16 Events

Glass mural found in an office of the former East German Ministry for State Security (Stasi).

Alexander K. Bollfrass

Seminar - Open to the Public

Blinded by Belief: U.S., UK, and East German Nuclear Espionage in West Germany

Thu., Apr. 5, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Alexander K. Bollfrass, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Fears of a West German bomb sharpened Cold War tensions, making the country's nuclear program an intelligence priority for all concerned states. Based on original archival and newly declassified files, this presentation evaluates the accuracy of U.S., UK, and East German intelligence assessments of the Federal Republic's proliferation risk. Despite spectacular collection successes, the Stasi's analysts were required to view the world through thick ideological lenses. The result was a distorted picture of West German ambition to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

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

Missile silo of a SS-24 missile, Strategic Missile Forces Museum in Ukraine. 8 March 2008.

Creative Commons

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Power of the NPT: International Norms and Nuclear Disarmament of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, 1990–1994

Thu., Dec. 1, 2016 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

There is a lingering disagreement among scholars on how the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) affects nonproliferation and disarmament outcomes, in particular the political motivations of states to acquire or renounce nuclear weapons. Drawing on constructivist scholarship, this research project conceptualizes a range of normative mechanisms through which international norms and regimes could affect domestic political deliberations and proceeds to examine them in the cases of nuclear disarmament of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

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

U.S. President Richard Nixon, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, during the first official visit by a U.S. president to Israel, June 16–17, 1974.

Ya'acov Sa'ar, GPO​

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Political Effects of Nuclear Proliferation

Thu., Sep. 17, 2015 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

This seminar will examine these political effects of nuclear acquisition in the cases of France, China, Israel, and South Africa and reflect on the likely political consequences of eventual Iranian nuclear acquisition.

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

Seminar - Open to the Public

Film Screening: The Man Who Saved the World

Thu., Feb. 5, 2015 | 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Belfer Building - Starr Auditorium, Floor 2.5

The week of February 2-6, 2015, colleges and universities across the country will take part in a National Screening of this unreleased, award-winning movie about Stanislav Petrov, a former Soviet Lt. Colonel. On September 26, 1983, Petrov was the commanding officer on duty at a Soviet nuclear early warning center, when the system falsely reported the launching of five nuclear missiles from the United States. In the harrowing moments that followed, Petrov overruled the system's warning, personally declaring that it was a false alarm. This monumental decision very likely prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its Western allies. Petrov’s decision changed the fate of the world but turned his life upside down – which is poignantly told in the film. You can view the trailer for the movie here.

The Project on Managing the Atom will hold a screening for the Harvard community on February 5th at 6:00 PM in Starr Auditorium, followed by a discussion led by Lt. Col. Brandon Parker (USAF), a Research Fellow with the Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, and Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice at HKS.

A Yellow Sun, the first British operational high-yield strategic nuclear weapon.

Wikimedia

Seminar - Open to the Public

Beyond Emboldenment: The Effects of Nuclear Weapons on State Foreign Policy

Wed., Dec. 3, 2014 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

What happens to the foreign policies of states when they acquire nuclear weapons? This presentation will offer a new typology of the effects of nuclear weapons on foreign policy. The typology allows scholars to move beyond simple claims of “nuclear emboldenment,” and allows for more nuanced predictions and empirical examinations of the ways in which nuclear weapons affect the foreign policies of current and future nuclear states. In this seminar, MTA/ISP Research Fellow Mark Bell will demonstrate the utility of this typology using a “hard” case: the United Kingdom.

Seminar - Open to the Public

Prospects for the 2015 NPT Review Conference and the Non-proliferation Regime

Fri., Oct. 31, 2014 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

In this Project on Managing the Atom Seminar, MTA will welcome two diplomats from Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a discussion on the prospects for the 2015 NPT Review Conference and the non-proliferation regime. Klaus Korhonen, Ambassador for Arms Control, and Sannamaaria Vanamo, Director of the Unit for Arms Control, will provide brief remarks and answer questions from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, October 31, in the Belfer Center Library.

Go Your Own Way? Alliance Coercion, Strategic Reassurance, and West German Nuclear Ambitions

Gene Gerzhoy Image

Seminar - Open to the Public

Go Your Own Way? Alliance Coercion, Strategic Reassurance, and West German Nuclear Ambitions

Thu., Feb. 27, 2014 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Taubman Building - Nye A, 5th Floor

Note new location!

What is the effect of alliances on nuclear proliferation? On the one hand, theories of assurance contend that states with a powerful ally can forego indigenous nuclear capabilities. On the other hand, critics argue that external reliance violates the "self-help" principle in world politics and cite evidence of nuclear ambitions among numerous U.S. allies. To resolve this debate, the speaker proposes a theory of alliance coercion and tests its predictions against evidence from the West German case.

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

Seminar - Open to the Public

Cooperating to Compete: The Role of Regional Powers in a U.S.-Led Global Nuclear Order (New Date and Location)

Wed., Jan. 29, 2014 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

Multilateral institutions are proliferating in seemingly every sphere of international cooperation. From the environment to economics, from security to the nuclear realm, a growing number of institutions at the regional, transnational and bilateral levels are complementing the work of already established global institutions. But what drives this phenomenon, and more importantly, who stands to gain from it and why? The central argument of this MTA seminar is that institutional proliferation should be read both as a functional and a strategic phenomenon.

Coffee and tea provided. Please join us - Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. NOTE - NEW DATE AND LOCATION.