“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.
Washington Post Opinion Writer and Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project, David Ignatius, delivered an address entitled “Covering the Obama Administration in the Fog of Foreign Policy” and led a breakfast seminar with experts, students, and fellows on September 18. He explored current trends in the Middle East, critical factors at play in the negotiations with Iran, the West’s relationship with Russia and positive developments in the US-China relationship.
According to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, currently a Fischer Family Fellow with the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project, “Any presidential election is in part a referendum on the 3 a.m. question: Whom do you trust to answer and make a wise decision if the red phone rings in the middle of the night with a nuclear crisis? The remaining weeks of this presidential campaign will focus more on the foreign policy issues that will help Americans make this decision. And it should help concentrate our minds that this month marks the 50th anniversary of the most dangerous moment in modern American history, the Cuban missile crisis.”
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security
The Winter 2010/11 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights a major Belfer Center conference on technology and governance, the Center's involvement in the nuclear threat documentary Countdown to Zero, and a celebration of Belfer Center founder Paul Doty.
"The Nobel Peace Prize Committee cited Obama's dedication to arms control and nonproliferation when announcing last Friday his selection as this year's laureate. If he creates a positive, mutually reinforcing dynamic in the way he presents and sequences the two treaties [NPT and CTBT], it will give momentum and coherence to follow-on negotiations and the agreements that they produce."