News + Media

BRAHMOS missile launchers

Analysis + Opinion

May 17, 2022

Enhancing strategic stability in Southern Asia


Over the past decade, long-standing disputes between the nuclear-armed states of Southern Asia have repeatedly veered into deeper hostility and violence. These regional developments reflect and reinforce new and significant geopolitical shifts, starting with the global strategic competition between China and the United States.

Eleanor Freund

In the News

May 17, 2022

Eleanor Freund receives Jeanne Guillemin Prize

Michelle EnglishMIT News Office

Eleanor Freund, a PhD candidate in the MIT Department of Political Science, is the recipient of this year’s Jeanne Guillemin Prize at the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS). The annual prize supports women pursuing doctorate degrees in international relations—a field that has long been dominated by men.

From left to right: Hussein Banai, Malcolm Byrne, and John Tirman.

In the News

May 16, 2022

When dueling narratives deepen a divide

Peter DizikesMIT News Office

The book, “Republics of Myth: National Narratives and the US-Iran Conflict,” just published by Johns Hopkins University Press, explores the joint history of identities at odds with each other. The authors identify key moments when US-Iran tensions became further heightened and opportunities for détente dwindled.

War tank

Analysis + Opinion

May 13, 2022

The Russo-Ukrainian war’s dangerous slide into total societal conflict

Jonathan Shimshoni and Ariel E LeviteNational Interest

The crisis in and over Ukraine, which is deeply rooted in conflicting societal perceptions of NATO’s expansion and the Westernization of Ukraine, is now increasingly sliding into an actual major societal confrontation. The three main actors—Russia, Ukraine, and the West—are pursuing victory by impacting all three societies, aiming to undermine adversaries and mobilize their citizens and those of their allies.

John Tirman

Analysis + Opinion

May 10, 2022

The clashing narratives that keep the US and Iran at odds

Iran and the United States have sharply different national narratives, and that is one dominant reason why they have such difficulty talking to each other, much less agreeing on important matters like nuclear weapons. These narratives are, moreover, steeped in images and practices of violence, undermining any kind of conciliation.

John Tirman on Iran Podcast

In the News

May 7, 2022

US-Iran tensions and misperceptions

Negar MortazaviIran Podcast

John Tirman joins Iran Podcast host Negar Mortazavi for a conversation about US-Iran tensions and misperception.

Russian service members drive a tank along a street during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, May 4, 2022 [Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

In the News

May 6, 2022

Russia: What is Victory Day, and why is it important this May 9?

Niko VorobyovAl Jazeera

Quoted:  “It’s hard to do a general conscription: I think that that’s when Russians would come out and protest,” said Elizabeth Wood, professor of history at MIT.  “You can conscript all those people in Buryatia (a mountainous region in Siberia), but if you conscript Muscovites, they’ll protest. I don’t think he can declare victory, either. I think they’re planning a long slogging war.”

An Iranian woman walking past a wall that says Down with USA

In the News

May 2, 2022

Why the US and Iran hate each other

Daniel LarisonResponsible Statecraft

Devising a better and more constructive Iran policy is important to making much-needed changes to the US role in the Middle East and to preventing another unnecessary war in the future, but there is little appetite in Washington to make the effort or to take the political risks that it would require. A first step in crafting a smarter Iran policy is to understand why US-Iranian relations have been so strained for such a long time and what obstacles stand in the way of changing that. 

Taylor Fravel

Analysis + Opinion

April 25, 2022

China and India need to reimagine what is possible on the border

Nayanima BasuThe Print

According to Taylor Fravel, China is now attempting to strengthen ties with India and a number of other developing countries as they have also not condemned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Troops in Ukraine

In the News

April 25, 2022

Is Russia failing in its fight In Ukraine?

Sue O'ConnellNECN

Carol Saivetz, a senior advisor in the MIT Security Studies Program, provides an update on the state of the war as the US promises more aid for war-torn Ukraine.