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In the News

September 11, 2008

Lucian W. Pye, bold thinker on Asia, is dead at 86

Douglas MartinNew York Times

Lucian W. Pye, an influential political scientist who marshaled a piercing intellect, psychoanalytic insights and plain intuition to take startling new perspectives on area studies, particularly concerning China and other Asian nations, died on Sept. 5 in Boston. He was 86.

In the News

September 1, 2008

Q&A with Carl Kaysen

Carl Kaysen joined the MIT faculty in 1976 and currently co-chairs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Study Committee on International Security Studies. Among his many posts during his distinctive career was deputy special assistant for national security affairs to President Kennedy. Kaysen sat down with CIS in late July to discuss his current work, his advice to the next administration, and his proudest moments.

In the News

August 10, 2008

Q&A with M. Taylor Fravel

Samuel P. JacobsBoston Globe

In his new book, M. Taylor Fravel offers an intriguing argument about the relationship between instability within China and stability in the rest of the world.

In the News

July 30, 2008

A conversation with Admiral Fallon

Charlie Rose

A conversation with Admiral William J. Fallon, Former U.S. Centcom Commander.

In the News

June 10, 2008

Interest grows for international Iran atom plant

Farah StockmanBoston Globe

Presidential candidates John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, and Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, have both endorsed using international consortiums to produce nuclear fuel as a way to take production out of the hands of unpredictable states, but neither has said he would consider placing such a facility inside Iran.

In the News

April 9, 2008

Leaderless Jihad: radicalization in the west

Marc Sageman, an expert on al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations, discusses how people end up on the path to political violence in a post-9/11 world. His talk builds upon his best-selling book, "Understanding Terror Networks" and is based upon his recent publication, "Leaderless Jihad." Sageman is an independent researcher on terrorism and the founder of Sageman Consulting, LLC. He holds various academic positions at the George Washington University, the University of Maryland and national think tanks, like the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Homeland Security Policy Institute.

In the News

April 1, 2008

What happened in Basra?

Barry Posen, director of the Center's Security Studies Program, Juan Cole, a CIS research affiliate, and other scholars, were featured on WBUR's "On Point." The scholars discussed with host Tom Ashbrook the recent rise of Moktada al-Sadr and his militia in the southern oil port of Basra. Listen to Basra: Defining Moment? Related, is a recent CIS Audit on Iraq by Juan Cole. Stephen Van Evera, associate director of CIS, was featured on Minnesota Public Radio on the topic "Calm returns to Iraq?"

In the News

March 21, 2008

Just Jerusalem competition winners

MIT’s Jerusalem 2050 Program, a joint initiative sponsored by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for International Studies, announced today the winners of its global Just Jerusalem competition. The open contest sought proposals that addressed different aspects of urban life in a futurist Jerusalem. Participants were asked to look beyond the current nation-state conflict and, instead, focus on ‘just’ the city as a place where, by mid-century, its citizenries co-exist in peace.

In the News

March 20, 2008

A solution for the US-Iran nuclear standoff

Thomas R. Pickering, William Luers, and Jim WalshNew York Review of Books

The recent National Intelligence Estimate's conclusion that Tehran stopped its efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2003, together with the significant drop in Iranian activity in Iraq, has created favorable conditions for the US to hold direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program. The Bush administration should act on this opportunity, if for no other reason than that its current position is growing weaker, and without such an initiative, Iran will continue its efforts to produce nuclear fuel that might, in the future, be used to build nuclear weapons.

In the News

March 1, 2008

US-Japan relations and a changing Asia

The Center organized a two-day retreat entitled "US-Japan Relations and a Changing Asia." The event was held on Feb. 29 and March 1, 2008, at the Endicott House at MIT. Moderating the discussions was, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of CIS. Llewelyn Hughes, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science and an affiliate of the Security Studies Program, served as rapporteur.

In the News

January 15, 2008

Iraq: the human cost

Conventional wisdom in American politics focuses only on American costs in the war in Iraq: the casualties to U.S. soldiers, the financial costs, and sometimes the strategic costs. But the human cost to the Iraqis themselves are nearly ignored in political discourse, the news media, and intellectual circles. This site is a corrective to those oversights. We present empirical reports, studies, and other accounts that convey and assess the consequences of war for the people of Iraq.  

In the News

January 10, 2008

The liberal foreign policy tradition: pluses, problems, and prospects

The MIT Center for International Studies, in cooperation with the History and Democracy Project and the U.S. Section of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, convened a one-day meeting on January 10, 2008, at the Wilson Center to explore the liberal tradition in U.S. foreign policy. Seven scholars and three interlocutors, and an invited audience of forty, provided insights on Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and others, and how they informed and shaped this tradition with respect to democratization and rights, global economic equity, war and peace, and other topics. This exceptionally rich conversation is captured on this video (best viewed in Internet Explorer). Click here to see the agenda. 

In the News

November 8, 2007

Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US, and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

CIS and the Iranian Studies Group at MIT featured a public discussion with Barbara Slavin, chief diplomatic correspondent, USA Today, on her new book on Iran and the United States. Since 1996, Slavin has been responsible for analyzing foreign news and U.S. foreign policy for USA Today. She has covered such key issues as the U.S.-led war on terrorism, policy toward "rogue" states, the reform movement in Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She has also accompanied two secretaries of state on their official travels and reported from Libya, Israel, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

In the News

November 1, 2007

After Bush: the case for restraint

Barry PosenThe American Interest

From November 2007 until election day 2008, the American Interest is examining questions of strategy, tone and tactics over a range of issues facing the next presidential administration. Barry Posen's "Case for Restraint" is first in this series.

In the News

October 3, 2007

The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy

The CIS Starr Forum featured a public discussion with John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Stephen Walt (Harvard University) on their recent book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” Joining the authors was Bruce Riedel (Brookings Institution). The event was held on Wednesday, October 3, from 6:00–7:30 p.m. in the Kirsch auditorium (Stata Center, Rm. 32-123). Visit the Starr Forum web site for videos on past events and a calendar of upcoming events.

In the News

July 26, 2007

Rights and security: a broad view

John Tirman

Washington, D.C.
National Iranian American Council
Conference on Democracy in Iran and Prospects for U.S. Policy

In the News

July 1, 2007

Book Review Roundtable: Kenneth B. Pyle's Japan Rising and Richard J. Samuels' Securing Japan

T.J. Pempel, Mike M. Mochizuki, Ming Wan, Christopher W. Hughes, Richard J. Samuels, and Kenneth B. PyleAsia Policy

The authors of these excellent books on Japanese grand strategy traverse beyond their home disciplines. The historian Kenneth B. Pyle explains shifts in Japan by applying a political science theory that argues that the international system shapes a country's domestic institutions as well as its external behavior. The political scientist Richard J. Samuels places the current Japanese debates about strategy in a broad historical context to "connect the ideological dots" of national discourse over nearly 150 years of history. Both books seek to assess the degree and nature of change in Japanese strategy, to explain this change, and to suggest where Japan might be headed. Although there is much about which Pyle and Samuels agree, there are also some significant differences.

In the News

April 19, 2007

Just Jerusalem: vision for a place of peace

Diane E. Davis, Leila Farsakh and Tali HatukaCommon Ground News Service

It is often said that the future of Jerusalem depends in large part on the future of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. While this is undoubtedly true, change and improvement in Jerusalem can be achieved independently of any final peace agreement. In fact, transformation in Jerusalem may actually aid the resolution of the larger conflict. For this reason, it is important to think about ways to make the city of Jerusalem a more liveable, just and humane place. 

In the News

March 20, 2007

The United States, India, and the Gulf: Convergence or Divergence in a Post-Iraq World?

Persian Gulf Initiative

The Persian Gulf Initiative workshop "The United States, India, and the Gulf: Convergence or Divergence in a post-Iraq World?" convened experts on India, the states of the Persian Gulf, and American policy to discuss the interests, perceptions, and policies of these countries. The resulting discussion focused on a set of important dynamics involving the United States, India, and the Gulf that are often overlooked in an American foreign policy community focused on the current conflict in Iraq.