Articles

38 Items

Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Sen. Angus King of Maine

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Newspaper Article - Harvard Gazette

Senator Angus King: ‘We know’ Russia Hacked Election

    Author:
  • Christina Pazzanese
| Nov. 28, 2017

Though President Trump says he is not convinced that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said Monday that he and his colleagues on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is probing the matter, have “no doubt whatsoever” of Moscow’s involvement.

Ethnofederalism: The Worst Form of Institutional Arrangement…?

Getty Images

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Ethnofederalism: The Worst Form of Institutional Arrangement…?

    Author:
  • Liam Anderson
| Summer 2014

Critics of ethnofederalism—a political system in which federal subunits reflect ethnic groups’ territorial distribution—argue that it facilitates secession and state collapse. An examination of post-1945 ethnofederal states, however, shows that ethnofederalism has succeeded more often than not.

Journal Article - Journal of International Security Affairs

Preventing the Unthinkable

| Spring/Summer 2011

During the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear attack came mainly from the U.S.-Russian nuclear arsenals, writes Kevin Ryan. Today, however, the United States and Russia have been forced to adapt to a new nuclear threat—that of dedicated terrorists with money and technological access who seek to obtain and use a nuclear device.

Four nuclear policy veterans — Joseph S. Nye Jr. (from left), Ashton B. Carter, Albert Carnesale, and Graham Allison — gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war.

Photo by Sharon Wilke

Magazine Article - Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs Harvard Gazette

Nuclear Threats, Then and Now

| May 19, 2011

In 1985, researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School published a book called “Hawks, Doves, and Owls,” and gave it an ambitious subtitle: “An Agenda for Avoiding Nuclear War.” Those scholars gathered again at the School on Monday (May 16) for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war — and to marvel at just how drastically the nuclear threat has morphed in the two decades since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.

(R-L) Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov, General Secretary of the Communist Party Josef Stalin, & German Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, Aug 23, 1939.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Preventing Enemy Coalitions: How Wedge Strategies Shape Power Politics

| Spring 2011

States use wedge strategies to prevent hostile alliances from forming or to dis­perse those that have formed. These strategies can cause power alignments that are otherwise unlikely to occur, and thus have significant consequences for international politics. How do such strategies work and what conditions promote their success? The wedge strategies that are likely to have significant effects use selective accommodation—concessions, compensations, and other inducements—to detach and neutralize potential adversaries. These kinds of strategies play important roles in the statecraft of both defensive and offensive powers. Defenders use selective accommodation to balance against a primary threat by neutralizing lesser ones that might ally with it. Expansionists use se­lective accommodation to prevent or break up blocking coalitions, isolating opposing states by inducing potential balancers to buck-pass, bandwagon, or hide. Two cases—Great Britain’s defensive attempts to accommodate Italy in the late 1930s and Germany’s offensive efforts to accommodate the Soviet Union in 1939—help to demonstrate these arguments. By paying attention to these dynamics, international relations scholars can better understand how balancing works in specific cases, how it manifests more broadly in interna­tional politics, and why it sometimes fails in situations where it ought to work well.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.