6574 Past Events

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

1 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an interpretation is initially appealing, especially given the bizarre and conspiratorial material in the informant's unpublished reports.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

1 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.

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Long Arm: How U.S. Law Enforcement Expanded its Extraterritorial Reach to Counter WMD Proliferation Networks

Wed., Dec. 12, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-324

A seminar with Aaron Arnold, Research Fellow at the Project on Managing the Atom and Daniel Salisbury, Research Fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London and an Associate of the Project on Managing the Atom.

President Hassan Rouhani, right, speaks in a joint press briefing with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih after their meeting at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018

AP Photo

Special Series - Open to the Public

Iran’s Iraq Policy Post-2003: Tipping the Balance against the U.S.

Fri., Dec. 7, 2018 | 10:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, Floor 2.5

While in recent decades Iran and Iraq faced off as fierce rivals, including fighting a brutal eight year war against one another (1980-88), the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 changed the equation completely. Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, successive Iraqi governments have developed strategic partnerships  with Iran over shared domestic and regional interests. Simultaneously, the United States is heavily invested in Iraq and has also partnered closely with the Iraqi government. In this lecture, Iran Project Postdoctoral Research Fellow Hassan Ahmadian will discuss how Iran's Iraq policy has adapted over time throughout these different circumstances and will offer insights into future trajectories. This is the final lecture in a three part series on Iran's Middle East policy. Moderated by Iran Project Director Payam Mohseni.  RSVP required: please RSVP here.


Study Group - Open to the Public

“Blockchain vs the Darkweb: A Data Security Smackdown”

Thu., Dec. 6, 2018 | 12:30pm - 1:30pm

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Faculty Dining Room, L163

HSP is hosting its next lunch of the year with Evin McMullen – CEO of blockchain and cybersecurity firm, Linnia - and moderated by Juliette Kayyem. Evin will be discussing blockchain and the future of secure data. The talk will cover the basics of Web 3.0 (blockchain and decentralization 101) and explore how this new landscape offers an alternative to the way that data flows and is secured today.


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

1 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.

Paul Kolbe

The Cipher Brief

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

"Not Just for Three-Letter Agencies: Intelligence for the Private Sector"

Thu., Dec. 6, 2018 | 12:00pm - 1:15pm

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Belfer Center Library, Room L369

The Intelligence Project will host a lunch with Paul Kolbe, Director of Intelligence and Deputy Head of Group Intelligence, Security, and Crisis Management at BP, from 12:00-1:15pm in the Belfer Center Library. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen will moderate.

Lunch will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP below.