International Relations

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An assault unit commander from the 3rd Assault Brigade who goes by the call sign 'Fedia' raises the Ukrainian flag as a symbol of liberation of the frontline village of Andriivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Babenko)

AP Photo/Alex Babenko

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

From Stalemate to Settlement

This white paper attempts to apply history to illuminate possible paths forward but is neither a detailed blueprint for peace nor an intricate playbook for how negotiations should proceed. With any negotiated settlement, the devil is in the details, and questions such as the prosecution of war crimes, repatriation of prisoners of war (POWs), reparations, and specific territorial lines will undoubtedly be debated fiercely by Moscow and Kyiv. The specific contours of any deal will be ironed out at the negotiating table. Additionally, significant negotiations are unlikely to take place in the lame-duck period prior to the US presidential election. Our recommendations are therefore not an immediate  call for action but guidelines for policymakers if and when Ukraine decides to negotiate. 

In this photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, Russian troops load an Iskander missile as part of drills to train the military for using tactical nuclear weapons at an undisclosed location in Russia

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

Journal Article - International Security

When Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Adversary Perceptions of Nuclear No-First-Use Pledges

| Spring 2024

Would the world be safer if the United States pledged to never use nuclear weapons first? Supporters say a credible pledge would strengthen crisis stability, decrease hostility, and bolster nonproliferation and arms control. But reactions to no-first-use pledges by the Soviet Union, China, and India suggest that adversaries perceive pledges as credible only when the political relationship between a state and its adversary is already relatively benign, or when the state’s military has no ability to engage in nuclear first use against the adversary. 

Armed with a double-barrelled shotgun, a young Turkish Cypriot leads women and children from the village of Ayios Sozomenos to another nearby large Turkish village following a gun battle between Greeks and Turks on Feb. 6, 1964.

AP Photo

Journal Article - International Security

Not So Innocent: Clerics, Monarchs, and the Ethnoreligious Cleansing of Western Europe

  • Şener Aktürk
| Spring 2024

Ethnic cleansing is not only a modern phenomenon. The medieval Catholic Church saw non-Christians as a threat and facilitated the ethnoreligious cleansing of Muslim and Jewish communities across Western Europe. Three conditions made this possible: The rising power of the papacy as a supranational religious authority; its dehumanization of non-Christians; and competition among Catholic Western European monarchs that left them vulnerable to papal-clerical demands to eradicate non-Christians. These findings revise our understanding twentieth- and twenty-first-century ethnic cleansing in places like Cambodia, Iraq, Myanmar, the Soviet Union, and Syria.

An open laptop on a messy desk. Papers covers the keyboard.

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Journal Article - International Security

Writing Policy Recommendations for Academic Journals: A Guide for the Perplexed

| Spring 2024

How can scholars write effective policy recommendations? Despite the potential importance of academic work to the policy debate, many scholars receive little training on why and how to make policy recommendations. To remedy this problem, here are steps to guide scholars as they begin developing policy recommendations for their articles. 

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Blog Post - views-on-the-economy-and-the-world

EU Carbon Border Adjustment Could Facilitate a Global Climate Solution

| May 27, 2024

The European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) has begun asking EU importers to report data on emissions of greenhouse gases by their foreign suppliers (direct, but also indirect, i.e., embodied in the electricity they use).  The first round of reports were due January 31 of this year.  European importers are required by July to have established access to the data on emissions embedded in their suppliers’ products. The full CBAM regime, with European penalties against imports from countries that don’t price carbon as the EU does, will go into operation on January 1st, 2026.   It will have a major impact on producers of carbon-intensive products among EU trading partners.

People hold up posters of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

AP/Vahid Salemi, File

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Death of an Iranian Hard-Liner

| May 24, 2024

Mohammad Tabaar writes that former Iranian President Raisi will be remembered for putting the country on the right path after a series of presidents who challenged the supreme leader's vision. He will be memorialized for positioning Iran as a nuclear threshold state and establishing it as a rising power—and for doing so not despite external pressure, but because of it.