précis Magazine


précis, the MIT Center for International Studies magazine, features essays by our scholars, covers the wide range of Center activities, and tracks the accomplishments of our research community. It is published twice yearly, once during each academic semester.

If you have story ideas or would like to write an article, please contact the 2023-2024 graduate student editor Miriam Hinthorn or editor Michelle English.

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Fall 2014
précis Interview: Frank Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in nuclear security policy studies and professor of political science at MIT

Frank Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and professor of political science at MIT, discusses his interest in diplomatic history, nuclear studies at MIT, as well as upcoming projects. He also describes goals and challenges of bridging the gap between students of political science and policymakers.

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Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy A sustained debateBy Barry Posen

Politically, the United States must do less. It must focus on the most important dangers to its security. The greatest danger to U.S. sovereignty is a hegemon on the Eurasian land mass. This danger is low now, but the United States must always be prepared to counter it should it reemerge. If such a challenge does reemerge, however, the United States ought not manage it like it did the Cold War, shouldering the bulk of the burden, because the U.S. relative power position is unlikely to be as favorable. The United States will need real allies, not the security dependencies it has now.

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Fiona Cunningham Exploiting US control of the commons in a US–China conflictBy Fiona Stephanie Cunningham

China's investments in military technology designed to keep great power militaries out of its maritime periphery are viewed with increasing concern by the U.S. foreign policy community. How can the United States maintain its freedom of action in the Western Pacific while minimizing the risk of escalation with China?

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The Center hosted a Starr Forum "Whither U.S. Grand Strategy?" on October 9, Jacqueline Hazelton and Barry Posen were among the panelists; Louisa Reynolds, an independent journalist based in Guatemala City, Guatemala, has been selected as the 2014–15 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow; 3 Questions: Calestous Juma on african development; Joel Brenner, former inspector general and senior counsel at the NSA, has joined CIS as a 2014–2015 Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow; JoAnn Carmin, an associate professor of environmental policy and planning at MIT, died on Tuesday after an extended illness; 3 Questions: Kenneth Oye on the regulation of genetic engineering.

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High-ranking African leaders in science, technology and innovation gathered at MIT on September 23 and 24 to explore areas for mutual cooperation; The Center welcomed Mohamed ElBaradei on December 8 for an off-the-record conversation about Egypt and the Middle East; Tom Wolf, an alumnus of the MIT Department of Political Science, has been elected governor of Pennsylvania; Malachy Sumaila shared his experiences with Boko Haram from the perspective of his university, community and family; The Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar hosted two talks; MISTI presents three types of awards to outstanding students who embody the mission and spirit of MISTI.

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End Notes

End Notes features the professional achievements of our scholars, students, and staff.  This includes recent awards, speaking engagements, and publications.

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