News + Media

  Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Analysis + Opinion

June 18, 2023

Can you sanctions-proof a government?

Caileigh GlennLawfare

Sanctions are an important US and allied policy instrument, but one that often fails to achieve the most ambitious policy objectives. Using Russia as an example, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow Caileigh Glenn assesses the different ways that targets of sanctions can push back and examines the limits of sanctions and how they might be made more effective.

Joe Biden and Netanyahu

In the News

June 17, 2023

What can Joe Biden do about Benjamin Netanyahu?

Bernard AvishaiThe New Yorker

Quoted: “There are plenty of reasons for Americans to care” about what Netanyahu’s coalition is doing, but “there just aren’t that many reasons for the administration to do anything,” said Steven Simon, a former Middle East adviser to the White House of Obama and the author of the recently published “Grand Delusion: The Rise and Fall of American Ambition in the Middle East,” told me. 

Precis cover


June 15, 2023

précis: Spring/Summer 2023

Center for International Studies

The Spring/Summer 2023 edition of précis features an interview with Mai Hassan on Sudan, Steven Simon's new book on the Middle East, how elite American university networks affect access to venture capital in Africa, and more.

Infinite Mile Award Winners

In the News

June 13, 2023

SHASS announces 2023 Infinite Mile Award winners

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social SciencesMIT News

Five staff members recognized for their contributions to the MIT community, including Matthew Burt, Managing Director of the MIT-Korea Program.

Richard Samuels and Evan Lieberman


June 12, 2023

A transformative era ends at the Center for International Studies

After a two-decade tenure at CIS, Richard Samuels plans to step down as the center's director. He will remain an active faculty member in the Department of Political Science and its Security Studies Program. Evan Lieberman, the Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa and current director of MISTI, will take on the leadership of CIS starting July 1, 2023.

Elizabeth Wood on Scripps News

In the News

June 12, 2023

Elizabeth Wood on "Day of Russia" holiday

Scripps News

MIT History Professor Elizabeth Wood appears on Scripps News to discuss the historical significance of Russia Day, June 12, in the breakup of the USSR and the formation of an independent Ukraine. 

Suzanne Freeman and Mariel Garcia-Montes


June 9, 2023

Jeanne Guillemin Prize recipients

Suzanne Freeman, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, and Mariel Garcia-Montes, a student in the doctoral program in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society (HASTS), are the recipients of this year’s Jeanne Guillemin Prize at the Center for International Studies (CIS).

Syrian civilians eat an Iftar meal provided by a group of volunteers in a damaged neighborhood of Atarib, Aleppo countryside,

Analysis + Opinion

June 9, 2023

HR 3202: Analyzing legislative efforts to block Arab engagement with Syria

Steven Simon and Joshua LandisThe Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Opposition to HR 3202 does not imply support for US normalization with Assad, only a recognition that standing in the way of our regional partners’ diplomatic and economic engagement would be counterproductive both to US interests and to the welfare of the Syrian people.

Mai Hassan


June 7, 2023

précis Interview: Mai Hassan

Mai Hassan is an associate professor of political science at MIT and the faculty director of the MIT-Africa Program. Her research interests include authoritarian regimes, bureaucracy and public administration, and contentious politics. Born in Sudan, she sat down with précis to discuss that nation’s current crisis, her work on authoritarian regimes in Africa, and the importance of international education at MIT.

Headshot of Mai Hassan

In the News

June 7, 2023

When movements topple dictators

Christine ThielmanSpectrum

Associate professor of political science Mai Hassan examines contentious politics and collective action in autocratic regimes—and the barriers to democratization that follow.