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Belfer Center: 2015 at a Glance

December 2015

Year in Review 2015

In a year marked by both hopeful trends and alarming challenges, the Belfer Center’s mission to provide thoughtful, policy-relevant research and insights for a more secure, peaceful world has never been more timely. In 2015, our faculty and fellows delved into critical issues from Iran’s nuclear program, China’s rise, and Russian relations to violent extremism, climate talks, U.S. leadership, and economic growth. Whether in books, reports, testimony, commentary, or multimedia, see the ways our experts responded to a world in need of impactful ideas:


Video Gallery

The Iran Nuclear Deal

If Iran complies, the JCPOA buys at least 10 to 15 years before Tehran can significantly expand its nuclear capabilities. If Iran cheats during this period, JCPOA monitoring and national intelligence are likely to detect major violations, which would enhance U.S. and international options to intensify sanctions and take military action if necessary.

"The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide"

U.S.-China Relations

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap.

"The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?"

American Leadership

In researching the life and times of Henry Kissinger, I have come to realize that … I had missed the crucial importance in American foreign policy of the history deficit: the fact that key decision-makers know almost nothing not just of other countries’ pasts, but also of their own.

"Kissinger: Volume 1: The Idealist 1923-1968"

Photo Gallery

Energy and Climate

Taken together, the lessons from thirty years of experience suggest that cap-and-trade merits serious consideration when regions, nations, or sub-national jurisdictions seek to develop policies to reduce GHG emissions. And, indeed, this has happened.

"Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Experience with Cap-and-Trade"

Fighting Terror and Violent Extremism

Tackle extremist ideology inventively and experimentally, and we make possible a more comprehensive and durable solution. We shouldn’t underestimate what we can achieve by applying technology and know-how from multiple sectors, including business.

"Engage Muslim Millennials"

U.S.-Russia Relations

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia was on its was not surprising that Western leaders became accustomed to ignoring Russian perspectives. But since Vladimir Putin took over in 1999, he has led a recovery of Russia’s sense of itself as a great power.

"Russia and America: Stumbling to War"

Refugee and Humanitarian Crises

Although the term ‘refugee’ is also commonly used to refer to people fleeing war, most of those trying to escape violence in Syria and elsewhere are legally not refugees and are ineligible for asylum...

"Five Myths about Refugees and Migrants"

Economic Growth and Innovation

[T]he lion’s share of renewed growth [in North America] springs from dynamism in four key sectors: energy, manufacturing, the life sciences, and information technology....four interlocking revolutions that could make North America the next great emerging market.

"The Next Great Emerging Market?"


When President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed cyberweaponry rules of the road at their recent White House news conference, it represented a landmark for a new field.

"The World Needs an Arms-control Treaty for Cybersecurity"


Nuclear Security

In periods of heightened tensions and reduced decision times, the likelihood of human and technical error in control systems increases. Launch-on-warning is a relic of Cold War strategy whose risk today far exceeds its value. Our leaders urgently need to talk and, we hope, agree to scrap this obsolete protocol before a devastating error occurs.

"How to Avert a Nuclear War"



Selected Podcasts

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Belfer Center: 2015 at a Glance.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, December 2015.