed in the 1970s persisted after the Iranian Revolution, as U.S. allies pivoted to countering Iran and, more recently, the 2011 Arab spring.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Informal border crossing between Colombia and Ecuador

    Annette Idler

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War

    Thu., Dec. 19, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Annette Idler, Visiting Scholar, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

    Annette Idler will discuss the findings of her timely new book, Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War (Oxford University Press, 2019). The post–cold war era has seen an unmistakable trend toward the proliferation of violent non-state groups-variously labeled terrorists, rebels, paramilitaries, gangs, and criminals-near borders in unstable regions especially. Applying a "borderland lens" to security dynamics, in Borderland Battles, the speaker examines the micro-dynamics among violent non-state groups and finds striking patterns: borderland spaces consistently intensify the security impacts of how these groups compete for territorial control, cooperate in illicit cross-border activities, and replace the state in exerting governance functions. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A crewmember on a Chinese trawler uses a grapple hook in an apparent attempt to snag the towed acoustic array of the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable, 8 March 2009. Impeccable was conducting survey operations in the exclusive economic zone of China 75 miles south of Hainan Island when it was harassed by 5 Chinese vessels.

    U.S. Navy Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Contest for the "Free Sea": Variation and Evolution in the Global Maritime Order

    Thu., Dec. 12, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Rachel Esplin Odell, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In the growing peacetime naval competition between the United States and China, the divergence in the two countries' interpretations of maritime law has become a locus of contention. Both states maintain that they prioritize "freedom of navigation" (hangxing ziyou) and have done nothing to obstruct it, and each side insists that its position is firmly grounded in international law. The broader context often missing in discussions of this dynamic is that states' interpretations of key provisions in the international law of the sea related to coastal state jurisdiction vary widely. This seminar will present findings from a new global dataset of state's maritime jurisdictional claims as a window into understanding the range of this variation. The seminar will then present a theory to explain patterns of change and stasis in state's interpretations of the law of the sea over time, accompanied by empirical evidence from field research conducted in four country case studies: the United States, Japan, China, and India.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • China's maritime claim (red) and UNCLOS exclusive economic zones (blue) in the South China Sea. Disputed islands (green) separate from UNCLOS.

    Wikimedia CC/Goren tek-en

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    When David Challenges Goliath: Insubordination from Smaller States, Rising Power Status Dissatisfaction, and Conflict

    Thu., Dec. 5, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Alex Yu-Ting Lin, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    When do rising powers become dissatisfied with their status, and how does such dissatisfaction motivate conflict? Conventional wisdom suggests that the rising powers' status grievances are mostly triggered by the actions of the existing great powers. Moving beyond this conventional wisdom, the speaker examines how perceived insubordination from smaller states makes a rising power become insecure about its status, thereby generating the pressure for conflict between the rising power and the existing great powers. Furthermore, the speaker shows that conflicts which arise because of perceived insubordination from smaller states have different escalatory logics than the conventional explanations focusing on status competition between great powers. The talk has broader implications for U.S.-China relations, the return of great power politics, and U.S. grand strategy.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Protest outside of a Lotte supermarket in Jilin, China, May 2018. The Lotte Group is a South Korean conglomerate which approved a land swap with the South Korean government so that the THAAD anti-missile system could be deployed near Seoul.

    VOA

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Commerce and Coercion in Contemporary China

    Thu., Nov. 21, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Kacie Miura, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do some local leaders in China respond to foreign provocations by protecting foreign commerce from diplomatic tensions, while others engage in economic retaliation? Understanding this variation is important because whether local leaders are willing to serve as agents of state punishment has implications for China's use of economic coercion. Given China's strong central government, this variation in local leader behavior is surprising, especially during foreign policy crises, when national interests are at stake. To explain local leader participation in economic retaliation, the speaker proposes a theory that draws on the economic incentives and political concerns of local leaders in China. She provides evidence from a recent foreign policy crisis between China and South Korea over the latter's deployment of the THAAD missile defense system.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Scene in the Krupp Gun Works, where Germany's army and navy guns are manufactured, published in 1915.

    Photo from Brown Bros.

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Cui Bono? Business Elites, Regime-Support Coalitions, and Interstate Conflict

    Thu., Nov. 14, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Sirianne Dahlum, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    A long-standing debate revolves around business elites and their role in states' war behavior. Some arguments imply that when business elites have a large influence on policymaking, states turn more belligerent, as business elites encourage military expeditions to open up or protect markets. Contrasting perspectives in the liberal tradition, such as "capitalist-peace" arguments, emphasize that business elites have strong economic incentives to avoid war and thus will have a pacifying effect when they hold political power. Comprehensive tests of these arguments are scarce, and those that exist do not account for the degree to which business elites hold sway over policymaking.  Drawing on new global data on the social composition of regime-support coalitions covering more than 200 years from 1789–the present, the speaker presents evidence on the war behavior of regimes supported by business elites. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet foreign minister, signs the non-aggression pact negotiated between the Soviet Union and Germany at the Kremlin, Moscow. Standing behind him is his German counterpart Joachim von Ribbentrop (left), and Joseph Stalin (2nd from right), 23 August 1939.

    NARA

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Distant Friends and Intimate Enemies: Toward a New Theory of Intra-Alliance Fighting

    Thu., Nov. 7, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Vanes Ibric, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do countries with formal alliances engage in armed hostilities against one another? What motivates states to attack their allies? As evidenced by Italy's betrayal of the Central Powers in World War I or the border conflict between Soviet Union and China in 1969, countries with formal alliances have engaged in wars and militarized disputes. The speaker provides a new theoretical framework that distinguishes between alliances in which one state entered the alliance with a strong predisposition to attack its ally (i.e., premeditated fighting) and alliances in which fighting happens as a result of situational changes following the formation of the alliance (i.e., situational fighting).

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Illustration from "NATO Means Peace" booklet (1956)

    NATO

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Free World: The Creation of a U.S. Global Order

    Thu., Oct. 31, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Peter Slezkine, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    By the end of the Second World War, most American policymakers assumed that their country had become inescapably and durably entangled in the affairs of the globe. Half a decade later, they settled on an objective that would determine the direction of their country's international efforts going forward. Throughout the 1950s, as the United States established itself as a permanent player on the global stage, American policymakers pursued the overarching aim of "free world leadership." This seminar will trace the emergence and evolution of the concept of the "free world" in American history, demonstrate its impact on policymakers' understanding of the Cold War and the United States' global role, and investigate the shift to alternative perspectives (including one centered on the "third world") by the end of the 1960s. Finally, the seminar will address how the current U.S. global order has been durably shaped by its original focus on the "free world."

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Map of the countries which signed China's Belt and Road Initiative cooperation documents as of 27 April 2019 (in blue).

    Wikimedia CC/owennson

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Crafting Payoffs: Strategies and Effectiveness of Economic Statecraft

    Thu., Oct. 24, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Audrye Wong, Grand Strategy, Security, & Statecraft Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program

    Economic statecraft — the use of economic tools to pursue political goals — is an important foreign policy strategy for many major powers and has been an increasingly important tool for China. The speaker will provide a theoretical framework to explain the effectiveness of economic statecraft, focusing on positive inducements, which have been relatively understudied. She will argue that effectiveness is influenced by the interaction between two variables: (a) the type of inducement strategy; and (b) the level of public accountability in the target country. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CVA-16) underway in the Western Pacific, with Carrier Air Group 21 (CVG-21), on 16 August 1958. Just 8 days later, on 24 August, Communist Chinese artillery began shelling the Nationalist Chinese islands of Quemoy and Matsu, prompting the Blue Ghost's (as Lexington was called) deployment to the Taiwan Straits at various times during the next 4 months, along with other units of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

    U.S. Navy

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Playing with Fire: Provocation, Signaling, and Unwanted Crisis Escalation

    Thu., Oct. 17, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Hyun-Binn Cho, Postdoctoral  Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    During international crises, states often take costly actions to signal resolve. Such coercive actions, however, can put greater political and psychological pressure on the opponent to counter-escalate. When costly signals are more "provocative," do they make unwanted crisis escalation more likely, or do they make the signal-sender look tough and help induce the opponent to back down? Indeed, why do states sometimes appear to deliberately engage in provocative actions to demonstrate resolve? This seminar addresses these puzzles using game-theoretic analysis and two case studies of crises involving China and the United States.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Violent Riots in the Gaza Strip, 11-May-2018

    Flickr/IDF

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Raising the Threshold: Asymmetric Coercion and Rules of the Game in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

    Thu., Oct. 10, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Daniel Sobelman, Assistant Professor of International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    Drawing on the conflict between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip since the mid-2000s, this seminar will analyze the dynamics and the strategic implications of intra-war coercion in an asymmetric conflict between an established state and an emerging violent non-state actor. The speaker will examine Hamas's adoption of Hezbollah’s military doctrine and strategic vocabulary and explain the manner in which the Hamas movement has been able to harness its military capabilities to impose and threaten heavier costs on Israel while reducing Israel's freedom of action vis-a-vis the Gaza Strip.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Image of Muammar al-Qaddafi at the Libya/Tunisia border, 7 November 2008

    Wikimedia CC/JPRoger

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Does Instability Help or Hinder Coercion? Re-Evaluating Libya's Reconciliation with the West

    Thu., Oct. 3, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Melissa Willard-Foster, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Vermont

    Contrary to the dominant view that instability makes targets of coercive pressure more likely to concede, the speaker will argue that instability prolongs their resistance. Leaders' policies reflect their domestic political interests, thus, conceding to policy change invites political costs. The more powerful a leader's domestic opposition, the more likely it can benefit when the leader is forced to make a costly concession. Although resistance may be costly too, targets can more easily mitigate these costs than they can convince the challenger to change its demands. As a result, instability is more likely to encourage a target's resistance. The speaker tests her argument on Libya's rapprochement with the West, showing that Qaddafi refused to surrender the Pan Am flight 103 bombing suspects due to domestic political costs. It was only after Qaddafi recovered his power and the United States softened its terms that he complied, which paved the way for the 2003 deal.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Ruling Beyond Empire: The "White Rajahs" of Sarawak, Coercion, and Balancing

    Thu., Sep. 26, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Jacqueline L. Hazelton, Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy and Policy, U.S. Naval War College

    A now little-known British adventurer named James Brooke ruled absolutely over a substantial territory in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo in what is now Malaysia, in the 19th century. He bequeathed his country to his descendants, who ruled until the last "White Rajah" sold Brooke's Sarawak to the British Crown after World War II. The story of the Brookes of Sarawak is full of tropes from Romantic-era novels, from the prodigal son returning to England unrecognizable from smallpox scars, to battles with pirates and headhunters, to the suicide of a faithful man of business who helps his master perpetrate a fraud and then kills himself out of remorse. Behind the drama are serious questions about how the three "White Rajahs" controlled their multi-ethnic, multi-faith, mountainous, unruly territory for a century. the speaker will argue that the Brooke rajahs used a combination of political accommodation of local political elites and a balancing strategy to build fighting alliances against troublesome challengers to their rule.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Yellow cake uranium is a solid form of uranium oxide produced from uranium ore. Yellow cake must be processed further before it is made into nuclear fuel.

    Wikimedia CC/Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Foreign Skeletons in Nuclear Closets: Implications for Policy and Verification

    Thu., May 23, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Sébastien Philippe, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Most successful nuclear weapons programs have benefited from significant foreign assistance for the acquisition of nuclear materials, sensitive equipment, and know-how. Such assistance is often kept secret, even after states decide to put an end to their nuclear weapons programs or ambitions. This seminar will discuss the policy and verification implications of this source of opacity on the reconstruction of past nuclear military activities as part of non-proliferation or denuclearization agreements.  It will build upon an historical and technical analysis of nuclear assistance between France, Israel, and South Africa and conclude by discussing the impact of discovering previously hidden information on existing policies and ongoing diplomatic processes.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A forklift shovels one-ton containers of mustard gas over the side of a barge somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean in 1964. The Army dumped millions of pounds of chemical warfare agent over decades in this way.

    U.S. Army

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    WMD Disposal, Destruction, and Disarmament: The Reduction of U.S. Chemical and Nuclear Weapon Stockpiles

    Thu., May 16, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker:  Cameron Tracy, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    States often spend vast sums on weapon production, yet have trouble mustering the resources necessary to eliminate stockpiled weapons for arms control and disarmament purposes. Stockpile reductions have proven particularly challenging with respect to weapons of mass destruction, for which weaponizability is embedded in materials rather than assembled devices. Their elimination commonly requires expensive, technologically demanding processes. U.S. chemical weapon and weapons plutonium stockpile reduction efforts provide useful case studies for investigation of the factors governing the success of reductions programs, as they faced similar challenges yet yielded divergent outcomes. This project involves comparative analysis of both reductions programs, focusing on the technical, organizational, and sociopolitical contexts that aided or hindered elimination.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • President Barack Obama leaves a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009.

    White House/Pete Souza

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Promoting or Preventing Democracy? U.S. Foreign Policy and the Bankruptcy of the Ideals-vs-Interests Distinction

    Thu., May 9, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Payam Ghalehdar, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program

    Under what conditions does the United States promote democracy abroad? From Western-style liberal democracy to outright authoritarianism, the historical record of U.S. regime promotion reveals a wide-ranging variation in promoted regime types. According to the standard narrative, this variation stems from a clash between the pursuit of hard-nosed self-interest and democratic values and ideals. This presentation challenges the misleading distinction between interests and ideals, arguing that both democracy promotion and democracy prevention can stem from national security considerations. To shed light on the variation in U.S. regime promotion, the presentation instead focuses on competing beliefs among U.S. foreign policy elites about the link between regime type and regime efficacy.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Weekly public audience, Pope Francis, Saint Peter's Square, May 2, 2018.

    Wikimedia CC/Mariordo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The (Im)Morality of Deterrence: Questions for the Pope, Policymakers, and Practitioners

    Thu., May 2, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Tory Kindrick, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Policymakers and theorists have long debated the utility of nuclear deterrence as policy, while philosophers have debated its morality. In 2017, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, declared the use of nuclear deterrence to be immoral, signing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in his role as head of state of Vatican City. No nuclear weapons states have as yet signed the treaty. This discussion explores how moral views may facilitate and complicate policy discussion and considers questions for moral authorities, policymakers, and practitioners when contemplating the morality of deterrence.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

    Co-Sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom

  • Election posters in Israel, April 8, 2019

    Wikimedia CC/Rakoon

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Israeli Elections 2019: Ramifications for Israel, the United States, and the Region

    Thu., Apr. 25, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

    The speaker,  a former deputy national security adviser in Israel, author of Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change (2018), will discuss the ramifications of Israel's elections for Israel itself, the United States, and the Middle East. Among the issues addressed: the future of the peace process, the Iran nuclear issue and Iranian challenge generally, the potential for conflict with Hezbollah and Hamas, U.S.-Israeli relations, and the elections' domestic ramifications.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney wave from the Situation Room of the White House, March 19, 2007, as they're joined in a video teleconference by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq.

    White House/Eric Draper

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Too Much of a Good Thing? Civil-Military Relations in the Wake of Technological Disruption

    Thu., Apr. 18, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speakers: Mathias Ormestad Frendem, Henry Chauncey Jr. '57 Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Studies and the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, Yale University; A. Bradley Potter, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    What effect do emerging communications technologies have on U.S. civil-military relations? How might the history of such technological disruption help us prepare for future disruptions? Most scholarship suggests that such developments should empower civilian leaders to better monitor and oversee military leaders, bringing in line military efforts with civilian preferences. However, the speakers argue that these technologies also bring with them challenging consequences for civil-military relations. Namely, they may encourage tendencies in both parties that undermine decision-making and long-term healthy interaction. The speakers illustrate this with a case study of relations between President George W. Bush and George W. Casey prior to launching the "surge" in Iraq.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    India and Nuclear Asia: Forces, Doctrine and Dangers

    Thu., Apr. 11, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Frank O'Donnell, Postdoctoral Fellow, U.S. Naval War College

    The speaker will detail the arguments of his recent book, India and Nuclear Asia: Forces, Doctrine and Dangers. The book explores the post-1998 evolution of Indian nuclear thought, its arsenal, the triangular rivalry with Pakistan and China, and New Delhi's nonproliferation policy approaches. The speaker argues that emerging trends in all three states are elevating risks of regional inadvertent and accidental escalation. These include the forthcoming launch of naval nuclear forces within an environment of contested maritime boundaries; the growing employment of dual-use delivery vehicles; and the emerging preferences of all three states to employ missiles early in a conflict. These dangers are amplified by the near-absence of substantive nuclear dialogue between these states, and the growing ambiguity of regional strategic intentions. To mitigate these trends, the speaker recommends that the three states initiate a trilateral strategic dialogue, and that India institute a strategic defense review to resolve the growing ambiguities around its conventional and nuclear deterrence and improve public confidence in them.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

    Co-Sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom

  • South Facade of the White House, the executive mansion of the President of the United States, 26 May 2006.

    Wikimedia CC/Matt H. Wade

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Administrative Foreign and Security Policy

    Thu., Apr. 4, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Elena Chachko, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    A growing number of U.S. foreign and security measures in the past two decades has directly targeted individuals—natural or legal persons. These individualized measures have largely been designed and implemented by administrative agencies. Widespread application of individual economic sanctions, ranging from terrorism sanctions to sanctions against Russian individuals for election meddling; security watchlists; detentions; targeted killings; and individualized cyber countermeasures have all become significant currencies of modern foreign and security policies since the early 2000s. The constant development of technology for precision targeting and algorithmic decision-making will likely continue driving this trend. While the application of many of these measures in discrete contexts has been studied, they have yet to attract a holistic analysis.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • As part of MOD’s full-spectrum military capability, the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has announced that the department is set to recruit hundreds of computer experts as cyber reservists to help defend the UK’s national security, working at the cutting-edge of the nation’s cyber defences.  Mr Hammond confirmed the creation of a new Joint Cyber Reserve which will see reservists working alongside regular forces to protect critical computer networks and safeguard vital data, 4 October 2013.

    MoD/Chris Roberts

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Cyber Securitization: Can States Deter Cyber Escalation?

    Thu., Mar. 21, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Nadiya Kostyuk, Predoctoral Fellow, Cyber Security Project

    This seminar examines conditions under which publicly observable "institutional change," which broadcast a state's rising or extensive cyber capabilities, can deter a country's adversaries from attacking it. The "use-and-lose" nature of cyber operations and difficulty of cyber attribution make such operations more effective in achieving tactical surprise than in deterring opponents. However, merely establishing a cyber unit and disclosing its estimated budget and personnel may increase the credibility of a state's threat and signal to multiple audiences, including its adversaries, that a country has, or is in the process of developing, its "power to hurt." 

    The speaker's research demonstrates that even though the cases in which institutional change will influence a strong adversary's choice to attack are limited, states tend to sub-optimally overinvest resources in publicly observable institutional changes. Weak states overinvest to make adversaries believe they are strong whereas strong states overinvest because they do not want adversaries to believe that they are weak states, pretending to be strong. The speaker's focus on the strategic logic of institutional change as a deterrent represents a departure from existing literature, which largely examines deterrence using cyber operations and other statecraft tools.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • The newly developed DF-26 medium-range ballistic missile as seen after the military parade held in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, 3 September 2015.

    Wikimedia CC/IceUnshattered

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Sino-U.S. Inadvertent Nuclear Escalation

    Thu., Mar. 14, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: WU Riqiang, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    It is generally believed that in peacetime current Sino-U.S. nuclear relations are stable and deliberate nuclear exchanges between these two countries are unimaginable. However, conventional conflict might escalate to nuclear level, even if both sides wish to avoid it at the beginning of the war. This seminar will provide a causal mechanism of Sino-U.S. inadvertent escalation. Three driving factors are identified: the vulnerability of Chinese nuclear forces, the not-by-design co-mingling of China's conventional and nuclear weapons, and the fog of war. The security dilemma will worsen the situation and increase the escalatory risk. The mechanism is then tested via two hypothetical scenarios: a missile campaign and submarine warfare. In order to reduce the risk of inadvertent escalation, the United States should build confidence with China by declaring mutual vulnerability vis-à-vis China and constraining its strategic capabilities. China could also demarcate its nuclear and conventional missiles and clarify its no-first-use policy that conventional attacks on nuclear weapons would be regarded as nuclear attacks.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Map of Europe in 1914. During WWI,  The United Kingdom and Germany continued to trade certain items, such as hosiery needles used in textile manufacturing.

    Wikimedia CC/Varmin

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Planning for the Short Haul: Trade with the Enemy During War

    Thu., Mar. 7, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Mariya Grinberg, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In times of war, why do belligerents continue to trade with each other? The speaker shows that states set product level commercial policies to balance two potentially conflicting goals — maximizing state revenue from continued trade during the war and minimizing the ability of the opponent to benefit from security externalities of the trade. States are more likely to trade with the enemy in (1) products that their opponents take a long time to convert into military capability and (2) products that are essential to the domestic economy. The amount of time it takes the opponent to convert gains from trade into military capabilities determines which products are too dangerous to be traded during a war. The mitigating factor is the amount of revenue the state can extract from trade. The more essential the product is to the domestic economy, the less a state can afford to lose trade in it.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Satiric drawing from the Catalan newspaper "La Campana de Gràcia" in 1896 satirizing the USA's intentions about Cuba. Upper text (not displayed) reads (in old Catalan): "Uncle Sam's craving (by M. Moliné)." Text below (not displayed) reads: "Saving the island so it won't get lost."

    "La Campana de Gràcia" in the May 23, 1896 edition

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    1898: "Precautionary War" and the Three Myths of American Empire

    Thu., Feb. 28, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Aroop Mukharji, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    President William McKinley's foreign policy ranks among the most consequential of all U.S. presidents. At the start of his first term, the United States was primarily hemispheric in its foreign policy orientation. By the start of his second term, the United States had brought down a European colonial power, had begun governing seven new overseas territories, and had fought two additional wars in Asia.

    This presentation focuses specifically on the Spanish-American War and why McKinley decided to intervene. Three myths about his motivations continue to persist: (1) that the United States waged an economically imperialist war to open up trade opportunities, (2) that the rhetoric of manliness pressured McKinley into taking a more aggressive stance, and (3) that the yellow press whipped up a public frenzy that led to the declaration of war. These influences are greatly overstated. Instead, this presentation will argue that the Spanish-American War was partly a humanitarian war, but also a "precautionary war" (author's term) that was based on a general fear of disorder, uncertainty, and instability and waged to ensure conditions that better facilitated regional stability and peace.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Al-Shabab communal prayers and public celebrations marking the Eid al-Adha holiday in the Islamic lunar year of 1438 in the Galguduud region of central Somalia in June 2017.

    Open Source

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Islamizing Rebel Governance: Jihadi Insurgencies and Symbolic Power

    Thu., Feb. 21, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Christopher Anzalone, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    The advent of Islamist rebel governing projects in different regions of the world from Africa to the Middle East and West and South Asia provides an opportunity to link the empirical study of these groups with the broader academic literature on rebel governance, political Islam, and religion and violence. Despite in recent years making up a larger number of empirical cases of insurgent organizations seeking to implement governance projects, Islamist organizations have to date received limited focus in studies on the structures, ideologies, and dynamics of rebel governance. This interdisciplinary project examines the strategies and experiences of Islamist insurgent organizations that have actively attempted to set up civil governing systems through which to interact with local civilian populations. It situates the study of Islamist insurgent groups with governance ambitions within the growing literature on rebel governance.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Satellite image of the half-built light water reactor site in North Korea.

    Google Earth Image@2018 DigitalGlobe

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Normalization by Other Means — The Failed Techno-diplomacy of Light Water Reactor Export in the North Korean Nuclear Crisis

    Thu., Feb. 14, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Christopher Lawrence, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    The history of U.S. engagement with North Korea offers important lessons that could help reframe the diplomatic impasse today. In the 1994 Agreed Framework (AF), the regime agreed to dismantle its plutonium-production complex in exchange for western light water reactors (LWR) and the promise of political normalization with the United States. As construction of the LWRs fell behind, however, North Korea embarked on a secret uranium enrichment program. Today, scholars and policymakers look back at the LWRs of the AF as a "carrot" — "we offered the carrot, and they cheated anyway." But when scholars and policymakers consider the unique technical attributes of LWRs and how their construction was planned to be situated within a diplomatic track to normalization, they appear to function more as a way to signal commitment than as a carrot to bribe the regime. In this light, chronic construction delays and the offset of LWR costs to U.S. allies can be interpreted as signals about America's lack of commitment to normalization with North Korea. This conceptual shift — from carrots and sticks to signaling and credibility — offers important insights into past diplomatic failures and could help reconcile the competing visions of engagement with North Korea today.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • U.S President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev at the Hofdi House in Reykjavik, Iceland, during the Reykjavik Summit, 11 October 1986.

    The Official CTBTO Photostream

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Nuclear Abolitionism and the End of the Cold War

    Thu., Feb. 7, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Stephanie Freeman, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    During most of the Cold War, U.S. and Soviet officials built a broad consensus among their publics that nuclear weapons provided essential security by deterring the actions of hostile states. In the 1980s, however, the radical goal of nuclear abolition enjoyed staunch support from both grassroots movements across the globe and the leaders of the two superpowers, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. This presentation will examine nuclear abolitionists' influence on the trajectory of the Cold War's last decade, from 1979 to 1989. It will assess anti-nuclear activists' impact on elite decision-makers and consider how their shared interest in nuclear disarmament transformed U.S. and Soviet foreign policy in the 1980s. This talk will demonstrate that nuclear abolitionists played a decisive yet unappreciated role in ending the Cold War.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Oxfam distributing water in the Horn of Africa during a severe drought, 24 February 2011.

    Wikimedia CC/Oxfam

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Nexus between Internationalism and Localism in Civil Conflict: Insurgents' Policy toward Humanitarian Access

    Thu., Jan. 31, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Ayako Kobayashi, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do some rebel groups restrict international humanitarian access to areas under their control, while others allow it? Some scholars posit that rebels strategically comply with international humanitarian law to legitimize their status in the international arena. Others underline the importance of exploring interactions between non-state armed groups and local populations from which protection norms may emerge. This interdisciplinary project will fill the gap between the internationalism and localism by proposing a new typology of rebel groups, addressing conditions under which rebels are more likely to allow humanitarian access, and through case studies illustrating the theory.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Map of Cold War–era Europe showing countries that received Marshall Plan aid. The blue columns show the relative amount of total aid per state.

    Wikimedia CC

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Borrowed Power: Financial Origins of Grand Strategy

    Thu., Jan. 24, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Daniel Z. Jacobs, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow, International Security Program

    What are the sources of grand strategy, the relationship of national power to national interest? Answers to this question tend to emphasize domestic interests, cultural and ideational impulses, state capacity, or the distribution of military power. The speaker, however, argues that it is a state's ability to harness the wealth of others that shapes both what the state wants (i.e., national interest) and how the state goes about getting it (i.e., national power).

    The core component of this argument is financial power; that is, the costs a state pays to facilitate public spending through borrowing. When these costs are relatively high, the state is likely to define its national interest narrowly and rely for its security on the self-correcting nature of the balance of power. By contrast, when the costs of borrowing are relatively low, the state will take a broader view of its national interest. As a result, the state is likely to reshape the balance of power in its favor and attempt to preserve this newfound distribution. Overall, scholars and policymakers can say that as a state's financial power rises, its grand strategy becomes increasingly ambitious.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Memorial to the Fighters for Soviet Power in the Far East, 1917–1922, Vladivostok, Russia

    Paul Behringer

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Reconquering the Russian Far East: Civil War, Intervention, and Centralization

    Thu., Jan. 17, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Paul Behringer, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    In 1917–1918, the Russian state collapsed and its empire disintegrated. The Bolsheviks, having seized power in November 1917, managed to hold onto authority amid repeated challenges from domestic and foreign opponents in all directions. In October 1922, Lenin's party emerged victorious from the rubble of one of the most destructive civil wars in history. Historians have put forward several convincing arguments for why the Bolsheviks were able to win the overall struggle. But the fact that the new regime was also able to reconstitute much of the Russian Empire, extending all the way to the Pacific Ocean, is as astounding today as it was unlikely in 1918. This presentation attempts to explain this accomplishment by framing the civil war in the Russian Far East as a contest between geopolitical, social, ideological, and international forces of centralization and decentralization. Building on the most recent historiographic trends in the study of the Russian Civil War, it also speaks to political science research on the broader issues of intrastate conflict, foreign intervention, and violence.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • The public military degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus

    Public Domain/Henri Meyer

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Taking the Bizarre Seriously in Diplomatic History

    Thu., Dec. 20, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Speaker: Ben Rhode, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    In 1898, France's military attaché in London recommended that his superiors make a secret agreement with his anonymous Irish nationalist informant in order to undermine the British Empire and counterbalance supposedly hostile British behavior. Most historical assessments have either overlooked or discounted this attaché's recommendation, considering him untrustworthy or unsober. Such an interpretation is initially appealing, especially given the bizarre and conspiratorial material in the informant's unpublished reports. This seminar will challenge prevailing scholarship that ignores or deprecates this recommendation or the attaché's credibility. It will locate the episode within the context of French concerns over Britain's exploitation of the Spanish-American War, the Dreyfus Affair, and Fashoda; a preoccupation with supposed national subversion; and alarm over the phenomenon of "fake news." Using this episode as a case study, it will argue for taking alarming or peculiar observations in the diplomatic record seriously: neither downplaying their strangeness nor overlooking how, within their context, they could be sincerely believed and hold deep appeal.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Mutiny in Cote d'Ivoire in January 2017

    Ultima Ratio

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Wartime Roots of Military Obedience and Defiance in Insurgent-Ruled States

    Thu., Dec. 13, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Philip Andrew Martin, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do some winning armed movements build states with robust control over military forces after civil war, while others do not? Why, for example, did the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) succeed in building powerful and obedient post-war armies, while winning coalitions in Côte d'Ivoire (2011—), Libya (2011—), and Afghanistan (2001—) experienced military fragmentation and the growth of private armed networks controlled by ex-rebel commanders? While existing scholarship points to the role of ideology and external intervention, this book project argues that two wartime factors — threats to the survival of armed movements, and the social linkages between militant group commanders and insurgent-ruled communities — shape the bargaining power and behavior of ex-rebel commanders during transitions to postwar politics.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Map of the Persian Gulf

    Wikimedia CC/Edbrown05

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Changing Security Dynamics in the Persian Gulf

    Thu., Dec. 6, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Dina Esfandiary, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    For over a decade now, thinking on regional relations in the Persian Gulf has focused largely on the competition for regional hegemony between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the different layers of this rivalry. But recent events, in particular, the Arab Spring and Iran’s response, the announced U.S. pivot to Asia, and the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, served as catalysts for changes in the security dynamics of the Persian Gulf. Smaller Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, led by the UAE, previously content to align with the Saudi position, appear to be developing a growing self-awareness that represents a significant challenge to the existing order. The speaker will explore how these three events have affected regional developments and what these changes will mean for the region.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Dr. Peter Neumann, Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization in the United Kingdom, addresses the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism's first session — Understanding Violent Extremism Today — at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 19, 2015.

    State Department/ Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Countering Violent Extremism: A Quest for Legitimacy and Effectiveness

    Thu., Nov. 29, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Anina Schwarzenbach, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In the face of the increased number of individuals adhering to extremist ideologies in modern democratic states, governments have augmented the amount of public money spent on counter violent extremism strategies and programs. Despite this fact, systematic analyses of currently implemented strategies and programs are surprisingly sparse.

    This seminar will discuss — by focusing on Germany, France, and the United States — which governmental approaches are most appropriate to counter violent extremism and what ought to be expected from the strategies and programs in terms of legitimacy and effectiveness.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Inadvertent Expansion in World Politics

    Thu., Nov. 15, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Nicholas D. Anderson, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Most existing theories of expansion and territorial conquest tend to focus on key actors at the center of great states and empires, and on their will and ability to engage in expansion. However, a number of important instances of territorial expansion in the history of great power politics do not align well with these theories, showing territorial expansion to be far more peripherally-driven and far less intentional than they would expect. Drawing on research on the British and Japanese Empires, as well as on America's westward expansion, this presentation will outline a theory of inadvertent expansion that helps account for these puzzling and counter-intuitive cases.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Jihadism Constrained: The Limits of Transnational Jihadism and What It Means for Counterterrorism

    Thu., Nov. 8, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Barak Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Political Science, Haverford College

    The seminar focuses on three factors — material, ideational, and intra-movement — that limit the ability of transnational jihadi groups to attain their objectives. These limitations should inform a less interventionist and more cost-effective strategy of containment.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    National Security Institutions and Interstate Crisis

    Thu., Nov. 1, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Tyler Jost, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Cyber Security Project

    Why do interstate crises occur? Existing scholarship posits that states use crises to reveal information about capabilities, resolve, and preferences. This book project instead argues that interstate crisis propensity is in part a function of the design of national security institutions, defined as the rules and procedures for deciding and executing national security strategy.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Artificial Intelligence: The Profits and Perils for Military Operations and Decision Making

    Thu., Oct. 25, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Lt. Col. Wes Adams, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In his research, Lt. Col. Adams investigates the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the future of military decision making. Since the dawn of recorded warfare, battlefield commanders sought greater speed and insight over their enemy, trying to reduce what Clausewitz would famously declare the "fog and friction" of war. Over time, myriad technologies offered promises of battlefield omniscience but failed. Will AI be the final technology to deliver on the promise, or the next failed attempt at clearing the fog?

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict

    Thu., Oct. 18, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Jacob N. Shapiro, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University; Co-author, Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict

    How a new understanding of warfare can help manage today's conflicts more effectively. Small Wars, Big Data provides groundbreaking perspectives for how small wars can be better strategized and favorably won to the benefit of the local population.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • President Lyndon Johnson looking on as Secretary of State Dean Rusk prepares to sign the NPT, 1 July 1968.

    Courtesy of Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Hegemon's Toolkit: U.S. Hegemony and the Politics of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

    Thu., Oct. 11, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

    The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is widely credited with contributing to international security through its promotion of nuclear restraint. Whereas almost all states in the international system are members of the NPT, many of these states have not signed on to additional treaties and agreements designed to strengthen the regime. Having already committed to foreswear the possession of nuclear weapons, why would some NPT members avoid taking steps to further the treaty's proclaimed goals? States' affinity to U.S. global leadership explains such variation.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • President of Russia Vladimir Putin with President of China Xi Jinping before a roundtable meeting of leaders during the Belt and Road international forum, 14 May 2017.

    Wikimedia CC/www.kremlin.ru

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Unlocking Eurasian Gateways? China's Belt and Road Initiative and its Implications for U.S. Grand Strategy

    Thu., Oct. 4, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Thomas Cavanna, Visiting Assistant Professor of Strategic Studies, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

    Since its launch by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has become the symbol of China's rising foreign policy ambitions. Yet most studies on the subject remain descriptive in nature or limited in scope, exploring specific themes, regions, or projects. This seminar aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive analysis of the Belt and Road Initiative, its multiple dimensions, its prospects of success, and its potential implications for U.S. grand strategy.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • On the cover of Puck published on April 6, 1901, in the wake of gainful victory in the Spanish–American War, Columbia—the National personification of the U.S.—preens herself with an Easter bonnet in the form of a warship bearing the words "World Power" and the word "Expansion" on the smoke coming out of its stack.

    Library of Congress

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Power, Perception, and Status: Understanding Ambiguous Global Order

    Thu., Sep. 27, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Benjamin Zala, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    For some time now, in both the scholarly literature and the statements of practitioners, it has been possible to identify competing perceptions of how many major centers of power exist in the world. Therefore whether the distribution of power should be characterized as unipolar, bipolar, multipolar, or perhaps even "nonpolar," has been a central theme of much analysis leading to a general sense of ambiguity in the way scholars and policymakers describe the inter-state order. This seminar will outline a way of making sense of this phenomenon without abandoning polarity analysis altogether. It will answer two central questions; how can scholars and policymakers account for the occurrence of competing perceptions of polarity theoretically? And how should they characterize its importance historically?

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • India test-fired its surface-to-surface nuclear capable Agni-I (A) ballistic missile off Abdul Kalam Island in its eastern state of Odisha on 6 February 2018.

    Wikimedia CC/Tasnim News Agency

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    India's Search for Deterrence: Nuclear Subcultures and Policy Choices

    Thu., May 17, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Frank O'Donnell, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    This seminar will first discuss how the requirements of Indian deterrence, as perceived by New Delhi's strategic elite, have evolved since 1998. It will next detail the characteristics of two "minimalist-political" and "maximalist-operational" schools of thought within Indian nongovernmental strategic elite discourse, and how their comparative influence has changed over time. The seminar will reconstruct the policy options developed by this strategic elite as it faced each nuclear policy juncture and demonstrate how a numerically dominant option in each discourse provides a reliable proxy indicator for the subsequent official strategic decision. It will conclude with an exploration of how this approach can inform scholarly understanding of current and potential future Indian nuclear policies.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • View to the south of Yucca Mountain crest showing coring activities.

    DOE

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Stalemate of Nuclear Waste Management and its Effect on the Fuel Cycle, Security, and Non-Proliferation Endeavors

    Thu., May 10, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Katlyn M. Turner, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    The state of long-term management of nuclear waste in the United States is at an impasse. While technical options exist for long-term radiological waste isolation, these are irrelevant in the face of the socio-political complications of siting and operating a nuclear waste repository. This lecture will outline and detail 1) the history of nuclear waste management options considered by the United States leading to its decision to pursue a long-term geologic repository for ultimate waste disposal, 2) the process—technical and political—of attempting to site Yucca Mountain as the United States' repository for civilian nuclear waste, and 3) the outlook moving forward for any attempts to site and operate a long-term geologic repositor—Yucca Mountain or otherwise—for nuclear waste in the United States. This lecture will attempt to situate the struggle to effectively manage nuclear waste within the realm of nuclear energy issues, nuclear security, and nuclear non-proliferation issues.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Artsakh St. sign in Watertown, Mass. The Republic of Artsakh, commonly known by its former name of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, is a state with limited recognition in the South Caucasus. Watertown is a major center of the Armenian diaspora in the U.S.; Massachusetts has passed a bill recognizing Artsakh.

    Wikimedia CC/Yerevanci

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Diaspora Entrepreneurs and Contested States: Transnationally Linked, Positionally Different

    Thu., May 3, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Maria Koinova, Reader in International Relations, University of Warwick; Senior Research Fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

    This presentation introduces findings from the large-scale European Research Council Starting Grant "Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty," directed by Dr. Maria Koinova as a Principal Investigator at the University of Warwick (2012–2017). Why do conflict-generated diasporas in liberal states mobilize transnationally in moderate or contentious ways for their homelands experiencing contested sovereignty? How contexts shape diaspora mobilizations is crucial. Koinova’s work evolving from this project challenges statist theories analyzing the role of diasporas in conflict processes through interactions between diasporas, host-states, and home-states.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A member of the 341st Security Forces Group guards a missile launch facility during an LF recapture simulation as part of the Grizzly Rampart training exercise March 18 near Malmstrom Air Force Base. The exercise was implemented to evaluate the readiness of the 341st Missile Wing and ensure first-responder Airmen know and follow the standards set in place for real-world events.

    USAF/Collin Schmidt

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Training Nuclear Security Leaders: A Tiered Approach

    Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Brian Filler, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    The leaders responsible for securing U.S. nuclear weapons, materials and infrastructure must receive the best training possible. This seminar will discuss how the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) currently train their tactical and senior nuclear security leaders and where that training should be improved and augmented. The seminar will then present the recommendation that is being forwarded to the departments, calling for the establishment of Tiered DOD-DOE Nuclear Security Leaders Training. The proposed training is designed to provide breadth and depth of knowledge for all of the departments' tactical and senior nuclear security leaders. Finally, the presentation will discuss how the proposed training could improve the security of nuclear assets around the world.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

    Co-sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom

  • Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin shaking hands at the BRICS Summit, July 8, 2018

    Kremlin.ru

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Authoritarian Resurgence: Power, Politics, and the Making of Foreign Policy in Russia and China

    Thu., Apr. 19, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Torrey Taussig, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In a renewed era of great power competition, leading authoritarian regimes have progressed from consolidating power within their borders to projecting power beyond them. Nowhere is this trend more evident, or important, than in Russia and China. This seminar will first discuss how Russian and Chinese foreign policy strategies have evolved over the course of the twenty-first century, as both nations have become revisionist powers in their respective regions. The seminar will also discuss how scholars and policymakers can gain greater insight into Russian and Chinese foreign policy decision making by assessing dynamics within their authoritarian political orders — including leaders, the institutions in which they operate, and their requirements for domestic legitimacy. As Presidents Putin and Xi continue to develop personalist systems at home, these internal factors will have increasing importance for U.S. foreign policy in the years ahead.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

    NOTE: CHANGED DATE

  • Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered from the BBC China in Italy, en route to Libya, in 2003.

    DOE

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Stop or I'll Shoot, Comply and I Won't: The Paradox of Coercion

    Thu., Apr. 12, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Reid Pauly, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    In making demands, coercers must communicate the credibility of their threats to punish. They must also, however, communicate the credibility of corresponding assurances not to punish if the target complies. This presentation will explain the paradox at the heart of coercion and explore how states overcome it by signaling the contingency of their actions.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Glass mural found in an office of the former East German Ministry for State Security (Stasi).

    Alexander K. Bollfrass

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Blinded by Belief: U.S., UK, and East German Nuclear Espionage in West Germany

    Thu., Apr. 5, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Alexander K. Bollfrass, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Fears of a West German bomb sharpened Cold War tensions, making the country's nuclear program an intelligence priority for all concerned states. Based on original archival and newly declassified files, this presentation evaluates the accuracy of U.S., UK, and East German intelligence assessments of the Federal Republic's proliferation risk. Despite spectacular collection successes, the Stasi's analysts were required to view the world through thick ideological lenses. The result was a distorted picture of West German ambition to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Azadi Tower, Azadi Square, Meydea-e Azadi, Meydan-e Shahyad, Tehran province, Iran Flag colors

    Creative Commons/Mahdi Kalhor

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Iranian Grand Strategy: Deterring and Contesting the American Hegemon since 1979

    Thu., Mar. 29, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Mahsa Rouhi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

    Theories of grand strategy tend to focus on major powers. This seminar sheds light on the grand strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regional power. It explores the principles of Iranian grand strategy, whether explicitly stated or implicit in its national policies. The speaker will provide an analysis that lays out the grand strategy, its elements, and how it provides a framework to guide all Iranian foreign policy. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

    Co-sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom

  • Flag of the People's Republic of China crashing with flag of the United States of America

    Creative Commons

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    To Bid or Not To Bid: Is Hegemony Worth the Candle?

    Thu., Mar. 22, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Irina A. Chindea, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar explores the — at times — conflicting relationship between the external goal of rising and existing hegemons to maximize power and influence in the international system, and the domestic responsibility to provide for the security and well-being of their citizens. In the attempt to make a successful hegemonic bid or consolidate primacy, these powers often end up engaged in expensive international wars, shifting away resources from internal development. This seminar presentation unpacks the key drivers behind this trade-off and assesses its implications.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • UTair Mil Mi-8AMT delivering food aid in Ulang, South Sudan, 23 March 2017

    Creative Commons/Alexandr Podolian

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Rebel Strategies toward Humanitarian Access in Civil Wars

    Thu., Mar. 15, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Ayako Kobayashi, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do some rebel groups restrict humanitarian access to their territory, while others allow it? Under what conditions does one rebel group change its attitude toward humanitarian access? This presentation introduces a typology of rebel groups — four types identified as quasi-state, extrovert, introvert, and isolationist rebels, depending on their strategic appeals to international and/or domestic audiences.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • South China Sea claims map

    VOA

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Calculating Bully: Explaining Chinese Coercion

    Thu., Mar. 8, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Ketian Zhang, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar will zoom in on the temporal trends of Chinese coercion in the South China Sea as well as on one case, the 2012 Scarborough incident between China and the Philippines.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  •  Capt Richard C. Zilmer leads his Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2/8 Marines ashore from the landing ship Saginaw (LST 1188) at the port of Beirut on 29 September 1982.

    U.S. Navy

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Reagan's Retreat: Lebanon and the Limits of U.S. Power, 1981–1985

    Thu., Mar. 1, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Alexandra Tejblum Evans, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    This presentation will evaluate U.S. policy toward Lebanon from 1981–1985, tracing the gradual expansion and rapid contraction of American efforts to stabilize a complex civil and regional conflict. By situating the United States' diplomatic and military interventions within a broader effort to strengthen American influence in the Middle East, it will demonstrate how the experience shaped the Reagan administration's perception of threat—and opportunity—in a moment of structural change. It will identify persistent barriers to U.S. interests in a vital region and shed light on how American leaders learn through crisis.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International Politics

    Thu., Feb. 22, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speakers: Peter Krause, Co-Editor, Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International PoliticsPhil M. Haun, Dean of Academics, U.S. Naval War College; Tristan Volpe, Assistant Professor, Defense Analysis Department, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

    A discussion of the new edited volume, Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International Politics, by a co-editor and two of the contributing authors.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • The amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) transits the South China Sea at sunset to participate in exercise Cobra Gold 2010. Cobra Gold is an annual exercise designed to create interoperability between the Thai, U.S. and Singaporean task forces, 28 January 2010.

    U.S. Navy

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Grand Plans in International Relations: U.S. Responses to China's Rise

    Thu., Feb. 15, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Nina Silove, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar addresses the questions of the existence and effects of comprehensive, long term "grand plans" in international politics and their effects on state behavior by examining a least-likely case for finding the existence of operative plans: the responses of the United States to the rise of China.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A Coast Guard patrol vessel passes by Uotsuri, the largest island in the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu chain, 2 October 2012. Now uninhabited, it used to be home to 248 Japanese, in a community of 99 houses in the late 1890s. They were mostly employed working in a Bonito flake factory on the island.

    Al Jazeera English

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Chinese Wedging in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dispute: An Empirical Assessment

    Thu., Feb. 8, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Andrew D. Taffer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar will explore China's contemporary strategy in its offshore territorial conflict with Japan. It will present evidence to suggest that Beijing has adopted a "wedging" strategy in the disputes aimed principally at weakening Japan's with the United States. Along with a close empirical analysis, it is highlighted that much of Beijing's conduct has corresponded with principles of coalition wedging established in Chinese writings and which the Chinese Communist Party has historically employed. The research is then situated in terms of—and used to critically analyze—the international relations literature on "wedging."

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A memorial to the Tamil civilians killed by the Sri Lankan security forces in the final phase of the war against the LTTE. Mullivaikkal, July 14, 2017.

    Kate Cronin-Furman

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Getting Away with Mass Murder: The Logic of Atrocity Denials

    Thu., Feb. 1, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Kate Cronin-Furman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Why do state perpetrators of mass atrocities stubbornly deny their crimes long after the evidence of guilt is clear? This talk will present an argument that such denials, even when totally unconvincing, can successfully affect members of the international community’s incentives to intervene. Evidence from Burma and Sri Lanka illustrates the specifics of this strategy and the conditions under which it is likely to succeed.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Lighting flashes as the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Straight of Malacca.

    U.S. Navy

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Conceptions of International Order during the Cold War: Russia, China, and the United States

    Thu., Jan. 25, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Paul Fraioli, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar will present Chinese and Russian ideas about global order and international law that emerged during the Cold War, trace their historical antecedents, and present contemporaneous reactions to these views from policymakers in the U.S. government. It will also discuss how these ideas illuminate current topics, including “new form of great power relations” between the United States and China, and debates over several maritime and landed territorial disputes.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A pair of Marines barricaded behind a wall watch for snipers in the international neutral corridor in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1965.

    Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Frustrated Presidents and the Emotional Underpinnings of U.S.-Imposed Regime Change

    Thu., Jan. 18, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Payam Ghalehdar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar presents a novel argument about U.S. regime change that centers on the emotional state of U.S. presidents. It develops the concept of "emotional frustration," an unpleasant emotional state marked by the perception that the behavior of a target state is driven by anti-American hatred. Emotional frustration produces aggressive tendencies, which impulsively spur the turn to military force and make regime change an attractive tool to strike the target state and relieve frustration.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • United States Air Force Logistics Command and Control … Concept to Reality by 2035

    Chad Ellsworth

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    United States Air Force Logistics Command and Control: Concept to Reality by 2035

    Thu., Dec. 21, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Chad Ellsworth, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    The United States Air Force must mature its ability to act quickly, operationally, and logically, in response to dynamic adversaries within an ever-changing geopolitical environment. The Air Force logistics enterprise must take steps now to ensure it meets the demands of the future. What steps should be taken by senior leaders now to drive needed change? This seminar will look at the Air Force initiative to transform its logistics support enterprise.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • A street-level view of Cleveland, Ohio in 1930.

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    "Every Citizen a Statesman": Democracy and Foreign Policy in the American Century

    Thu., Dec. 14, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker:  David Allen, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    In the middle of the twentieth century, foreign policy elites led a national movement to create democratic, foreign policy publics in communities across America, building what we now know as World Affairs Councils. This seminar will take Cleveland as its case study, explaining the rise and fall of the movement for "citizen education in world affairs" through the city where had seemed to have most success, in the 1930s and 1940s, and yet went through the steepest decline even before the Vietnam War. Americans, in other words, tried to build a democratic foreign policy, but they failed. This seminar demonstrates how and why.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Map of the Caliphate proposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    Creative Commons

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Territorial Logic of the Islamic State

    Mon., Dec. 11, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Burak Kadercan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Strategic Studies, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

    All analysts agree that the self-proclaimed Islamic State is a "territorial" organization, but there exists little systematic analysis over two questions: how can scholars and policymakers make sense of ISIS' territorial vision, and how does the group's territoriality affect its strategy? Drawing on insights from political geography and the history of past Islamic states, this seminar identifies ISIS as a "hybrid" spatial form that brings together elements from both historical Islamic states and the nation-state ideal. ISIS' hybrid territorial practices are associated with its global and regional objectives, which follow a simple logic: degrading and destroying what the group refers to as "grayzones," or zones of religious and sectarian reconciliation. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Navy of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution commandos and missile boats in Great Prophet IX Maneuver in the general area of Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf, 25–27 February 2015.

    Creative Commons

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    No Conquest, No Defeat: Iran's National Security Policies

    Thu., Dec. 7, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Ariane Tabatabai, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Ariane Tabatabai will discuss the role of strategic culture in shaping Iran's national security policies. She will map the Iranian national security decision-making process and the drivers framing the country's security thinking and policies.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Evacuees from the DAO Compound are offloaded onto the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA-41) during the evacuation of South Vietnam ("Operation Frequent Wind"), April 29, 1975

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Mars at Twilight: Leaders, Ideas, and Ending U.S. Wars, 1964 – 2011

    Thu., Nov. 30, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker:  A. Bradley Potter, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    This seminar will examine the United States' experience ending wars from Vietnam to Iraq. In particular, it will consider the role senior political and military leaders played in crafting American approaches to bringing wars to a close. The importance of historically informed ideas about the utility of force and the nature of war termination feature prominently in exploring just how leaders might matter in ending wars.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Unipolar Era: Why America's Edge Will Endure

    Thu., Nov. 16, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Michael Beckley, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    The United States has been the world's dominant power for more than a century. Now many analysts believe other countries are rising. Is the United States doomed to decline? Is the unipolar era over? In this seminar, Michael Beckley argues that the United States has unique advantages over other nations that, if used wisely, will allow it to remain the world's sole superpower throughout this century.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • "No chance to criticize." Uncle Sam sits at a table on which is a small cake on a platter labeled "Cuba," with a decanter labeled "Philippine Islands" on the table and a bottle labeled "Porto Rico" in an ice bucket. On the left, John Bull (Britain) and other colonial powers hold swords slicing a large cake on a platter labeled "China." John Bull (to the Powers): "What are you mad about? We can't grudge him a light lunch while we are feasting!"

    Library of Congress

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    "The Spanish Question is Burning": Living and Dying Nations in 1898

    Thu., Nov. 9, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Ben Rhode, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

    This seminar will examine British diplomatic perceptions of Spain's defeat in 1898. It will explore British reactions to Spain's bitterness over being considered a "dying nation" and the supposedly close U.S.-UK relationship. It will discuss British concerns that Spain might fall under the influence of hostile states and that Spanish retaliatory actions could pose a strategic threat to the British Empire. In doing so, it will investigate understandings of national power, influence, and diplomacy at the fin de siècle.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower meeting with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles at the White House, August 14, 1956.

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Agents of Empire: The Making of U.S. Intelligence in the Middle East

    Thu., Nov. 2, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Jeffrey G. Karam, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    Under what conditions do intelligence officials and diplomats make accurate assessments of domestic developments, such as revolutions or military coups, in foreign states? "Agents of Empire" is the first interdisciplinary study that examines U.S. intelligence failures and successes in the Middle East during the Cold War.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Power through Influence: Understanding Great Power Competition in the Contemporary World

    Thu., Oct. 26, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Mathias Frendem, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    How do great powers compete in the contemporary world? With great power wars and territorial acquisitions being rare since 1945, competition instead primarily takes place for influence over minor powers. Influence can be very beneficial, but this is not always the case. Minor powers have considerable agency and often seek to use the great powers to pursue their own aims. The speaker outlines why great powers compete for influence, the main challenges they face, and the best strategies for overcoming these.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Electing Peace: From Civil Conflict to Political Participation cover image

    Voto by Christian Grooms for Electing Peace

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Electing Peace and Considering Concessions in Colombia

    Fri., Oct. 20, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

    Speaker: Aila M. Matanock, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

    Settlements to civil conflict, which are notably difficult to secure, sometimes contain clauses enabling the combatant sides to participate as political parties in post-conflict elections. In this seminar, the speaker will discuss some of her research suggesting that electoral participation provisions allowing rebel parties helps secure peace between combatants. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • President John F. Kennedy meets with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in the Oval Office. The President knows but does not reveal that he is now aware of the missile build-up in Cuba, October 18, 1962.

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    How to Think About Nuclear Crises

    Thu., Oct. 19, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speakers: Mark S. Bell,  Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota Twin Cities; 

    Julia Macdonald, Assistant Professor in International Relations, Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    How dangerous are nuclear crises, and how should scholars and policymakers think about them? What dynamics govern how they unfold? The speakers argue that correctly interpreting nuclear crises—and how one thinks about the effects of nuclear weapons during these times—hinges on crisis participants' theories about processes of escalation to the nuclear level. 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

    Co-sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom

  • HMS Dreadnought underway, with an anchor suspended from the starboard deck edge, circa 1906–1907. Note the array of booms used to deploy her anti-torpedo net system.

    Public Domain

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Seapower between the First and the Second Machine Age: From Self-propelled Torpedoes to Artificial Intelligence

    Thu., Oct. 12, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Andrea Gilli, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

    What are the consequences for international politics of the emergence of robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence: the so-called second machine age? Are these new technologies going to promote instability and conflict, as many warn, or are they going to reinforce U.S. military primacy. How are they going to affect warfare, use of force, and even world politics? The literature in international relations theory has generally neglected technology and its dynamics and thus does not offer clear guidance.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • During World War II, German Nazis shot more than ten  thousand residents of Nis and Southeast Serbia on Bubanj hill. After the war, the execution site was transformed into a memorial park, with a monument in the shape of three clenched fists, symbolizing the resistence of men, women, and children who died on the location.

    Creative Commons

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Targeting Noncombatants as a Strategy in War or Wartime Military Occupation: An Empirical Assessment

    Thu., Oct. 5, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Senior Research Fellow, Cyber Security Project

    In the past two decades, an increasing number of social scientists, military historians, and practitioners have weighed in on an important question relevant to the conduct of war and wartime occupation: what actually happens when a given political actor deliberately or systematically harms noncombatants as a strategy? 

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    "No Such Thing as a Little War": The Ideas Driving Great Power Military Intervention

    Thu., Sep. 28, 2017 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    One Brattle Square - Room 350

    Speaker: Jacqueline L. Hazelton, Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy and Policy, U.S. Naval War College

    What beliefs influence liberal great power policymakers to back a government threatened by an insurgency? Why do great powers continue seeking insurgent defeat when costs rise? This seminar identifies a core belief about national and international security in the literature on pacification from the post–World War II era to the current period of liberal interventionism. It analyzes how this belief distorts analyses of past interventions and shapes policymakers' intervention choices.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Vietnamese refugees in VNAF Bell UH-1D/H Huey on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA-41) during "Operation Frequent Wind" in the South China Sea, 29 April 1975.

    U.S. Navy Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    The Law and Politics of Refugee Crises

    Mon., May 18, 2015 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    124 Mount Auburn Street - Suite 160, Room 105

    When and why do states assist refugees? Throughout history, states have always crafted international legal agreements to assist refugees that serve both their own interests and the refugees they purport to protect. Even as states provide humanitarian assistance to refugees, they may also use the existence of refugee flows as a political pawn. This seminar will examine this phenomenon with particular reference to the case of Vietnamese refugees following U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis

  • Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, prepare to enter a building in Baqouba, Iraq, Mar. 15, 2007. The regiment was moved to Diyala province to reinforce troops there to try to quell ongoing violence.

    AP Photo

    Seminar - Open to the Public

    Thinking Ahead: How Do U.S. Leaders Assess the Long-Term Costs of Military Intervention?

    Thu., Oct. 15, 2009 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

    Speaker: Aaron Rapport, Research Fellow, International Security Program

    In this seminar, the speaker will lay out several explanations for why policymakers may underestimate the long-term costs and risks of military action, then test these explanations against the historical record of Operation Iraqi Freedom. By understanding under what circumstances different factors will have the most influence over policymakers' perceptions of risk, it is possible to craft decision-making procedures that mitigate against biases which can lead to the adoption of prohibitively costly courses of action.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Getting Published: Writing for 'International Security' and Other Journals

    Thu., Oct. 8, 2009 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

    What do journals of international relations look for when they select articles for publication?  How can authors increase the chances that their articles will be accepted?  The editor of International Security will discuss strategies for getting published, with particular focus on the editorial philosophy and procedures of International Security.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

  • Seminar - Open to the Public

    Grabbing the Third Rail: Reflections on The Israel Lobby

    Thu., Apr. 9, 2009 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

    Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

    The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is one of the more controversial recent books in international affairs.  This seminar will discuss the book's main thesis, examine some of the critical responses to it, and consider how the debate on the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel has evolved over the past two years.

    Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come-first served basis.