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October 17, 2012

Rovner wins ISSS best book award

The International Security Studies Best Book Award Selection Committee announced the selection of Joshua Rovner, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011) as the recipient of this year's prize. "Forty-seven very good books were nominated, but Dr. Rovner's book was the unanimous choice for its outstanding contribution—both methodologically and substantively—to the understanding of a challenging and understudied area of our field," said the Committee.

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October 11, 2012

Nobel winner helped launch MIT France

The 2012 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to two researchers for their work with light and matter at the fundamental level. Serge Haroche, of the the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure shares the award with David J. Wineland, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado. Haroche, who lives in Paris, was a founding member of the MIT-France Program Advisory Board. His work on the Board, starting in 2003, helped launch the success of the MIT-France Program.

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October 1, 2012

Luce fellowship deadline Oct. 22

Monday, October 22, is this year's deadline for the Luce Scholars Program. Young scholars from a wide variety of intellectual fields will be placed in 10-month internships in selected countries in Asia. The fellowship is aimed for those with no prior experience in the region. Nominees must be American citizens not yet 30 years old on July 1, 2013, and who have earned at least a bachelor's degree or expect to receive one by July 1, 2013. More information.

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September 20, 2012

PEGS graduate fellows competition

The Center's Program on Environmental Governance and Sustainability (PEGS) invites applications from graduate students in all Schools and Departments for the 2012-2013 Graduate Fellows program. The theme of this year's program is Environmental Futures and the faculty director is Professor Christine Walley of the Department of Anthropology.

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July 17, 2012

Urban resilience: cities coping with violence

Ordinary people show remarkable capacities for coping with and resisting violent actors in some of the world's most dangerous cities, a new study from the Center shows. "Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence," a two-year undertaking led by former MIT professor Diane Davis and Center executive director John Tirman, examined eight cities to answer questions about what adaptive strategies communities adopt in response to criminal and other forms of persistent violence. The study uncovers new insights into conditions of "positive" resilience, in which communities forge and utilize social relationships within their neighborhoods and negotiate productive relations with city and state officials, police, business leaders, and the like. Not all cities achieve this outcome, however. 

MIT graduate students and researchers from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva spent several weeks doing field research in Johannesburg, Kigali, Managua, Medellín, Mexico City, Nairobi, and São Paolo, with remote research on Karachi, under a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The 132-page main report was written by Diane Davis, now professor at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and a CIS Research Affiliate. Davis and Tirman presented findings to USAID and an audience of policy professionals at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in July. The study will be discussed in several more forums, emphasizing its utility to practitioners—governments, NGOs, multilateral agencies, and others.

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May 23, 2012

'Becoming Enemies' emerges from US-Iran project

The first book from the Center's US-Iran project was published in May—Becoming Enemies: US-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988. Published by Rowman & Littlefield, the book is the work of five coauthors who are the key players in the project: James Blight and Janet Lang (University of Waterloo), Malcolm Byrne (National Security Archive), Hussein Banai (Occidental College), and the Center's John Tirman. Bruce Riedel, who advised President Clinton on U.S.-Iran issues, contributed a foreword. The project is designed to bring together policy makers from the US, Iran, and elsewhere to explore in detail, often for the first time as a group, the key events in a difficult relationship. The project asks if there were missed opportunities to improve the relationship, and why. Later works will examine the period of reform and the 2001-2009 period. It is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Arca Foundation, and an MIT alumnae family.

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April 19, 2012

Turkey's new global activism

CIS organized a three-day workshop in Istanbul, April 12-14, to assess Turkey's new global role and its application of hard and soft power in its region. Hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the workshop brought together scholars and practitioners from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, including leading Turkish intellectuals and officials. Along with CIS executive director John Tirman, the meeting was shaped by Professor Mario Zucconi (Princeton), Professor Kristin Fabbe (Claremont McKenna), who recently earned a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, and Michael Meier of the Ebert Foundation. Presentations were also made in Ankara to the diplomatic corps, and will be forthcoming in Washington, D.C., Brussels, and Berlin. The workshop prompted considerable coverage in Turkey, and the organizers expect further engagement.

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April 11, 2012

MISTI adds MIT Korea and MIT Russia

Working with a network of leading companies and universities, MISTI connects students with select hands-on professional and research internships around the globe. The two newest country programs are MIT Korea and MIT Russia. To help make an international experience available to every MIT student, MISTI internships are all-expenses-paid. Apply today!

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April 1, 2012

CIS summer study grant

Doctoral students in international affairs may receive up to $3,000 in summer support for dissertation research on a broad range of global issues. Grants may be requested either for fieldwork and/or archival research, or for home-based research and writeup. The main criteria for determining awards will be the importance of the research question and the quality of the research proposal, and the strength of the letter of support. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 3, 2012. More information about the CIS Summer Study Grant. For those applying, read the FAQ.

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February 10, 2012

Meet the PEGS fellows

The Center's Program on Environmental Governance and Sustainability (PEGS) offers fellowships for full-time graduate students enrolled at MIT. The theme for the current fellowship is synergies to promote environmental quality and sustainable development.

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February 9, 2012

IUCIM and CIS honor Sharon Stanton Russell

Sharon Stanton Russell, a mainstay of migration studies at MIT and the Inter-University Committee on International Migration, was honored with a IUCIM symposium and dinner on February 7 at CIS. Russell, who had a long association with the late CIS director Myron Weiner, a leading migration theorist, has been a leader of IUCIM for fifteen years. She has made major contributions to migration studies, including pioneering work on remittances for the World Bank. Among other works, she was co-editor with Weiner of Demography and National Security. Russell has also had long associations with the University of Sussex, the United Nations, and the National Academy of Sciences. The Feb 7 symposium featured presentations by six Committee members: Karen Jacobsen (Tufts), Nazli Choucri (MIT), Robert Lucas (Boston U.), Peggy Levitt (Wellesley), John Harris (Boston U.), and Luise Druke (Harvard Law School). Michael Teitelbaum, another collaborator on cutting edge research with Russell, led a number of accolades at the dinner. 

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November 11, 2011

Is national security affordable?

Cindy Williams, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Security Studies Program, has just written a new report, "The Future Affordability of US National Security." The report addresses how much the United States might realistically afford to spend in the future on defense and security.

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September 8, 2011

MISTI helps empower teachers

Empowering the Teachers is a new project to enable outstanding young Nigerian faculty in science and engineering to collaborate with MIT faculty to develop new curriculum and teaching methods. The program is a collaboration of MISTI and its corporate partners Total and Google. Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande (featured in photo), professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, is the director.

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September 5, 2011

Luce Fellowship deadline Oct. 17

Monday, October 17, is this year's deadline for the Luce Scholars Program. Young scholars from a wide variety of intellectual fields will be placed in 10-month internships in selected countries in Asia. The fellowship is aimed for those with no prior experience in the region. Nominees must be American citizens not yet 30 years old on July 1, 2012, and who have earned at least a bachelor's degree or expect to receive one by July 1, 2012. More information is available here.

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August 5, 2011

CIS remembers Jonathan Tucker

Jonathan B. Tucker, 56, died on July 31, 2011. Jim Walsh, MIT Research Associate, who was a student with Tucker in the Center's Security Studies Program, says "Jonathan was a quiet, kind, and thoughtful person. He was a first-rate scholar, a person who cared deeply about the world, and a wonderful friend and colleague. His passing leaves a terrible void in our community and for me personally." Harvey Sapolsky, MIT Professor Emeritus, wrote a tribute to Tucker.

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July 19, 2011

Gercik coordinates MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative

A group of MIT faculty from a cross-section of disciplines is mobilizing its own response to the March 11 disaster in Japan with the launch of the MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative. Pat Gercik, associate director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) program at CIS is the 3/11 Initiative's program coordinator and overseer of fundraising efforts. Read more

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July 11, 2011

Harris named Fulbright Scholar

Tobias Harris, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and a member of the Security Studies Program, will study in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar during the 2011-12 academic year. Harris will conduct interviews and archival research for his project titled "The Politics of Reform in Japan, 1955-2009." He is studying decisions made by Japanese government entities regarding whether and how to undertake reforms, and the factors affecting their success, throughout the country's recent history.

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July 6, 2011

'Deaths of Others' in America's wars

Americans are greatly concerned about the number of our troops killed in battle—100,000 dead in World War I; 300,000 in World War II; 33,000 in the Korean War; 58,000 in Vietnam; 4,500 in Iraq; more than 1,000 in Afghanistan—and rightly so. But why are we so indifferent, often oblivious, to the far greater number of casualties suffered by those we fight and those we fight for? This is the compelling, largely unasked question that John Tirman, a principal research scientist and executive director at CIS, answers in The Deaths of Others.

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July 5, 2011

MIT-France helps advance energy research

MIT President Susan Hockfield and other Institute representatives traveled to Paris for the France-MIT Forum on Energy, an event to advance collaboration between Institute researchers and their French counterparts. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of the MIT-France program. Read more.

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June 8, 2011

MISTI partners with MEET

The Center's MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) announces a new partnership with MEET (Middle East Education through Technology). MEET will be a new MISTI program, managed by David Dolev. MEET is an innovative educational initiative aimed at creating a common professional language between Israeli and Palestinian young leaders. It was founded by two MIT students and this year 12 MIT students and recent alumni will be instructors in Jerusalem.

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