60 Events

Satellite image of the half-built light water reactor site in North Korea.

Google Earth Image@2018 DigitalGlobe

Seminar - Open to the Public

Normalization by Other Means — The Failed Techno-diplomacy of Light Water Reactor Export in the North Korean Nuclear Crisis

Thu., Feb. 14, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Christopher Lawrence, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

The history of U.S. engagement with North Korea offers important lessons that could help reframe the diplomatic impasse today. In the 1994 Agreed Framework (AF), the regime agreed to dismantle its plutonium-production complex in exchange for western light water reactors (LWR) and the promise of political normalization with the United States. As construction of the LWRs fell behind, however, North Korea embarked on a secret uranium enrichment program. Today, scholars and policymakers look back at the LWRs of the AF as a "carrot" — "we offered the carrot, and they cheated anyway." But when scholars and policymakers consider the unique technical attributes of LWRs and how their construction was planned to be situated within a diplomatic track to normalization, they appear to function more as a way to signal commitment than as a carrot to bribe the regime. In this light, chronic construction delays and the offset of LWR costs to U.S. allies can be interpreted as signals about America's lack of commitment to normalization with North Korea. This conceptual shift — from carrots and sticks to signaling and credibility — offers important insights into past diplomatic failures and could help reconcile the competing visions of engagement with North Korea today.

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

President Lyndon Johnson looking on as Secretary of State Dean Rusk prepares to sign the NPT, 1 July 1968.

Courtesy of Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Hegemon's Toolkit: U.S. Hegemony and the Politics of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

Thu., Oct. 11, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is widely credited with contributing to international security through its promotion of nuclear restraint. Whereas almost all states in the international system are members of the NPT, many of these states have not signed on to additional treaties and agreements designed to strengthen the regime. Having already committed to foreswear the possession of nuclear weapons, why would some NPT members avoid taking steps to further the treaty's proclaimed goals? States' affinity to U.S. global leadership explains such variation.

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

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, prepares to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the military demarcation line at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone on April 27, 2018.

Korea Summit Press Pool/AP

Seminar - Open to the Public

Korea in Great Transition? Diplomacy for Denuclearization and Peace-building

Thu., June 21, 2018 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Amid a flurry of summits, Professor Yoon Young-kwan, former South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will provide a South Korean perspective of where we’re headed with denuclearization and peace-building on the Korean Peninsula.

Signatures on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) document.

Public Domain

Seminar - Open to the Public

Iran's Nuclear Decision-Making: Historical Trends and the Role of U.S. Policy

Thu., May 17, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

Speaker: Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, Research Fellow with the Iran Project and Project on Managing the Atom

During this seminar, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh will examine historical trends in Iran's nuclear-decision making and discuss the role of U.S. foreign policy in shaping such decision-making.  This event comes on the heels of President Trump's May 8th decision to have the United States cease fulfilling its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or "Iran nuclear deal," reached between the P5+1, EU and Iran in 2015. The event will be off-the-record.
 

President Donald Trump shows a signed Presidential Memorandum after delivering a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Seminar - Open to the Public

Consequences of the U.S. Withdrawal from the JCPOA

Wed., May 16, 2018 | 10:00am

Belfer Building - Starr Auditorium, Floor 2.5

With President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Iranian nuclear agreement (JCPOA), the future of the deal is under serious question. Please join the Iran Project and The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) for an expert-level roundtable analyzing the ramifications of this decision and the how leading international and regional players will react to these latest developments.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered from the BBC China in Italy, en route to Libya, in 2003.

DOE

Seminar - Open to the Public

Stop or I'll Shoot, Comply and I Won't: The Paradox of Coercion

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

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Reid Pauly, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

In making demands, coercers must communicate the credibility of their threats to punish. They must also, however, communicate the credibility of corresponding assurances not to punish if the target complies. This presentation will explain the paradox at the heart of coercion and explore how states overcome it by signaling the contingency of their actions.

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

Azadi Tower, Azadi Square, Meydea-e Azadi, Meydan-e Shahyad, Tehran province, Iran Flag colors

Creative Commons/Mahdi Kalhor

Seminar - Open to the Public

Iranian Grand Strategy: Deterring and Contesting the American Hegemon since 1979

Thu., Mar. 29, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Mahsa Rouhi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Theories of grand strategy tend to focus on major powers. This seminar sheds light on the grand strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regional power. It explores the principles of Iranian grand strategy, whether explicitly stated or implicit in its national policies. The speaker will provide an analysis that lays out the grand strategy, its elements, and how it provides a framework to guide all Iranian foreign policy. 

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

Co-sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom