News + Media


November 1, 2006

Violence and insecurity: the challenge in the global south

Diane Davis, MIT

It does not seem that long ago that optimism flowered about prospects for democracy and sustained economic development on a worldwide scale. But hopes for the future have dimmed over the last several years, as problems of violence, crime, and insecurity have emerged with a vengeance in many parts of the global south. 

Analysis + Opinion

October 15, 2006

Generations have been decimated; who will be left to rebuild the nation?

Barbara BodinePittsburgh Post-Gazette

We will never know the full civilian toll of the Iraq War. Two years ago a Johns Hopkins University public health study concluded that something like 100,000 civilians had been killed in the first 18 months of the Iraq War, more than half of them women and children and most as a result of coalition action.


October 1, 2006

Waiting for Goldilocks: getting Japan’s foreign policy just right

Richard J Samuels, MIT

This metaphor captures the challenges awaiting Abe Shinzo, Japan’s new prime minister very nicely—particularly in the areas of foreign and security policy. His predecessor, Koizumi Junichiro, had already been like Goldilocks in his extended effort to find just the right policy toward North Korea.


October 1, 2006

The Bush Administration is Weak on Terror

Stephen Van Evera, MIT

The U.S. public widely credits President Bush with toughness on terror. An August 2006 poll found 55 percent of Americans approving his handling of the campaign on terror and only 38 percent disapproving. Republican candidates are running successfully on the terror issue in this fall’s election campaign. In fact, the Bush administration is weak on terror.


October 1, 2006

The war on terror: forgotten lessons from World War II

Stephen Van Evera, MIT

President Bush recently likened the war on terror to the struggles Americans faced in World War II, explaining that our enemies are “successors to Fascists, to Nazis ... and other totalitarians of the 20th century.” The analogy to World War II is useful and illuminating. Important lessons from World War II apply to the war on terror.

Analysis + Opinion

September 17, 2006

Mexico's dangerous political chasm

Chappell LawsonBoston Globe

This month, Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal formally certified Felipe Calderon's victory in the July 2 presidential election. Although this decision is the legal end of the electoral process, it will not resolve the post-electoral conflict. 


September 1, 2006

The US-India Nuclear Deal: Triumph of the Business Lobby

Subrata Ghoshroy, MIT

Much has been written and spoken about the US-India nuclear agreement since Prime Minster Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush unveiled it on July 18, 2005, in Washington, DC. Since then, the U.S. Congress has virtually set aside its much touted concerns about proliferation of nuclear weapons and is nearly ready to approve the amendments to the 1954 Atomic Energy Act that will be necessary for the deal to be consummated.


August 21, 2006

Channel surfing: non-engagement as foreign policy

Barbara Bodine, MIT

The adoption of Security Council Resolution 1701 brought a halt to the month-long Israeli-Hezbollah war. UNIFIL will be greatly expanded with a more vigorous mandate to back Lebanese assertion of full sovereignty and control over southern Lebanon and the disarmament of Hezbollah’s militia and missile sites. But is an agreement hammered out in Manhattan sustainable on the ground? 


August 1, 2006

Why do Islamist groups become transnational and violent?

Quinn Mecham, Middlebury College

Since al-Qaeda’s rise to prominence as the most commonly recognized Islamist group worldwide, Islamist movements are increasingly viewed as violent, transnational organizations. Most Islamist groups, however, are actually non-violent and focused on the domestic audience of their home countries. 

Analysis + Opinion

July 12, 2006

Political polarization will strengthen Mexican democracy

Chappell LawsonSan Jose Mercury News

On July 2, Mexico held its most closely contested presidential race in 50 years. Based on his early lead, conservative candidate Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) has insisted that he won the race and discounted any possibility that the final results might prove otherwise. Meanwhile, his leftist opponent, former Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is demanding a recount of all 42 million ballots from the election.