Articles

238 Items

Chernobyl welcome sign

Wikimedia CC/Jorge Franganillo

Journal Article - Futures

Accumulating Evidence Using Crowdsourcing and Machine Learning: A Living Bibliography about Existential Risk and Global Catastrophic Risk

    Authors:
  • Gorm E. Shackelford
  • Luke Kemp
  • Catherine Rhodes
  • Lalitha Sundaram
  • Seán S. ÓhÉigeartaigh
  • Simon Beard
  • Haydn Belfield
  • Shahar Avin
  • Dag Sørebø
  • Elliot M. Jones
  • John B. Hume
  • David Price
  • David Pyle
  • Daniel Hurt
  • Theodore Stone
  • Harry Watkins
  • Lydia Collas
  • Bryony C. Cade
  • Thomas Frederick Johnson
  • Zachary Freitas-Groff
  • David Denkenberger
  • Michael Levot
  • William J. Sutherland
| February 2020

The study of existential risk — the risk of human extinction or the collapse of human civilization — has only recently emerged as an integrated field of research, and yet an overwhelming volume of relevant research has already been published. To provide an evidence base for policy and risk analysis, this research should be systematically reviewed. In a systematic review, one of many time-consuming tasks is to read the titles and abstracts of research publications, to see if they meet the inclusion criteria. The authors show how this task can be shared between multiple people (using crowdsourcing) and partially automated (using machine learning), as methods of handling an overwhelming volume of research.

WWI chemical weapon firing pipes

Wikimedia CC/Rosser1954

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Gas, Norms, and Statistics: The Jury is Still Out

| 2019

Damir Kovačević, Afrimadona, and Martin Claar's (KAC) statistical adjudication between the potential role of norms versus strategic deterrence in preventing interstate chemical-weapons use is a welcome contribution (Vol. 26, Nos. 3–4, pp. 251–66). The authors conclude that a powerful non-use norm is the most convincing explanation for downtrending chemical warfare. However, closer examination by  David M. Allison and Stephen Herzog in this response to the original article reveals several analytical issues, including inaccurate presentation of data and alternative explanations, that may undermine their results.

Members of the 576th Flight Test Squadron monitor an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III missile

USAF/Michael Peterson

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Overwhelming Case for No First Use

| Jan. 13, 2020

The arguments in favor of the United States' declaring that the only purpose of its nuclear weapons is to deter others who possess them from using theirs — in other words, that in no circumstances will this country use nuclear weapons first — are far stronger than the arguments against this stance. It must be hoped that the next US administration will take this no-first-use step promptly.

teaser image

Journal Article

Lines, Flows and Transnational Crime: Toward a Revised Approach to Countering the Underworld of Globalization

| Dec. 16, 2019

In this article, we develop a new framework for combating transnational criminal activity. We argue that global illicit flows, perpetrated by organized crime, in the interstices of lawful trade and travel, embody a critical and debilitating non-state security threat in today’s world, one that the Westphalian international system of sovereign states remains ill-equipped to confront. Accordingly, we seek to generate a wider discussion in the field regarding a revised approach to this threat that is situated within a global framework of collaborative law enforcement which incorporates, in appropriate fashion, certain military and counter-terrorist strategies.

The propositions we advance in support of a revised approach to countering transnational crime and its globalized web-enabled criminals include: (a) terrorism is one species of transnational crime; (b) the criminal justice model of arrest, prosecution, conviction and incarceration is a partial and insufficient response to transnational crime; (c) national security and law enforcement functions should be viewed analytically as a “public security” continuum rather than disciplines separated by bright lines; (d) countering transnational criminal organizations effectively may require development of a hybrid law enforcement/military capacity and new strategic and tactical doctrines, including safeguards against abuse, to govern its deployment; (e) joint border management within nations and between them, coordinated with the private sector, is required and inter-agency cooperation and multilateral institutions must be strengthened in accordance with new international norms and (f) North America, a region construed as extending from Colombia to the Arctic and from Bermuda to Hawaii, could develop in the future, together with the European Union, as an initial site for a model pilot of the new approach.

a new barrier is built along the Texas-Mexico border near downtown El Paso

AP/Eric Gay

Newspaper Article - The Huffington Post

Border Security Expert Tells 'Mansplaining' Rep. Dan Crenshaw Why A Wall Won't Work

    Author:
  • David Moye
| Feb. 05, 2019

Juliette Kayyem suggested that freshman Texas GOP Representative Dan Crenshaw support his argument on border security with facts — "not with mocking a woman."  This article covers the Twitter exchange.

Chinese stealth fighter in the air

(China Military Online)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why China Has Not Caught Up Yet: Military-Technological Superiority, Systems Integration, and the Challenges of Imitation, Reverse Engineering, and Cyber-Espionage

| Winter 2018/19

The extraordinary complexity of today’s advanced weapons systems has significantly reduced the ability of states to imitate other states’ military technology. Consequently, U.S. rivals such as China will continue to struggle to develop indigenous capabilities that can match those of the United States.

Magazine Article - Harvard Magazine

He Has Made the World a Safer Place

| June 01, 2018

On Thursady, May 31, former students, friends, and colleagues of renowned molecular biologist Matthew Meselson, Cabot professor of natural sciences, gathered at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to celebrate the 88th birthday of a pioneering scholar who has been, simultaneously, a preeminent champion of biological and chemical weapons control.

teaser image

Journal Article - Global Policy

The Case for Economic Development Through Sovereign Investment: A Paradox of Scarcity?

| Apr. 14, 2018

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have traditionally been created to recycle excess reserves from natural resource or non‐commodity revenues. However, in recent years funds are being established under conditions of capital scarcity with objectives to contribute domestic economic development, often through the buildout of national infrastructure programs. Such trends in new fund creation represent a fundamental shift in the sovereign wealth fund paradigm and raise serious questions about how these entities are to be capitalized and also the implications of capitalization models on their sustainability. This study examines the recent evolution of SWF models focused on economic development. Its analytic focus is drawn, in particular, to countries that are neither endowed with oil wealth, nor otherwise enjoy export surpluses to be used to capitalize a development‐oriented SWF. While this study is relevant to and expands the scope of the broad literature on SWFs, its specific contribution is as a focused analysis of how SWF funding sources impact achieving long‐term financial and socio‐economic development objectives.

teaser image

Magazine Article - Vanity Fair

"Trial By Fire”: Will John Bolton Push Trump Toward War in Syria?

| Apr. 09, 2018

According to Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. ambassador who served Bill Clinton and in both Bush administrations, Trump’s approach in Syria has more in common with Obama’s than either would likely admit. “I think that the president’s tweet yesterday was specific enough that he has effectively drawn a red line as well. I think that the president needs to respond to this.”