News + Media

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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speak before a meeting in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, April 28, 2022.

Analysis + Opinion

May 17, 2022

Let’s not grant Saudi Arabia a blank check for American support

Trita Parsi and Steven SimonThe American Prospect

In the view of Saudi Arabia and Israel, the presumed benefits of a binding US defense commitment just weren’t worth the cost. Washington might want to take a page from their book and think twice before limiting its own military options and shouldering greater obligations as storm clouds gather in Europe and Asia.

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.

Tanks carrying large weapons during a Russian military parade.

Analysis + Opinion

May 13, 2022

Can Russia and the West survive a nuclear crisis in Ukraine?

Barry PosenNational Interest

The two sides have not managed a bilateral nuclear crisis in a very long time, and one does not really wish to find out if they can easily recover their Cold War vintage crisis management skills.

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.

US Vice President Kamala Harris

Analysis + Opinion

May 6, 2022

Why the US wants a ban on ASAT missile testing

Kunal SinghHindustan Times
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.