• Fall 2023 ∕  Winter 2024
FALL 2023/WINTER 2024 :: précis Activities
February 9, 2024

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.

Wargaming in Washington, DC
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. This spring, the Wargaming Lab hosted its first conference in Washington, DC. The event featured a moderated panel discussion about the role and consequences of economic statecraft in a US-China crisis and highlighted how wargaming and simulations can help explore a variety of vexing geopolitical and economic issues.

Global experiences over IAP
Over Independent Activities Period (IAP) 2024, MISTI sent 610 MIT students to nearly 30 locations.  Participating students were overwhelmingly undergraduates who spent January learning, teaching, researching, and working, often while living with local families. Their number and activities reflect the wide range of opportunities MISTI has built in collaboration with its MIT and foreign partners. Most MISTI IAP students (374) participated in the Global Teaching Labs — a “made in MISTI” program that sends MIT students to teach STEM subjects at more than 100 mostly public high schools in 20 countries. 

Starr Forums
The Center hosted multiple virtual and in-person Starr Forums on pressing global issues, including: “Rebuilding Ukraine while under fire,” with Oleg Ustenko (Economic advisor to President Zelensky), Simon Johnson (MIT Sloan), Carol Saivetz (MIT), and Elizabeth Wood (MIT); “Power and progress: Our thousand-year struggle over technology and prosperity,” with Daron Acemoglu (MIT) and Fotini Christia (MIT); “The Israel-Hamas conflict: Expert perspectives on the ongoing crisis,” with Marsin Alshamary (Boston College), David Kirkpatrick (The New Yorker), Peter Krause (Boston College), Steven Simon (MIT), and Evan Lieberman (MIT); “A permanent partnership? How Xi and Putin are shaping a turbulent world,” with Natasha Kuhrt (King’s College London), Elizabeth Wishnick (Montclair State University), Carol Saivetz (MIT), and Elizabeth Wood (MIT); and “Haiti: Linguistic barriers, exploitation and resistance,” with Ambassador Dominique Dupuy (UNESCO) and Michel DeGraff (MIT). View all the Starr Forums on the CIS YouTube playlist here

Policy Lab in action
The mission of the MIT Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies is to develop and enhance connections between MIT research and public policy in order to best serve the nation and the world. Recent policy impact projects include: “Education policy in Haiti” with Prof. Michel DeGraff (Linguistics) and Prof. Haynes Miller (Math); “Building sector decarbonization at the local Level” with Prof. Christoph Reinhart (Architecture); “Regulating environmental, social, governance (ESG) ratings” with Dr. Florian Berg (Sloan); “Interregional electric transmission legislation” with Prof. Chris Knittel (Sloan) and Dr. Juan Senga (Sloan); “Deep sea mining & marine carbon dioxide removal” with Prof. Tom Peacock (Mechanical Engineering); and “Improving housing options for disaster survivors” with Dr. Jarrod Goentzel (Center for Transportation and Logistics) and Ms. Lauren Finegan (CTL).

GDL offers summer research program
The Global Diversity Lab (GDL) hosted its first GDL Summer Research Program in summer of 2023. Pathways@GDL is aimed at broadening the pipeline into US political science PhD programs. Four undergraduates from US universities and two master’s students at African universities mixed research assistant work and their own independent research projects, professionalizing their presentation of research and exchanging information with each other and faculty. Noah Nathan and Ariel White, the faculty coordinators, look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students this summer.

SSP Wednesday seminars
The Security Studies Program offered a diverse selection of Wednesday seminars including: “Know thy military: How governmental policies weaken civilian control. Evidence from Russia, Ukraine, Israel, and the United Kingdom,” with Polina Beliakova (MIT); “Cultural change in military organizations: Hackers and warriors in the US Army,” with Erica Lonergan (Columbia University); “Embedded commanders: Rebel governance, military integration, and statebuilding after civil conflict,” with Philip Martin (George Mason University); “Beyond the wire: US military deployments and host country public opinion,” with Carla Martinez Machain (University at Buffalo); “A discussion on international security issues,” with Joseph Tonon (The Center for Naval Analyses); and “Moving toward an endgame in Ukraine?” with Samuel Charap (RAND Corporation). View all the seminars on the SSP YouTube channel.

Military fellows offer courses over IAP
Special IAP seminars were offered by the current military fellows in the Security Studies Program, including: “Operation allies welcome,” with Lieutenant Colonel Kristen DeWilde; “Logistics contributions of integrated deterrence,” with Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Gillett; “The evolution of naval warfare through ship design,” with Lieutenant Colonel Alan Janigian; “Understanding America’s history: US Army’s historical program 2030,” with Colonel Karl Sondermann; and “The government wwned, contractor operated (GOCO) facility: A model for public-private partnerships critical to national security,” with Colonel George Kloppenburg. 

Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration
The Inter-University Committee on International Migration hosted the Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration, including: “Cuban privilege: The making of immigrant inequality in America,” with Susan Eckstein (Boston University); and “Dying abroad: The political afterlives of migration in Europe,” with Osman Balkan (University of Pennsylvania).

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: “US policy in the Palestine conflict: 1948-2023,” with Irene Gendzier (Boston University); and “Peddlers, bootleggers, and acrobats: An urban geography of Boston’s little Syria,” with Chloe Bordewich (University of Toronto) and Lydia Harrington (Syrian American Council).