End Notes

  • Fall 2023 ∕  Winter 2024
End Notes

Below is an editor’s pick of notable accomplishments within the CIS research community.

FALL 23/WINTER 24 :: précis End Notes
February 14, 2024

Sarah Bidgood, a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow in the Security Studies Program, discusses the future of US-Russia nuclear arms control relations in an article published by the University of Pennsylvania Perry World House. She also wrote, with co-authors William C Potter and Hanna NotteIt, on the danger of major powers developing radiological weapons for tactical reasons here in Foreign Affairs.

Nicholas Blanchette and Wright Smith, both PhD candidates, were named the graduate semi-finalists for the Bobby R Inman Award for Student Scholarship in Intelligence and National Security. They were awarded for their paper “Our bomber will always get through: Cognitive barriers to US-UK wartime military intelligence during the air offensives of 1939-1941.

Paige Bollen, who received her PhD in political science from MIT in June 2023 and is currently a Raphael Morrison Dorman Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard, will be an assistant professor of political science at Ohio State University starting in fall 2024.

MIT-Eurasia faculty co-director Areg Danagoulian wrote an opinion piece in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on how nuclear power played a key role in the revival of Armenian statehood. 

CIS research affiliate Lerna Ekmekcioglu was featured on NPR’s history podcast Throughline. She talks about learning about the Armenian genocide while growing up as an Armenian in Turkey. Listen here.

PhD candidate Jasmine English will be joining Reed College as an assistant professor of political science.

MIT Security Studies director M Taylor Fravel co-authored an essay in Foreign Affairs on China’s “rapidly expanding and modernizing” of its nuclear armaments. An excerpt is featured here. He published another piece in Foreign Affairs arguing that China’s domestic turmoil won't make Beijing launch an attack—but will make it more likely to react to external threats, available here.  

Alejandro Frydman, a PhD candidate, received an APSA 2023 Fund for Latino Scholarship awards. He is using the grant to conduct in-depth interviews with members of the Latino community on questions ranging from politics to identity. 

Kelly M Greenhill, director of the Seminar XXI Program at CIS, was interviewed in Good Authority on how mass migration can be used as a tool of war and how we can understand the current migration crisis in Gaza. An excerpt is featured here.  

CIS research affiliate Malick W Ghachem argues that instead of using force, Western powers should turn to smart monetary policy to stabilize Haiti's crisis and restore the country's monetary sovereignty. The article was originally published here in Foreign Policy

Eyal Hanfling, a PhD candidate, received the Schmidt Futures International Strategy Forum PhD Research Fellowship, which is awarded to candidates who engage in research and writing of a policy-relevant dissertation or paper related to the intersection of technology and foreign policy. 

Principal research scientist Eric Heginbotham (with George Gilboy) wrote an opinion piece on the potential economic conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan. The article is available here in Lawfare.

Yasheng Huang, MIT-China faculty director, wrote an article for Foreign Affairs on China's economic growth slowing as a result of the negative externalities of state capitalism. "Economic statism is not the savior of the Chinese economy—it is an existential threat to it," he says. Read an excerpt here.

James D Kim, a Stanton Fellow in the Security Studies Program, won the 2024 Patricia Weitsman Award for Outstanding ISSS Graduate Paper by ISA with his paper titled “Leaders' childhood war trauma and the initiation of militarized disputes.”

Jung Jae Kwon, a PhD candidate, is starting a pre-doctoral fellowship with the Belfer Center's Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program as a Stanton Nuclear Security Research Fellow.

CIS director Evan Lieberman contributed to the Global Solidarity Report, an initiative of Global Nation that was launched at the UN General Assembly. The report provided data-driven insights and talking points on solidarity, and set out a pathway for how to strengthen it. Funded by the Gates Foundation, the report’s contributors and partners include Prime Minister Mia Mottley, former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as well as Glocalities and the MIT Center for International Studies, among others. Read more.

MIT-Africa associated faculty Noah Nathan's book The scarce state: Inequality and political power in the hinterland were among the picks and Yasheng Huang's book The rise and fall of the EAST: How exams, auocracy, stability, and technology brought China success, and why they might lead to its decline were selected by Foreign Affairs’ editors as their picks for best books among hundreds featured in their publication for 2023.  Read more here.

PhD candidate Elizabeth Parker-Magyar will be joining Yale University as an assistant professor of political science in July 2025. She will spend the 2024-2025 academic year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Weatherhead Center at Harvard.

MIT-Italy faculty director Carlo Ratti (with Edward L Glaeser) argues for privately built infrastructure in major cities to advance economic prosperity in an opinion piece for the New York Times.

Carol Saivetz, senior advisor in the Security Studies Program, joined GBH News to give her assessment on the Ukraine counteroffensive launched against Russia. Watch the segment here.

Associate professor of political science Caitlin Talmadge (with Michael O’Hanlan) stresses the importance of realistic discussions about the Ukraine conflict and advises against pursuing the vague goal of a "strategic defeat" for Russia, as Putin may remain committed to the war. The opinion piece was published here by The Hill.

Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science, is serving as a guest professor at the Freie Universität Berlin from June 2023-June 2024. His most recent book, Special Duty: A History of the Japanese Intelligence Community, was featured on a one hour broadcast by TV Tokyo in October 2023.