“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.
Liberal democracy and capitalism have been the two commanding political and economic ideas of Western history since the 19th century. Now, however, the fate of these once-galvanizing global principles is increasingly uncertain.
In her new book, Not for the Faint of Heart, Ambassador Sherman takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators―often the only woman in the room. She discusses the core values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.
The Diplomacy and International Politics Program examines the future of diplomacy and conflict prevention, and also supports research and teaching on global political relations through initiatives on the Middle East, the Gulf, and South Asia.
The fall of Aleppo is a human catastrophe. It’s also a demonstration of the perils of choosing the middle course in a military conflict. Sometimes it’s possible to talk and fight at the same time. But in Syria, the U.S. decision to pursue a dual-track, halfway approach made the mayhem worse.
In the global revulsion at the recent terror attacks in four Muslim countries, the United States and its allies have a new opportunity to build a unified command against the Islamic State and other extremists. FDP Senior Fellow David Ignatius examines the diplomatic relationships needed to create an effective counterterrorism strategy.
The Future of Diplomacy Project proudly hosted former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright at the Spangler Center in April through the American Secretaries of State Project, jointly directed by Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School's Program On Negotiation. Led by Faculty Directors, Professor Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School, Professor James Sebenius of the Harvard Business School, and Professor Robert Mnookin from Harvard Law School, the program seeks to interview former Secretaries of State to gain their insights into how modern diplomacy and negotiation can be used effectively in reponse to "intractable" conflicts.
At the public kickoff of a discussion here about U.S. policy toward Russia and Ukraine, former defense secretary Robert Gates joked that his favorite definition of diplomacy was “petting a dog and saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”
As the world's attention is largely on Sochi, mass killings and exodus continue in Syria and negotiations barely make it to the table in Geneva. In this piece, Nicholas Burns wonders when the United States and other global powers will have their "Srebrenica moment," when they can no longer stand on the sidelines and resolve instead that they finally have to act. For the sake of the 9.3 million Syrian refugees and the millions still suffering in country, he hopes its soon.
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security