“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.
Liberal democracy and capitalism have been the two commanding political and economic ideas of Western history since the 19th century. Now, however, the fate of these once-galvanizing global principles is increasingly uncertain.
In her new book, Not for the Faint of Heart, Ambassador Sherman takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators―often the only woman in the room. She discusses the core values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.
The United States has employed targeted sanctions—economic and travel restrictions imposed directly on natural and legal persons—in a wide range of policy areas in the past two decades. A substantial literature has considered the compatibility with international human rights law of the targeted sanctions practices of other actors, particularly the UN Security Council and the European Union. But relatively few scholars have examined U.S. targeted sanctions practices from that perspective. This essay argues that in principle, current U.S. designation practices can be reconciled with international standards.
Fifteen Minutes sat down with Professor Robert N. Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, to talk about cap-and-trade, the Peace Corps, and what individuals can do to combat climate change.
While states have agreed to substantial reduction of emissions in the Paris Agreement, the success of the Agreement strongly depends on the cooperation of large Multinational Corporations. Short of legal obligations, the authors discuss the effectiveness and moral legitimacy of voluntary approaches based on naming and shaming. They argue that effectiveness and legitimacy are closely tied together; as voluntary approaches are the only alternative to legally imposed duties, they are most morally defensible particularly if they would be the most effective in reducing the harmful greenhouse gases
The fall of Aleppo is a human catastrophe. It’s also a demonstration of the perils of choosing the middle course in a military conflict. Sometimes it’s possible to talk and fight at the same time. But in Syria, the U.S. decision to pursue a dual-track, halfway approach made the mayhem worse.
"In addition to U.S. moves toward curbing carbon emissions, international attention on the issue is far more substantial than it was at the time of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, according to panelists. That agreement covered just 14 percent of global carbon emissions, Stavins said. Countries responsible for 90 percent of today's emissions have already committed to voluntary reductions in advance of the Paris talks."
"Panelist Robert N. Stavins, who is a Kennedy School professor, said one of his hopes for the conference would be 'putting aside the unproductive disagreements between what we initially characterize as the developed and the developing world.'"
- Harvard Kennedy School Magazine
"We insist on being policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive," Stavins says. "And that is something the negotiating teams appreciate. Whereas many groups have an ax to grind, we do not; we just want to help them understand the nature and dimensions of specific issues and how they can address them."