• Spring ∕  Summer 2023
SPRING/SUMMER 2023 :: précis Activities
May 24, 2023

Visit Programs and Events and Seminars to learn about all of the Center's activities. Many of our events are available to view on YouTube. Below is an editor’s pick of recent programming.

Starr Forums

The Center hosted multiple virtual and hybrid Starr Forums on pressing global issues, including: “Ukraine and Russia one year on: The domestic impact of the war,” with Yevgenia Albats (CEO, The New Times), Olga Onuch (University of Manchester), Carol Saivetz (MIT), and Elizabeth Wood (MIT); “The Iraq invasion: 20 years later,” with Peter Krause (Boston College), Marsin Alshamary (Boston College), Roger Petersen (MIT), and Steven Simon (MIT); “Reinventing Japan…again?” with Richard Samuels (MIT), Mary Brinton (Harvard), Eric Heginbotham (MIT), Ulrike Schaede (UCSD), and Kiyoteru Tsutsui (Stanford); “From Chornobyl to Zaporizhzhia: The atom and its Impact on Ukraine’s politics and security,” with Kate Brown (MIT), Mariana Budjeryn (Harvard Kennedy School), Carol Saivetz (MIT), and Elizabeth Wood (MIT); and “Grand delusion: The rise and fall of American ambition in the Middle East,” with Steven Simon (MIT) and Andrew Bacevich (Quincy Institute). View all the Starr Forums on the CIS YouTube playlist here

SSP Wednesday Seminars

The Security Studies Program offered a diverse selection of Wednesday seminars including: “Civil-military relations with tenuous civilian control: A domestic path to international conflict,” with Anne Sartori (MIT Sloan); “Chip war: The fight for the world's most critical technology,” with Chris Miller (Tufts); “A Defense attache in Moscow: Watching Moscow’s road to war,” with Philip Yu (United States Navy); “The missing cyber thunder run: Cyber operations during the Russo-Ukrainian war,” with Brandon Valeriano (Marine Corps University); “Beijing’s low-productivity innovation drive: Evidence from patents production,” with Yuen Yuen Ang (Johns Hopkins University), co-hosted with MIT Political Science; “The patron’s dilemma: Recklessness and restraint under nuclear umbrellas,” with Rupal Mehta (University of Nebraska-Lincoln); “Internal decurity and Chinese grand dtrategy,” with Sheena Greitens (University of Texas at Austin); “No man left behind? Hostage deservingness and the politics of hostage recovery,” with Danielle Gilbert (Dartmouth); and “States and nature: The effects of climate change on security,” with Joshua Busby (University of Texas-Austin); “US-China technological ‘decoupling,’” with Jon Bateman (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). View the seminars on the SSP YouTube channel.

Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar

Each semester the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society, and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East. Recent talks included: “Rihla: Manchester to Beirut to Mecca – and back again,” with Robert Azzi (Photojournalist); and “The Egyptian army in the 1967 Six-Day War: Lessons for the present,” with Khaled Fahmy (Tufts).

Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration

The Inter-University Committee on International Migration hosted the Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration, including: “Refugees revitalizing emptied spain,” with Susan Akram (Boston University School of Law); “Enhancing the benefits of human mobility through development interventions,” with David Khoudour (UNDP); “Crossing the divide: Rural to urban migration in developing countries,” with Robert EB Lucas (Boston University); and “Majority minority: How do societies respond to great demographic change?” with Justin Gest (George Mason University).

CIS awards 15 summer study grants

Fifteen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT were awarded summer study grants. Each will receive up to $4,000. Suzanne Freeman and Mariel Garcia-Montes were awarded the fourth annual Jeanne Guillemin prize. The Center is pleased to support the work of an outstanding and varied cohort from across the Institute. The full list of awardees is available here.

Third annual edition of MIT x TAU Webinar Series

Co-hosted with the MIT-Africa program and True Africa University (TAU), the MIT x TAU Webinar Series focused on various aspects of sustainable development in Africa. Speakers included: Moky Makura, His Excellency José Maria Neves, Tidjane Deme, Nicolas Kazadi, Busiswe Seabe, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kenfield Griffith, and Oby Ezekwesili.

SSP Wargaming Lab

The SSP Wargaming Lab is the latest phase of a long tradition of wargaming at MIT. The Lab is an independent and university-based initiative aimed at developing the use of wargames and simulations as rigorous, accessible, and transparent tools to enhance understanding of international politics and security. Leveraging SSP’s expertise in security studies and its extensive network of scholars and national security practitioners, the Wargaming Lab will engage policymakers, inform public policy, and advance academic research on critical national security issues. To do this, the Wargaming Lab will design and run wargames and simulations, develop wargaming best practices, and host scholarly conferences and workshops that support research and help train next-generation wargaming experts.

2022-2023 Global Seed Fund winners announced

MISTI’s Global Seed Funds (GSF) help MIT faculty create exciting new connections by supporting early-stage collaborations with researchers at peer institutions around the world. Since 2008, GSF has awarded nearly $22 million to over 1,000 faculty research projects. This year, a total of 91 faculty international research projects received over $2.1 million in funding. These projects were selected from among 168 proposals submitted by faculty and research scientists across the Institute. View the full list of winners here.

MIT-Japan Program presents inaugural Pat Gercik Award

On May 10th, MIT-Japan Program alumni, current interns, faculty, staff and friends gathered to celebrate the Patrica Gercik Award Ceremony. Gercik served as managing director of the MIT-Japan Program for almost three decades and introduced hundreds of MIT students to Japanese culture, history, and in-country internship experiences. This year, the program presented the inaugural Pat Gercik Award to two students going to Japan for summer 2023. Professor Richard Samuels gave an opening remarks about Gercik and her devotion to MIT-Japan Program. Alberto Moel (MIT-Japan Program 1992; MIT Course 6 EE SB'86, SM'88, PhD’92) and Michael Caine (MIT-Japan Program 1985, 1993; MIT SB Course 2 and PhD Robotics), former MIT-Japan Program interns, also gave their reflections on their times in Japan and what Gercik meant to them.