25 Events

Book cover for America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Twelve Books

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Robert Zoellick — America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Wed., Oct. 7, 2020 | 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Online

At a time when American diplomacy is riven by partisan politics – and historical knowledge is on the decline in both the public and the government – join the Belfer Center's Applied History Project for our Fall 2020 Applied History Series.  By consulting distinguished public servants and historians, this speaker series illuminates today's world by looking to lessons from the past.

 

Book cover for Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

Harvard University Press

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Alexander Keyssar — Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

Wed., Sep. 30, 2020 | 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Online

In the midst of the most hotly contested election in generations – when citizens and scholars alike struggle to understand the stresses straining our political system – join the Belfer Center's Applied History Project for our Fall 2020 Applied History Series.  By consulting distinguished public servants and historians, this speaker series illuminates today's world by looking to lessons from the past.

Book cover for JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956

Random House

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Fredrik Logevall — JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956

Wed., Sep. 23, 2020 | 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Online

At a moment when America's global leadership is in doubt – and when reasoned statecraft is needed more than ever – join the Belfer Center's Applied History Project for our Fall 2020 Applied History Series.  By consulting distinguished public servants and historians, this speaker series illuminates today's world by looking to lessons from the past.

Ruins of Nikolaevsk in the Russian Far East, June 1920

Public Domain

Seminar - Open to the Public

Massacre and Memory: Analyzing Violence in the Russian Civil War

Thu., Apr. 30, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Paul Behringer, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

Massacres are a common occurrence during times of war. Although the reasons vary as to why and the context within which this type of killing transpires, massacres also share certain characteristics across space and time. The greatest atrocity of the Russian Civil War in the Far East occurred in 1920 at Nikolaevsk, a town of 15,000 residents located near the mouth of the Amur River. By examining those who perpetrated the massacre, the types of violence they deployed, the victims who died, and how observers chose to document it, scholars and policymakers can understand what often seems at first glance to be senseless violence.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcuce2uqjssGtQlipRsIG2OTS0adywtkgT-

Bernard Fall with C Company, 1/9 Marines, February 20, 1967

USMC Photo

Seminar - Open to the Public

Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare in Indochina

Thu., Mar. 26, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Nathaniel L. Moir, Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This seminar investigates how Vietnam War scholar and Indochina expert, Bernard Fall (1926–1967), developed his conception of Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare and how he applied this knowledge to his analysis of the First and Second Indochina Wars.

Please join us online via Zoom!  Click here.  Meeting name: International Security Program - March 26 2020

The USS New Jersey fires a salvo from its 16"/50 guns during a deployment off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, 9 January 1984

U.S. Navy'Ron Garrison

Seminar - Open to the Public

Warkeeping: Intervention in Lebanon, 1982–1984

Thu., Feb. 20, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Emily Whalen, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This presentation examines a period of direct U.S. participation in Lebanon's war, the eighteen months during which U.S. Marines were deployed in Beirut as part of a Multinational Peacekeeping Force (MNF).  Existing scholarship on the MNF intervention in Lebanon tends to focus on the infamous barracks bombing of October 1983, overlooking how the securitization and militarization of U.S. policy in Lebanon changed both the Lebanese state and the U.S. foreign policy process. Juxtaposing discussions in Washington with events on the ground in Beirut during the months preceding the barracks bombing, this presentation uses the intervention in Lebanon to cast light on the relationship between intentions and outcomes in U.S. foreign policy.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Arrival ceremony welcoming King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, 27 May 1971. Pictured left to right: King Faisal Ibn Abd Al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, President Nixon, and Mrs. Nixon.

NARA/Robert L. Knudsen

Seminar - Open to the Public

A Diplomatic Counterrevolution: The Transformation of the U.S.–Middle East Alliance System in the 1970s

Thu., Jan. 23, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Carl Forsberg, Ernest May Fellowship in History & Policy, International Security Program

Two developments have defined Middle Eastern international politics in the 2010s: first, the Arab spring and its failures, and second, polarization between Iran and a coalition of Arab states allied with the United States. This seminar locates the historical logics behind these developments in the regional transformations of the 1970s. During that decade, the regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and imperial Iran collaboratively forged a diplomatic counterrevolution with U.S. support. Animated by a fear of alliances between the Soviet Union, revolutionary regimes, and the domestic left, these states advanced a new regional order designed to reinforce the security of authoritarian rule. The counterrevolutionary coalitions and strategies developed in the 1970s persisted after the Iranian Revolution, as U.S. allies pivoted to countering Iran and, more recently, the 2011 Arab spring.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

General Jim Mattis and Graham Allison: "Applying History in Statecraft"

Thu., Oct. 31, 2019 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Taubman Building - Nye A, B, & C, 5th Floor

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a discussion with General Jim Mattis, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), 26th United States Secretary of Defense, on “Applying History in Statecraft.” The conversation will be moderated by Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard Kennedy School.

Illustration from "NATO Means Peace" booklet (1956)

NATO

Seminar - Open to the Public

Free World: The Creation of a U.S. Global Order

Thu., Oct. 31, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Peter Slezkine, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

By the end of the Second World War, most American policymakers assumed that their country had become inescapably and durably entangled in the affairs of the globe. Half a decade later, they settled on an objective that would determine the direction of their country's international efforts going forward. Throughout the 1950s, as the United States established itself as a permanent player on the global stage, American policymakers pursued the overarching aim of "free world leadership." This seminar will trace the emergence and evolution of the concept of the "free world" in American history, demonstrate its impact on policymakers' understanding of the Cold War and the United States' global role, and investigate the shift to alternative perspectives (including one centered on the "third world") by the end of the 1960s. Finally, the seminar will address how the current U.S. global order has been durably shaped by its original focus on the "free world."

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.