3 Upcoming Events

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.

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.