50 Events

Imperial Federation Map of the World Showing the Extent of the British Empire in 1886.

Dennis Sylvester Hurd

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Primacy of Geopolitics: Globalization and the British World Order, c. 1830 to 1932

Thu., June 9, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Graeme Thompson, Associate, Applied History Project

What is the relationship between globalization and world order? Though some international relations theories credit economic interdependence with promoting geopolitical stability, modern imperial history suggests that the causal arrow points in the other direction — that processes of globalization depend, in large part, upon favorable, and often fleeting, geopolitical conditions. Surveying the history of Britain's "liberal empire," this seminar charts the rise and fall of 19th century globalization and its dynamic connection to the shifting balance of imperial power.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAuce-sqjIjGtcduvszq8uiTd9nbVpb_CSv

Book cover for Number One Realist

Oxford University Press

Seminar - Open to the Public

Nathaniel L. Moir — Number One Realist: Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare

Mon., June 6, 2022 | 2:00pm - 3:15pm

Online

As the United States reflects on its infamous history of “forever wars” and searches for lessons to avoid similar entanglements in the future, 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.

Günter Mittag (middle), member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED, deputy chairman of the State Council of the GDR, had a conversation in Bonn with the Bavarian Prime Minister and Chairman of the CSU, Franz Josef Strauss (left). The head of the Permanent Representation of the GDR in the FRG, Amb. Ewald Moldt, took part, 1 April 1987.

Wikimedia CC/Peter Koard

Seminar - Open to the Public

Franz Josef Strauss' "Grand Design": The Many Paths to German Reunification, European Unity, and Ostpolitik in the Age of Détente

Thu., May 12, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

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

The late 1960s marked a watershed in the history of West German foreign policy, as larger geopolitical forces reshaped the Cold War and West Germany's role in it. Amongst the politicians responding to these changes was Franz Josef Strauss, whose ideas presented a clear alternative to the course of Ostpolitik pursued by Bonn from 1969. This seminar will explore Strauss' strategic framework in the context of the domestic and international circumstances of the mid to late 1960s, and in doing so, address fundamental questions of post-war German foreign policy that remain relevant to the present day.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvduyqqzstG9eqhQbiQxA9GT5Knnv3PzhT

Conference - Open to the Public

Imagining a New National Security Act for the 21st Century

Wed., May 11, 2022 | 10:00am - 3:00pm

Belfer Building - Starr Auditorium, Floor 2.5

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow to news of:

  • A massive cyber-attack that irreparably damaged financial markets and shut down critical infrastructure, or
  • A significant conventional defeat due to strategic surprise like happened at Pearl Harbor, or
  • The release of a manufactured pathogen that marks the beginning of a new global pandemic.

Please join the Intelligence and Applied History Projects at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, for a day of thoughtful discussion about the top challenges facing the existing intelligence and national security mechanisms in the United States, and possible mitigation strategies to ensure that the U.S. has the people, structure, systems, integration, legal authority, and partnerships needed to protect national interests in the years ahead. Panelists include intelligence historians Dr. Sara Castro, Dr. Michael Warner, and Dr. James Wirtz, and former intelligence practitioners Sue Gordon and Ellen McCarthy. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will provide a keynote address. At the conference, we will showcase the winners of our essay competition: A New National Security Act for the 21st Century.

This event will take place in hybrid format under Chatham House Rules. Registration is required. Harvard community members are welcome to attend in person. Please register for the event here: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_U_wuab28R0y1NnLQtIqylg.

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.

Theodore Roosevelt, Joseph Cannon, members of the Republican Nomination Committee, and guests in front of Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, N.Y., 4 August 1904.

Public Domain/Underwood & Underwood

Seminar - Open to the Public

Roosevelt and Russia: The 1904 Presidential Campaign

Thu., Apr. 21, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Andrew Porwancher, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

As Theodore Roosevelt launched his re-election bid for the White House, Russian-American relations took center stage. Russia was then denying visas to U.S. passport–holders of Jewish faith, and the "Passport Question" became a critical issue for Jewish voters. This seminar will explore Roosevelt's strategic, and often secretive, campaign to leverage diplomacy at the ballot box.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0qfu6trToiHtFzUuzqYHFQjRDWxl98jzMg 

Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah (first from right) and his family meeting Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser during the 1965 Organization of African Unity Summit in Accra, Ghana.

Public Domain

Seminar - Open to the Public

Anticolonial Diplomacy and the Search for a New International Economic Order, 1960–1975

Thu., Mar. 31, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Vivien L. Chang, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

What role(s) did sub-Saharan African elites play in the movement for a New International Economic Order? After achieving postcolonial statehood, African statesmen, intellectuals, and diplomats sought to leverage their newfound representation within regional and international organizations into political and economic power. Central to their efforts was the imperative to attain an equitable share of the world's wealth and resources. This presentation traces how this vision of anticolonial unity and economic sovereignty evolved and expanded through its interactions with national bureaucracies, international agencies, and grassroots organizations in the 1960s and 1970s.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtcOirpzkuHNUZwH7sNHckBOvZg48ZKqKn 

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

Online

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.

Map of Northern Nigeria: Native Authority Areas, 1962

BMArchives

Seminar - Open to the Public

Rethinking Britain's "Liberal Empire" and its Lessons

Thu., Feb. 10, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Barnaby Crowcroft, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

The historical debate over the British empire tends to be preoccupied with its role — whether for good or for ill — in spreading some form of "liberal modernity" throughout its territories. However, this has tended to neglect the much wider British practice of empire through alliance, treaty, and protection-style arrangements, which had little if any connection with liberal reform. This presentation will introduce this "other" British empire, discuss some of its primary locations, institutions, and motivating ideas and reflect upon its possible lessons for international and foreign policy.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcscOGgpj8rHNJuCVOSMvoqXABgfshFxBbn

Seminar - Open to the Public

Britain and the Creation of the United Nations, 1939–1945

Thu., Jan. 27, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Andrew Ehrhardt, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

The historical scholarship focusing on the creation of the United Nations Organization tends to be skewed towards the role played by the United States. Often overlooked is the influence of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, to say nothing of other powers, from Australia and New Zealand to the Netherlands and China. This presentation will focus on the role of the United Kingdom, in particular, and will discuss the way in which Foreign Office officials worked to deliver on plans for a post-war international organization. 

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckde2hpzkiHNb91pdfngqcuFufpFmJKIRa