1304 Events

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for the Advancing the Sustainability and Adaptability of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda meeting during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 21, 2023.

AP/Jason DeCrow, Pool

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Power of the Pen: Women's Substantive Representation in Comprehensive Peace Negotiations

Thu., May 9, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Elizabeth Good, Research Fellow, International Security Program

The Women, Peace and Security sector assumes increasing the number of women involved in peace negotiations drives better outcomes for local women. However, empirical support for this assumption is inconsistent. This research tests how power alters the relationship between women's formal (Track 1) involvement in peace negotiations and the inclusion of women-specific provisions in peace agreements. Using an original dataset comprised of 2299 Track 1 delegates involved in 116 comprehensive peace agreements finalized between 1990 and 2021, the speaker finds women's involvement in peace negotiations is positively correlated to comprehensive agreements containing provisions for women. However, this correlation is dependent on women holding positions of power—simply having women in the room is insufficient. This research offers a novel quantitative approach to Women, Peace and Security studies, provides nuance to theories linking descriptive and substantive representation, and casts doubt on the longstanding assumption that increasing women's involvement inherently enhances gender equality.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee & Tea Provided.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a photo prior to their talks in Beijing, China, Feb. 4, 2022. Russian President Putin is expected to meet this week with Chinese leaders in Beijing on a visit that underscores China’s economic and diplomatic support for Moscow during its war in Ukraine.

Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File/Alexei Druzhinin

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Russia and China's Strategic Gamesmanship and Its Impact on Chinese Engagement in Europe

Thu., May 2, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Valbona Zeneli, Visiting Scholar, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University 

Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese enjoyed unfettered access to Europe's economic, research, and academic domains. Chinese President Xi Jinping's friendship pact with Russian President Vladimir Putin resulted in negative reverberations throughout European capitals and raised concerns about China's strategic ambitions and their impact on Europe. The presentation will examine the change in Europe's assessment of Chinese ambitions since the initiation of the war in Ukraine and likely impact on Chinese engagement activities going forward, including the need for a stronger transatlantic coordination.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. November 1949.

Wikimedia CC/FDR Presidential Library & Museum

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

On the Rights Trajectory: International Norm Development and the Post-World War II Human Rights Regime

Thu., Apr. 25, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speakers: Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Research Fellow, International Security Program; Jennifer M. Dixon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Villanova University

When does a principled idea become an international norm? And how do international norms change and develop over time and space? Over the past three decades, international norms scholarship has made great advances in our understanding of the nature, causes, and effects of the international normative environment. And yet, it also features a high degree of conceptual idiosyncrasy and lacks a shared conceptual framework for studying norm development. These shortcomings have hampered the accumulation of knowledge in the study of norms and stymied the ability to provide much-needed empirical assessments and methodological tools to assess the origins, trajectory, and current status of international norms. This seminar — which is based on a book manuscript in progress — introduces a conceptual model of norm development and uses a mixed-methods analysis of the development over time of five core international human rights norms: the prescriptive norms of legal accountability; truth-seeking; and reparations and the prohibitive norms against genocide and torture. Combined, the study of these five norms seeks to assess the development and status of the international human rights regime from 1945 to the present.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

OpenAI Sam Altman, right, discusses the need for more chips designed for artificial intelligence with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, during a conference in San Jose, Calif.

AP/Michael Liedtke

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Emerging Technologies: Implications and Prospects of Their Proliferation

Thu., Apr. 18, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Julie George, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program

Under which conditions do dual-use emerging technologies proliferate in the international system? The speaker investigates the likelihood of proliferation of three emerging technologies: artificial intelligence, robotics, and cyber. She selects these three emerging innovations based on their date of discovery in the 1950s and analyze the paths taken by states and the private sector. The outcome variable, proliferation, includes two stages, specifically possession and the operationality of the emerging technology. It is evaluated based on two hypotheses: 1) whether foreign acquisition or indigenous formation is the modal form of technology acquisition and 2) the degree to which there are international institutions governing these technologies. By analyzing neglected patterns that characterize the proliferation of technologies by states and how they have changed from the 1950s to the present, scholars and policymakers gain a greater sense of the liabilities of the innovations to the international system. Overall, scholarly attention to emerging technologies is increasingly important as these innovations continue to take shape and impact the nature of national and international security.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, center right, chats with Taro Aso, vice president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party during a visit to the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 8, 2023. The senior Japanese politician advocated for increasing his country's deterrence ability to ensure peace in the region and called for that message to be clearly conveyed globally — particularly in China.

Taiwan Presidential Office via AP

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Surviving Without the Bomb: Extended Deterrence and the Strategic Use of Non-nuclear Military Power by U.S. Allies

Thu., Apr. 11, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Jung Jae Kwon, Stanton Nuclear Security Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

How do non-nuclear allies of the U.S. try to generate deterrence without their own nuclear arsenal? How do the allies seek to employ their non-nuclear military capabilities even as they ultimately have to rely on the U.S. "nuclear umbrella" for security? While these questions have grown more important in an era of "integrated deterrence," existing scholarship on nuclear strategy or extended deterrence has largely overlooked the agency of allies. This project seeks to fill the gap. The speaker identifies three ways in which the allies have used their military capabilities to generate deterrent effects and develop a theory to explain and predict their behavior. He conducts case studies of U.S. allies, such as South Korea and Japan, to examine the causes of the variation in their behavior and draws on extensive fieldwork, elite interviews, and primary sources for empirical analysis.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

155 mm M795 artillery projectiles are stored during manufacturing process at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant in Scranton, Pa., April 13, 2023. The 155 mm howitzer round is one of the most requested artillery munitions of the Ukraine war. Already the U.S. has shipped more than 1.5 million rounds to Ukraine, but Kyiv is still seeking more.

AP/Matt Rourke

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

U.S. Munitions Shortfalls: Overcoming the Preparedness Paradox

Mon., Apr. 1, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Matthew Borawski, Research Fellow, International Security Program

The U.S. defense industrial base proved ill-equipped to adequately surge ammunition production for Ukraine's fight against Russia, with the Department of Defense reporting it will take nearly three years to replenish the two million 155mm artillery rounds provided to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the United States assumes increased conventional risk to its own warfighting capabilities. How did U.S. munitions manufacturing erode, was it avoidable, and what is needed to reach sufficient capacity in the future? The answer to these questions should inform the larger, more critical question: How can the United States ensure a munitions shortage does not occur if U.S. military forces are committed to large scale combat operations in the future? Answering the research question could help the United States maintain its conventional superiority in a future conflict and minimize readiness impacts when providing lethal assistance to our Allies and Partners, including Ukraine and Taiwan. These effects would also improve our integrated deterrence strategy since robust production capacity remains a deterrent. Instead, the United States appears to be in a continuous spin-up/ramp-down cycle for ammunition production, which creates the cyclical crisis and preparedness paradox.

Invitation Only. Coffee &Tea Provided.

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, center left, speaks with U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith, center right, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 15, 2024. The head of the NATO warned its member countries against allowing a wedge to be driven between the United States and Europe, as concern grows about Washington's commitment to its allies should Donald Trump return to office.

AP/Virginia Mayo

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

When the Patron Goes Wild: Decision and Non-decision in U.S.-led Alliances

Thu., Mar. 28, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: DJ Kim, Research Fellow, International Security Program

U.S. security clients have frequently encountered pressures from Washington to adopt strategic measures with which they did not agree. For these allies, although the reliance on U.S. security support creates a de facto security hierarchy and incentivizes them to take the U.S. request seriously, they often find the U.S. policy overreaching, poorly designed, or unsustainable. Accordingly, U.S. allies would want to avoid offering neither a positive nor negative answer to the patron, which, respectively, can undermine their own interests or the relationship with the patron. Put simply, U.S. allies have good reason to avoid making a decision over the patron's demand as long as possible, hoping that changes occur in the patron's position or the costs for making a decision become more bearable. This project attempts to theorize nondecision as a distinct option that might be pursued by a security client facing strategic demands from its patron. 

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

A Ground-Based Interceptor missile launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., Sept. 12, 2021.

AP/Matt Hartman

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

The Eternal Promise of Missile Defense

Thu., Mar. 21, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Sanne Verschuren, Assistant Professor of International Security, The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Despite nearly seventy years of research and development in the United States, missile defense continues to face high, if not insurmountable, technological challenges, is financially burdensome, and has resulted in negative outcomes for strategic stability. Hence, the speaker asks: What explains the continued and widespread support for missile defense among U.S. policymakers? Contrary to arguments about American cultural features, public appeal, and organizational politics, she examines two conditions that can explain the persistence of missile defense: technological malleability and patterns of ignorance.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

U.S. President Gerald Ford and Soviet Communist Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev sign the joint communiqué at the conclusion of their two days meeting near Vladivostok, Nov. 24, 1974.

AP/CB

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Escaping MAD: Technology, Politics, and U.S. Nuclear Strategy

Thu., Mar. 14, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: David Kearn, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

The book project seeks to explain the divergence of views of within the strategic community after the signing of the SALT I Accords and the subsequent shift in U.S. strategic nuclear policy away from "assured destruction" to "nuclear warfighting" throughout the 1970s and culminating in the Reagan administrations "prevailing strategy."

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

A woman puts a scarf on a statue of a comfort woman sitting in a installation of empty chairs symbolizing the victims in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 27, 2017.

AP/Lee Jin-man

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Legacies of Gender-Based Violence: Evidence from World War II 'Comfort Stations'

Thu., Mar. 7, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Sumin Lee, ACES Assistant Professor, Department of International Affairs, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

What are the long-term effects of wartime sexual violence on trust? Rape is an old feature of warfare, but the intergenerational transmission of such trauma in communities remains poorly understood. Scholars theorize how wartime sexual violence has disparate effects on social and political trust. While sexual violence sours public opinion of the state for its security failures, it forces affected communities to turn to private kinship and social bonds as a coping mechanism, increasing social trust in the long run.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.