71 Events

JFK Jr Forum - Open to the Public

Nuclear Threats: Putin and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Mon., Oct. 17, 2022 | 6:00pm

Harvard Kennedy School - Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

As Ukraine’s military advances and Putin threatens to conduct nuclear strikes, President Biden said last week: “For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they'd been going.”

Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at the New School and granddaughter of Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, David Ignatius, foreign affairs columnist at The Washington Post, and Graham Allison (AB '62 PhD '68), Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, will review lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis that illuminate the challenges the US now faces and can inform the choices President Biden is now considering.

A picture of Cuba with the text "Cuban Missile Crisis at 60"

Bennett Craig

Conference - Open to the Public

Cuban Missile Crisis at 60: Lessons of the Past and Relevance for the Present

Fri., Oct. 14, 2022 | 8:30am - 5:00pm

Barker Center - Thompson Room

The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 continues to stand as the single most dangerous event of the nuclear age, when the world came closer than ever before or since to the prospect of nuclear annihilation. Scholars and analysts continue to revisit the CMC to learn its lessons in order to avoid nuclear dangers in the future. A number of recent accounts have shed new light on the various aspects of and incidents within the CMC, providing us with a better understanding of the dynamics of the crisis. As the world marks 60 years since those fateful events, the risk of nuclear conflagration is once again on the rise. Russia, a major nuclear power, is waging a war against Ukraine, a state supported by the United States and NATO, a nuclear-armed alliance. What were the most dangerous moments of the CMC? What contributed to and what ameliorated the risks of a nuclear conflagration? What can we learn from the CMC that is pertinent for preventing a conventional war in Ukraine from crossing the nuclear threshold? MTA brings together historians and political scientists to discuss the state of the art of history and politics of the Cuban Missile Crisis and gauge its relevance for the war in Ukraine and for future crises and conflicts. 

In-person Registration (Click Here)        Zoom Registration (Click Here)


Book cover for Victory at Sea

Ian Marshall

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Victory at Sea: Paul Kennedy on How Naval Power Reshaped the World

Tue., May 3, 2022 | 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Belfer Building - Starr Auditorium, Floor 2.5

Join the Applied History Project for a lecture and panel discussion featuring Paul Kennedy, the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History at Yale University and celebrated author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Focusing on his new book Victory at Sea: Naval Power and the Transformation of the Global Order in World War II, Kennedy will explore how the great navies of WWII turned the globe upside down between 1936 and 1946—and what lessons this decade offers for today’s world.

Book cover for The Twilight Struggle

Yale University Press

Seminar - Open to the Public

Hal Brands — The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Teaches Us about Great-Power Rivalry Today

Thu., Mar. 24, 2022 | 4:30pm - 5:45pm


As the United States faces alignment between a violently resurgent Russia and a full-spectrum competitor in China, join the Belfer Center's Applied History Project for an open session of our Applied History Working Group. Its members—distinguished historians and public servants—study the past to illuminate the most pressing challenges we face today.

Seminar - Open to the Public

CANCELLED: Russia's Actions and the Future of European Security Environment

Thu., Mar. 3, 2022 | 3:00pm - 4:15pm

Rubenstein Building - David T. Ellwood Democracy Lab, Room 414AB

The evolving situation between the Ukraine and Russia is drawing focused attention to the current European security environment as the world awaits Russia's next steps.  As we consider what those options are, we also must consider what the future security environment in Europe looks like.  What are potential options for NATO to deter Russian aggression and what does the future of NATO look like?  What potential impacts does Russia's actions have on the future security environment?  

Please join the Defense Project in a discussion moderated by Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and  General Christopher G. Cavoli, the Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.  General Cavoli is a Foreign Area Officer with a concentration on Eurasia and European Security Studies.  He will discuss European security, the current situation involving the Ukraine and Russia, and NATO. 

For limited in-person attendance, please sign up below. If selected, you will receive a confirmation email a few days before the event: 


To join via zoom please register here: 



Reagan and Vice President Bush meeting with Gorbachev on Governors Island, New York City, 7 December 1988

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Looking Backward in Order to See Ahead

Tue., Mar. 1, 2022 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

Please join the Belfer Center for a panel discussion moderated by Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University on “Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Looking Backward in Order to See Ahead.” Allison will be joined by Mary Sarotte, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professor of Historical Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS and an Associate at Harvard’s Center for European Studies and Emily Channell-Justice, Director of the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University to address the historic implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the long-term effects on the global world, and Putin’s calculus.  

While this hybrid event is on the record, the event organizers prohibit any attendees, including journalists, from audio/visual recording or distributing parts or all of the event program without prior written authorization.

Book cover for Doom

Penguin Press

Seminar - Open to the Public

Niall Ferguson – Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

Thu., Dec. 2, 2021 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm



As the U.S. and the world struggle to surmount the twin health and economic disasters sparked by COVID-19—and as forward-looking leaders contemplate how to avoid making similar mistakes in future crises—join the Belfer Center’s Applied History Project for an open session of our Applied History Working Group. Its members—distinguished historians and public servants—study the past to illuminate the most pressing challenges we face today.

Book cover for Not One Inch

Yale University Press

Seminar - Open to the Public

Mary Elise Sarotte and Robert Zoellick — Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate

Mon., Nov. 15, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:15pm


As the world marks the 30th anniversary of one of the 20th century's most earthshaking developments—the collapse of the Soviet Union—join the Belfer Center's Applied History Project for an open session of our Applied History Working Group. Its members—distinguished historians and public servants—study the past to illuminate the most pressing challenges we face today.

Kai-Fu Lee


Seminar - Open to the Public

Kai-Fu Lee — The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Mon., Oct. 4, 2021 | 7:00pm - 8:15pm


Artificial intelligence is changing our world. While AI applications promise great advances from new medical treatments to radical solutions to the climate crisis, they will likely also bring challenges ranging from autonomous weapons to supercharged surveillance states.