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Spotlight Archive 2007-08
Spotlight Archive 2006-07
Spotlight Archive 2005-06
Spotlight Archive 2004-05
Spotlight Archive 2003-04
SPOTLIGHT ARCHIVE
An archive of events the have been previously spotlighted by the Center.


 
MISTI Interns Share Global Insights

MISTI Interns Share Global Insights

The Center's MISTI Program has placed more than 400 MIT students as interns in nine countries this year. Shirin Kasturia (Brain and Cognitive Science '10) is researching healthcare technology for elderly and disabled people at Innovaciones Socio Sanitarias in Valencia, Spain; Alyssa Roque (Mechanical Engineering '11) is developing thermal systems powered by solar energy at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology; Ken Lopez (Management '12) is working on a Braille screen at Tecnologico de Monterrey University in Cordoba, Mexico; and Julian Hernandez (EECS '09) is developing new iPhone technology at France Telecom in Paris—to name just a few. Learn more about the MISTI experience by reading the students' online posts from around the globe.

 
MIT-Italy Director Receives Italian Honors

MIT-Italy Director Receives Italian Honors

Serenella Sferza, director of the Center's MIT-Italy program, was named Cavaliere della Repubblica Italiana for her work promoting Italian culture and research. She was one of five individuals honored at a ceremony by the Consul General of Italy in Boston on June 2, 2009. The honorees were selected by the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.

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Fearless Iranian Exile Speaks Out

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a leading advocate of human rights and democracy in Iran, and a former visiting scholar at CIS, is profiled in the Boston Globe. Haghighatjoo, who has been in exile since 2005, first came to the United States with the help of John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist at CIS. Since her time at CIS, she has been a visiting scholar at the Kennedy School at Harvard, the University of Connecticut, and now resides at UMass-Boston. Called fearless and outspoken, Haghighatjoo was a member of the 6th Majlis, Iran's reform parliament, and was the first to resign when the anti-reform measures of the Supreme Leader began to take shape. Haghighatjoo, a psychologist with a Ph.D. in counseling, was president of the student movement faction in the Majlis and a deputy in the Mosharekat Party. According to Haghighatjoo, "democratization is the central issue for Iran." Read article»


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Fotini on "Flipping the Taliban"

Fotini Christia, member of the Center's Security Studies Program and assistant professor of political science at MIT, co-authored an essay on Afghanistan in the July/August 2009 issue of Foreign Affairs. The authors write, "Although sending more troops is necessary to tip the balance of power against the insurgents, the move will have a lasting impact only if it is accompanied by a political 'surge,' a committed effort to persuade large groups of Taliban fighters to put down their arms and give up the fight." Read the full essay: "Flipping the Taliban: How to Win in Afghanistan." Related is a Starr Forum event on Afghanistan featuring a discussion between Fotini and Admiral William Fallon, USN (RET). Watch the video»


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Four "CIS Students" Receive Fulbrights

Four students affiliated with the Center have received 2009-10 Fulbright Fellowships: Nathan Cisneros, Greg Distelhorst, Erica Dobbs, and Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner. The students—all doctoral candidates in the political science department—are among 13 from MIT that received the scholarship. Cisneros will travel to Japan to examine the persisting dualism between workers with job protection and good wages with those without such security. Distelhorst will visit two southern Chinese manufacturing centers to investigate how local government and private firms have responded to new laws that improve labor conditions and expand worker rights while raising operational costs for employers. Dobbs will examine the role labor unions play in integrating recent immigrants into their communities in Ireland and Spain. And Kruks-Wisner will travel to India to complete her dissertation research on local governance institutions in rural India. Related news story»


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MISTI Helps Put Anime On Stage

How can MIT students bring to life the excitement and eccentricities of anime? The MIT Dance Theater Ensemble demonstrated the possibilities with its performance Live Action Anime 2009: Madness at Mokuba at the convention Anime Boston on May 22, 2009. The troupe then took the show to Japan, where they collaborated with Japanese students to perform the play at Tokyo University of the Arts on May 29-30, 2009. Part homage to anime history, part commentary on the plight of undocumented workers in the US, and over-the-top tribute to anime creators and fans worldwide, this original theatrical production features giant robots, a Japanese schoolgirl, a lovelorn fanboy, a masterless samurai, a gamer woman, evil media magnates, and a vengeful deathgod who all battle for truth, justice, and the anime way. MISTI's Japan program and its Global Seed Funds were among the co-sponsors.


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Starr Forums on Video

The Center hosted multiple public forums in spring 2009 that are available on video: "The Challenges to the Global Economy," with Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and MIT Sloan School's Simon Johnson; "The MIT/Harvard Gaza Symposium," a series of panels on the role of U.S. and international actors, as well as human rights and international humanitarian law in the wake of recent events in Gaza; "The Most Important Number in the World," with environmentalist Bill McKibben; "Afghanistan," featuring a conversation between Admiral William Fallon, USN (RET) and Fotini Christia, an expert on Afghanistan; and "U.S.- Iran Relations," with policy and security experts Jim Walsh, Suzanne DiMaggio, Stephen Heintz, and Barry Posen. View all Starr Forum videos»


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CIS Newsletter Now Online

The spring 2009 issue of précis is now available exclusively online. Going forward, précis will be available on the web, and can be read online or downloaded as a PDF. Features from this issue include: MIT-Harvard Gaza Symposium Co-Sponsored by CIS; Learning to Be Capitalists (by Annette Kim); Thinking Clearly About China's Economic Statecraft (by William Norris); and a précis Interview with Fotini Christia. If you would like to be on our email list to receive précis, sign up here.


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CIS Releases Video: 'Mind, Hand, World'

Why have a Center for International Studies at MIT? What is the MISTI experience? How do CIS scholars impact policy makers? Why study war? How do we prepare students to compete in a global society? These are a few questions that are addressed in a new video about CIS entitled: Mind, Hand, World. The video, produced in collaboration with MIT's Academic Media Production Services, provides its viewers with an inspiring overview of the Center's aims in eight minutes. View Mind, Hand, World »


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Symposium Issues Statement on Palestinian Issue

The Israeli government should end the blockade of Gaza and negotiate with Hamas, and President Obama should engage more constructively on the Palestinian issue-including a demand to end the expansion of Israeli settlements-were among the findings and recommendations of a MIT-Harvard symposium on Gaza. The statement was issued a few days prior to President Obama's meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The symposium, which was co-sponsored by CIS, convened on March 30-31, 2009. Among the participants were Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA); Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; Karma Nabulsi, Oxford University and former PLO representative; Meron Benvenisti, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem; Craig Mokhiber, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Husam Zomlot, a Palestinian diplomat.
Joint Statement | Press Release


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Summer Courses on Innovation, Biosecurity

The Center's Security Studies Program is offering two courses during the 2009 summer session for professional studies. From Technology to Innovation: Putting Ideas to Work, offered July 13-16, explores innovations in both public and private organizations in an effort to identify best practices. Combating Bioterrorism/Pandemics: Implementing Policies for Biosecurity, offered July 27-29, looks at the challenges public health, law enforcement, and national security agencies face in ensuring biosecurity.


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CIS Awards 18 Summer Study Grants

The Center is pleased to announce the recipients of its summer study grants. The grants are being awarded to eighteen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT. Each will receive up to $4,500 for summer studies, which may be used for fieldwork, archival research, or home-based research and write-up. Criteria for the awards include the importance of the research question, the quality of the research proposal, and strong letters of support.


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Starr Forum on U.S.-Iran Relations

Should the U.S. build better relations with Iran? Can we live with a nuclear Iran? Do the Iranian presidential elections provide new opportunities for dialogue? A panel of international security and foreign policy experts will address such issues at a Starr Forum on Tuesday, May 5. Our featured speakers are: Jim Walsh, a research associate at the CIS Security Studies Program (SSP) at MIT, and Suzanne DiMaggio, director of the Asia Society. Stephen Heintz, president of Rockefeller Bros. Fund, will serve as the discussant and Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of SSP, will chair. More details»


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PHRJ Summer Internship Grants

The Center's Program on Human Rights and Justice is now inviting applications for its 2009 summer internship program. Six internship positions are available for MIT students pursuing international work experience in human rights, the environment, and environmental justice. The awards are available to current undergraduate and graduate students who will be full-time students in 2009-10. Internships are available for a maximum of $4,000, of which $1,000 will be paid upon completion of an internship report and oral presentation in the fall. The internship grant may be used for travel, living stipend and related expenses. The deadline for applications is May 11, 2009. Click here for more information.


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Fallon and Christia on Afghanistan

On Thursday, April 30, Admiral Willam Fallon, USN (RET), will be giving a public talk on Afghanistan. Joining the discussion will be Fotini Christa, an expert on Afghanistan. Fallon joined the Center for International Studies for the 2008-09 academic year as a Robert E. Wilhelm fellow. Christia joined MIT last fall as an assistant professor of political science and a member of the Security Studies Program. The April 30 Starr Forum on Afghanistan commences at 4 PM in the MIT Wong Auditorium. The event is free and open ot the public. For more details, visit the event page.


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SSP Scholar & Students Publish Book

U.S. Military Innovation Since the Cold War, a new book about "how the US military reacted to the 'Revolution in Military Affairs' (RMA), and failed to innovate its organization or doctrine to match the technological breakthroughs it brought about," was published in April 2009. The book was edited by Harvey Sapolsky, professor of public policy and organization and recently retired from teaching political science and directing the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP), and SSP doctoral students Benjamin Friedman and Brendan Green.


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Roadmap and Rationale for U.S.-Iran Relations

A months-long study of U.S.-Iran relations concludes that a new diplomatic approach by the United States to transform the relationship with Iran could produce a breakthrough that will boost security and prosperity for the entire region. The 50-page document by John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist of the MIT Center for International Studies provides a roadmap and a rationale for the new approach. "Small gestures and better language are an improvement over the disastrous Bush policies," Tirman says, "but small steps are not enough. We need bold diplomacy for a breakthrough, and we can do so confidently because U.S. security is not at risk." The study was supported by the New Ideas Fund. Full text | News Release


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McKibben on the Environment

Science has given us, in the last 18 months, a real bottom line for the planet: a CO2 concentration above which, as NASA's Jim Hansen has put it, we can't maintain the "planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life is adapted." Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College, an American environmentalist and prolific writer on related topics, will be calling on MIT students to join a global movement to share that alarming scientific truth to as many folks as possible. The CIS Starr Forum, entitled "The Most Important Number in the World," will be on Monday, April 13, at 4:30 PM, in the Wong Auditorium.


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CIS Co-sponsors Gaza Symposium

The second annual Gaza symposium, this year jointly organized by MIT and Harvard, will host a series of panels on the role of U.S. and international actors, as well as human rights and international humanitarian law in the wake of recent events in Gaza. Bringing together experts in the fields of human rights, history, political science, U.S. foreign policy and law, the two-day symposium will include a range of views from U.S., Israeli, Palestinian and UN/NGO perspectives. The public event will be held at MIT on Monday, March 30, and at Harvard University on Tuesday, March 31. For more details, visit the MIT-Harvard Gaza symposium event page. Video Now Available»


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On the Calendar

The Creation of International Security Organizations and the Domestic Policies of Multilateralism in the United States, Brian Rathbun, on April 1; From CyberCrime to CyberConflict, Phillip Hallam-Baker, on April 2; Tertulia Espanol, Spanish Conversation Group, on April 9; U.S. Foreign Policy after Bush, Charles Kupchan, on April 15.


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MISTI Awards Global Seed Funds

MISTI's new Global Seed Funds Program selected 27 of 104 proposals for grant money to jump-start international projects. The winning entries represent 26 MIT departments, involve 42 countries, and include projects ranging from the study of stem cell-based engineered tissues to the regional, economic, and environmental implications of dual ethanol technologies in Brazil. The selected teams, which are faculty-led but rely on student participation, will use the awarded $457,400 to cover international travel, as well as meeting and workshop costs. MISTI will provide cultural preparation for participating students before their departure. "By enabling MIT students to participate in faculty-led international projects, we hope to increase opportunities for hands-on, global learning and connection to innovation around the world," said Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies. Read More»


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On the Calendar

Citizenship Politics in Post-Soviet Russia: Between Identity and Real-Politika, Oxana Shevel, on March 10; The Search for Limits: American Foreign Policy in an Age of Austerity, David Hendrickson, on March 11; Techno-Blinders: How the Cult of Technology is Endangering U.S. National Security, Elizabeth Stanley, on March 18; and Human Rights and GIS Mapping Technologies, Lars Bromley, on March 18.


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Bustani Seminar on Ahmadinejad

On Tuesday, March 3, Ali Banuazizi, psychology research professor and political science professor at Boston College, will assess Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's domestic and foreign policies over the past four years, with special emphasis on the populist style of his leadership, his messianic worldviews, his failing economic policies, and his re-election prospects in the upcoming June presidential elections. He will also talk about the current efforts, both in Iran and in the U.S., to promote a US-Iran rapprochement. The talk is part of the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar.


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SSP Wednesday Seminars

The Security Studies program's Wednesday Seminar Series continues with the following public talks: "Institutional Adaptation," by LTG Robert E. Durbin, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Army for Enterprise Management (Feb 25); "The Strategic Framework for U.S and Iranian Engagement," by Hillary Mann Leverett, Strategic Energy and Global Analysis (March 4); and "American Foreign Policy in an Age of Austerity," by David Hendrickson, Colorado College (March 11). The talks are held at noon in MIT Bldg E38-615.


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Origami Competition Unfolds

To help promote interest in origami within the MIT community and to showcase student work, the Center's MIT-Japan Program, the Office of the Arts, and the Office of Associate Professor Erik Demaine, are sponsoring a fourth annual Student Origami Competition. Original designs and credited executions of existing designs have been submitted and currently are being judged by a jury of origami experts. Winning entries will be exhibited in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery.


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Weizman on the Architecture of Occupation

On February 19, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman will present a public talk on the "architecture of occupation" in Israel Palestine. Weizman has taught, lectured, curated and organized conferences in many institutions worldwide. His books include Hollow Land, A Civilian Occupation, the series Territories 1, 2, and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. He became a member of B'Tselem's managing board in 2008. Joining the discussion as moderator is Salim Tamari. Tamari is director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies and a professor of sociology at Birzeit University. He edits Hawliyyat al Quds and Jerusalem Quarterly and is the author of several works on urban culture, political sociology, biography and social history, and the social history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Event details»


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Berger Receives French Legion of Honor Medal

Suzanne Berger received a French Legion of Honor medal in recognition of both her research and her efforts to strengthen ties between MIT and French researchers. Berger, director of the Center's MISTI Program and the Raphael Dorman and Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science, was notified by a letter from French President Nicolas Sarkozy stating that he had recommended her for this award. The award was presented on January 26 by Pierre Vimont, France's ambassador to the United States. Read More»


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CIS Sponsors East Asia Working Group

CIS is sponsoring a new working group focused on East Asia's regional security. Using the strengths of both the Political Science Department and the Center's Security Studies Program, the goal is to create a regular forum for discussion of ongoing security developments in this dynamic region. The new group is one of several CIS-sponsored groups that tackle research issues not confined to a single department. The groups are structured to generate meaningful scholarly work on a host of academic and policy issues and are open to both faculty and students. Visit CIS Working Groups to learn more.


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Feldstein on the Global Economy

Economist Martin Feldstein will be the featured speaker at a Starr Forum entitled "The Challenges to the Global Economy." Feldstein has been cited as "the most influential economist of his generation." He is economics professor at Harvard University, president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan. Joining the talk as a discussant, is MIT Sloan School's Simon Johnson. Johnson is an expert on the financial sector and economic crises and served as economic counselor and director of the research department at the IMF from 2007-2008. The Starr Forum will be held on Wednesday, February 11, 5:30p, at the Wong Auditorium. Event details»


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On the Calendar

Japan and Obama's America: A Brave New World?, Ambassador Akio Kawato, on Feb 5; Jerusalem: (Un)sacred Space and the Worldly City, Salim Tamari, on Feb 10; and Foreign Policy Challenges for the Obama Administration, Nicolas Burns, on Feb 11.



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Kirshner on "I Live Here"

Actor-author Mia Kirshner will be speaking at MIT on her book, I Live Here. The multimedia publication presents the stories of refugees and displaced people in four corners of the world. Together, the book's four volumes explore such issues as underage sex workers, child soldiers, disappeared women, and the binding ties of common humanity. All material in the book is based on first person accounts collected over the past six years. Currently, Kirshner is teaching an IAP course at MIT on documenting hidden voices within the greater Boston community. Mirroring the multimedia approach of the book, the collected stories will be presented as a short video at the event. The event will be Thursday, January 29, at 5p, in MIT Rm 6-120. Event details»


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Chomsky on Gaza

Noam Chomsky addresses the crisis in Gaza followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. The public event will be on Tuesday, January 13, at 4p, in the Wong Auditorium, MIT Bldg E51. For more details and a map to the location, visit Chomsky on Gaza. Co-sponsored by CIS and its Program on Human Rights and Justice. View the video of the event.


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CIS Scholars Offer Advice to Obama

Barack Obama will be flooded with advice on the many critical matters he must face as 44th president of the United States, as will the new Congress. To that end, scholars at MIT's Center for International Studies (CIS) offer fresh ideas, succinctly stated, on issues ranging from security strategy to the financial crisis to human rights. The short essays are presented in an easy-to-read publication and draw on CIS scholars' deep knowledge and experience. Download the publication in PDF format here; or read more in our news release.

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Kirshner Teaches IAP Course

CIS is delighted to bring Mia Kirshner, actor and author of I Live Here, to teach an IAP course. I Live Here is a multimedia publication that presents the first-hand stories of refugees and displaced people in four corners of the world. Mirroring the multimedia approach of the book, the two-week course will ask participants to create their own short videos based on hidden stories that need to be heard within the greater Boston community. The documentaries will be featured on the CIS website and will also be shown at a CIS-sponsored event with Mia Kirshner on Thursday, January 29. All CIS-sponsored IAP courses are available here.


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CIS Fall '08 Newsletter

The fall 2008 issue of précis is now available. Features include an interview with Admiral William Fallon, the Center's Wilhelm Fellow; Taylor Fravel, the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Associate Professor of Political Science and Security Studies Program member, on his recent book, Secure Borders Secure Nation; and an essay on reconciliation in Bosnia written by Ph.D. candidate in political science and Security Studies Program member Andrew Radin. Also highlighted are CIS activities during summer and fall 2008.


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Manrique on Colombia

The Center's Neuffer Fellow, Jenny Manrique, will present a talk entitled "The Colombian Diaspora: Refugees and Asylum Seekers in South and North America," on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 4:30p. Her talk concludes the fall 2008 Myron Weiner Seminar on International Migration. In addition, Manrique recently published an Audit on Plan Colombia entitled "U.S. and Colombia: A Growing Military Intervention?" A journalist, Manrique writes for Comunicaciones Aliadas, a non-governmental online magazine based in Peru that focuses on Latin American news, particularly human rights. She joined the Center as its 2008-09 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. The fellowship is a project of the International Women's Media Foundation in memory of Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Globe reporter who was killed on assignment in Iraq in 2003.


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Audits on State-Building and Liberal Foreign Policy

The Center's Audit of the Conventional Wisdom publication series continues with "State-building and U.S. Foreign Policy," by Jeremy Alllouche, a visiting fellow at Oxford University's Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War. Allouche was a visiting scholar at CIS from 2007-2008. Also recently published is "Recovering the Liberal Foreign Policy Tradition," co-authored by Nick Bromell, professor of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist at CIS. The Audit on liberal foreign policy is a product of the January 2008 conference, "The Liberal Foreign Policy Tradition: Pluses, Problems, and Prospects," cosponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies, the History and Democracy Project, and the U.S. program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Papers and a video of the conference are available here.


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Experts' Call To Improve U.S. Relations with Iran

A group of scholars and former diplomats has issued a "Joint Experts' Statement on Iran" calling for a change of U.S. direction to emphasize diplomacy. The statement was written with the help of several scholars with Center connections, including research associate Jim Walsh, executive director John Tirman, and research affiliates Sanam Anderlini (one of the group's organizers), Ali Banuazizi, and Juan Cole. Geoffrey Forden, of MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society, is another participant. The effort, co-chaired by Ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James Dobbins, calls on the new administration to "open the door to direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations at the senior diplomatic level where personal contacts can be developed, intentions tested, and possibilities explored on both sides." The experts' statement, which calls for a step-by-step approach to improve bilateral relations in the interest of U.S. security, is stirring widespread interest following a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday, November 18. Full Statement (PDF)


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Conflict Resolution in Jerusalem

The Center's Jerusalem Seminar Series presents its final talk on Thursday, Nov. 20, with Susan Collin Marks as guest lecturer. Marks is the executive vice president of Search for Common Ground, an international conflict resolution and management organization. A South African, she served as a peacemaker and peace-builder under the auspices of the National Peace Accord during South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy. She lived for two years in Jerusalem co-directing Search for Common Ground's Middle East Program. Her talk, Building Peace from the Ground Up: Conflict Resolution and Civil Society in Jerusalem, commences at 4:30p, in MIT Bldg. 3-133.


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Starr Forum: Obama and Science Policy

The Center's Starr Forum is hosting an advice session to the Obama administration on science and the future of America. Leading the discussion will be Marc Kastner, Donner Professor of Physics and Dean of Science at MIT. Eugene Skolnikoff, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at MIT and a former director of CIS, will chair the discussion. The event will be at the Broad Institute auditorium on Wednesday, November 19, at 6p. More information »


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Graduate Funding Opportunities

Graduate funding opportunities with application deadlines approaching include the CIS Summer Study Grant and the National Security Education Program's Boren Fellowships. The Center's Summer Study Grant provides funds for doctoral students in international affairs on a broad range of issues. NSEP's Boren fellowships enable U.S. graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. Information about a variety of fellowships and other funding opportunities are available here.


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Fellowship for Undergraduates

Monday, January 5, 2009, is the application deadline for the CIS-administered research fellows program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Applicants must be graduating seniors or have graduated within the past year, and must not have started graduate school. Successful applicants are matched with a senior associate—academics, former government officials, lawyers and journalists from around the world—to work on a variety of international affairs issues. Fellowships begin August 1, 2009. More information »


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Upcoming Public Talks

Competing for Foreign Students and Workers in Science and Engineering, B. Lindsay Lowell, Georgetown University, on Nov 12; Russian Military Reform and Anatoly Serdyukov, Dale Herspring, Kansas State University, on Nov 19; Science Policy and the Obama Administration, Marc Kastner, MIT, on Nov 19; and Conflict Resolution in Jerusalem, Susan Collin Marks, Search for Common Ground, on Nov 20.


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Bustani Seminar: "Who Speaks for Islam?"

On Tuesday, November 4, the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar brings to MIT, Dalia Mogahed, senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. Her talk, "Who Speaks for Islam," is based on her new book, Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. The talk commences at 4:30p in MIT Bldg E51-095.


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Jerusalem Talks Conclude with Built & Civil Society

The Center's fall 2008 Jerusalem Seminar Series concludes with the following talks: "Architecture and the Built Environment," by Nili Portugali, The Technion, on Thursday, October 30, 4p, MIT Blg 4, Rm 237; and "Civil Society and Conflict Resolution," by Susan Collin Marks, Search for Common Ground, on Thursday, November 20, 4:30p, MIT Bldg 3, Rm 133. The series explores the history, economy, physical structure, and civil society of Jerusalem. The talks are free and open to the public.


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A Conversation with Admiral Fallon

The Center is honored to host a Starr Forum with Admiral William Fallon, former head of CENTCOM, on Tuesday, October 28. He will address global issues of national importance for the next U.S. administration just one week before the national election. Admiral Fallon joined CIS as a 2008-09 Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow. The talk will commence at 4:30p at the Wong auditorium (MIT Tang Center, 70 Memorial Drive). EVENT DETAILS »


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Scholars 'Audit' Afghanistan, Global Financial Crisis

The Center's Audit of the Conventional Wisdom publication series continues with two essays: "The U.S. and Iran in Afghanistan: Policy Gone Awry," by Barnett Rubin with Sara Batmanglich; and "The Global Financial Crisis and Obstacles to U.S. Leadership," by David Singer. Rubin is Director of Studies at the Center for International Cooperation (CIC), New York University. He has written widely on Afghanistan and the region, was an advisor to Ambassador Brahimi during the Bonn conference, and consulted on the writing of Afghanistan's constitution. Batmanglich is a program officer at CIC. Singer is assistant professor of political science at MIT. He is author, most recently, of Regulating Capital: Setting Standards for the International Financial System, published in 2007 by Cornell University Press.


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U.S. Nuclear Policy: Critical Choices

A provocative discussion of America's nuclear policy and the critical choices facing a new administration in Washington will be held on Wednesday, October 22. The speakers for the talk, "U.S. Nuclear Policy-Critical Choices: A Conservative and Progressive View," are Joseph Cirincione, author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and president, Ploughshares Fund; and Mark Esper, executive vice president, Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The event commences at 4p at MIT Blg 32-141 (Stata Center). Co-sponsors are The Technology and Culture Forum at MIT, MIT Nuclear Weapons Abolition Initiative, and the MIT Center for International Studies.


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Starr Forum on Health Care Policy

The World Health Organization ranks America's health care a dismal 37, with France and Italy among the top two. And the U.S. comes in dead last on most measures of performance when compared to other advanced nations, cites a 2007 study by the Commonwealth Fund. The U.S. health care system is a critical issue in the current presidential campaign, with Barack Obama and John McCain each offering a remedy. Join noted health care expert and MIT professor of economics Jonathan Gruber as he diagnoses our ailing health care, explains why other countries' systems are in better shape, and offers a recovery plan to our next president. The Starr Forum, "Health Care Policy and the Next U.S. Administration," will be on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, at 6p, in MIT Bldg E25-111.


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Nilüfer Göle to Speak at Bustani Seminar

Nilüfer Göle, a professor of sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris and a leading authority on the political movement of today's educated, urbanized, religious Muslim women, will speak at the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar on Tuesday, October 21, 2008. A prominent Turkish scholar, she is the author of The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling. The talk, "Islam and Europe: The Changing Face of Public Culture," is at 4:30p in MIT Bldg E51-095.


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Avishai on Peace and Israel's Economy

The Center's Jerusalem Seminar Series continues with "Does the Israeli Economy Really Need Peace?" Bernard Avishai, a resident of Jerusalem and contributing editor of the Harvard Business Review, is the guest speaker. Avishai is associated with the Monitor Group, a privately owned global management consulting firm and is the author, most recently of The Hebrew Republic. Joining the lecture as a discussant is Kate Rouhana, a researcher, writer, and fundraising consultant who has worked extensively on Israel and Palestine, both regionally and in the U.S. She has reported for Al-Fajr English newpaper in Jerusalem, co-directed the Council of Palestinian Public Affairs Research Unit in Jersualem, and served as the coordinator for a Israeli-Palestinian Working Group at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. The public talk will be held on Thurs, Oct 16, in MIT Bldg 3, Rm 133, from 4p - 6p.


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MISTI Turns 25

MIT celebrated 25 years of international engagement through the Center's International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) at an Oct. 2 dinner hosted by Dana Mead, chairman of the MIT Corporation, and Deborah Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. MIT's largest international program, MISTI is a pioneer in the field of applied international studies. It prepares MIT students to participate in the global economy by connecting them to hands-on professional internships and research opportunities across the globe. MISTI began in the early 1980s with the creation of the MIT-Japan Program. By 1991, more than 60 MIT interns each year were working in Japan. Today, MISTI prepares and sends more than 300 MIT interns annually to nine countries: China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain. "From the path that MISTI has broken, we are now paving the way to a whole new avenue for education at MIT," President Susan Hockfield said. "The reason I'm convinced that global exposure makes an MIT education even better for our students is that we have been very careful in designing those experiences. MISTI is the premier example."


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Upcoming Public Events

The Impact of Migration on Children Left Behind in Developing Countries, Andrea Rossi, John F. Kennedy School of Government, on Oct 14; Asia's Growing Footprints in the Middle East: What it Means for America, Geoffrey Kemp, Director, Regional Strategic Patterns, Nixon Cente, on Oct 15; Does the Israeli Economy Really Need Peace? Bernard Avishai, Monitor Group, on Oct 16.


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Biletzki Speaks on Jerusalem

The Center's Jerusalem Seminar Series continues with its second lecture: "Jerusalem: In the Eye of the Conflict." Speaking will be Anat Biletzski, a former fellow in the Center's Program on Human Rights and Justice and a member of the Jerusalem 2050 steering committee. Currently, Biltetzki is teaching a course on human rights at MIT and has been teaching at the philosophy department in Tel Aviv University since 1979. Outside academia, she has been active in the peace movement as a board member of Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (FFIP), and previously as chairperson of the board of B'Tselem—the Israeli information center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (2001-2006). The lecture will be held on Fri, Oct 3, in MIT Bldg E38 (Sixth Floor Conference Room) from 4p - 6p.

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New Working Group on Environment

The Center announces a new working group that will focus on environmental challenges in both cities and regions in the global North and South. The group, Environmental Vulnerability, Resilience, and Justice, will be advised by JoAnn Carmin, a professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and a CIS affiliate. The Center now sponsors ten working groups—each being open to MIT faculty, students, and outside scholars—to encourage collaboration across disciplines to tackle global issues. To learn more about the groups, how to participate, and the proposal process, visit our Working Groups web page.

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Myron Weiner Seminar on International Migration

The Myron Weiner Seminar on International Migration presents the following talks: "Migration In and Out of Africa," on Tuesday, Sept 30; "African Migration to the Developed North: What Kind of Collaboration is Necessary?" on Tuesday, Oct 7; and "The Impact of Migration on Children Left Behind in Developing Countries," on Tuesday, October 14. The talks are sponsored by the Center's International Migration Program.

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Foreign Policy and the Next U.S. Administration

"Though economic issues loom large in the presidential campaign, and for good reason, foreign policy deserves equal billing...The presidential campaign could educate the public about these fundamental issues, but so far it has not," said Barry Posen, director of the Center's Security Studies Program and Ford International Professor of Political Science. Just one week before the Sept. 26, 2008, presidential debate on foreign policy, Posen joined other MIT scholars Taylor Fravel and Carol Saivetz in a roundtable discussion in which they offered their advice to the next U.S. administration on foreign policy issues. The Starr Forum event can be viewed here: VIDEO: Foreign Policy and the Next U.S. Administration

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CIS Interview with Roger Petersen

The Center continues its interview series with Roger Petersen, associate professor of political science at MIT and member of CIS. Petersen studies comparative politics with a special focus on conflict and violence. He has written two books: Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe and Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, Resentment in Twentieth Century Eastern Europe. He also has an interest in comparative methods and has co-edited, with John Bowen, Critical Comparisons in Politics and Culture. In spring 2008, Petersen went on sabbatical to the Balkans for six months. Upon his return, he sat down with CIS to discuss his recent studies. Interview>>>

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Audit on the "Surge" Success in Iraq

Jon R. Lindsay, a PhD candidate in political science at MIT, a member of the Center's Security Studies Program, and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve who was deployed in Iraq's Anbar Province from 2007-2008, argues that other factors—not the surge of more U.S. troops—are responsible for the decrease of violence in Iraq . His essay, "Does the 'Surge' Explain Iraq's Improved Security?" appears in the Center's Audit of the Conventional Wisdom publication.

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MISTI Country Orientations

This week MISTI, the Center's international education program for undergraduates, features orientations on its programs in Germany, France, India, Israel and Japan. MISTI provides hands-on, tailored internships with leading companies, labs, schools, and NGOs abroad. MISTI also offers workshops, IAP courses, and opportunities to study abroad within a student's major. Opportunities vary country by country; visit MISTI's global portal and select the country program that interests you.

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Jerusalem Seminar Series

CIS and the Jerusalem 2050 Program are proud to announce a fall 2008 seminar series on Jerusalem. The series explores the history, economy, physical structure, and civil society of Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Seminar Series is free and open to the public.

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CIS Scholars Audit Iran-U.S. Relationship

Sanam Anderlini, an international peacebuilding consultant and research affiliate at CIS, and an Iranian; and John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist at CIS; present a case for transforming the Iran-U.S. relationship. Their proposal for a "comprehensive concordant" that could serve both American and Iranian interests is described in a recent CIS Audit of the Conventional Wisdom publication: "Iran-U.S.: The Case for Transformation."

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Foreign Policy and the Next U.S. Administration

MIT scholars Barry Posen, Taylor Fravel, and Carol Saivetz are participating in a roundtable discussion on foreign policy and the next U.S. administration. This discussion is the first in a series of forward-thinking talks on pressing global issues in which MIT experts offer advice to the next U.S. president. The Starr Forum event, Foreign Policy and the Next U.S. Administration, will be on Thurs, Sept 18, at 6:00p, in the Tang Center, MIT Bldg 51-315. CIS Starr Forums are free and open to the public.

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In Memory of Lucian Pye, CIS Founding Member

With sadness, CIS announces the passing of Lucian Pye, founding member of the Center for International Studies and Ford Professor of Political Science (Emeritus) at MIT, where he taught for 35 years. Lucian died Friday, September 5, after a long illness. He was 87 years old. A giant in his field, "[Lucian] redirected political science away from rational models of political behavior and toward things that are harder to measure and understand," said Richard Samuels, director of CIS and Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, in a New York Times obituary. "It was the beginning of what would be a very important moment in postwar social science," Samuels continued. Among Lucian's many organizational honors, he was the president of the American Political Science Association in 1988-89. A celebration of Lucian's life at MIT will take place in the near future.

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SSP Wednesday Seminars in September

The Security Studies program's Wednesday Seminar Series commences with the following talks in September: "Iran and the Diplomacy of Nuclear Confrontation: Ambitions, Accusations, Ambiguities" by Steven Miller, Director, International Security Program, Belfer Center, Harvard University, (Sept 10); "Terrorism, War Termination and Post-War Stability" by Page Fortna, Associate Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, (Sept 17); and "Iraq Reconstruction: Lessons" by Christopher Kirchhoff, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sept 24). The talks are held at noon in MIT E38-615.

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Danish Ambassador on Climate Security

Denmark is to host the United Nations Climate Conference in 2009 when the successor to the Kyoto protocol is to be agreed upon; Denmark is also among the leading nations in the use of renewable energy and has already reduced CO2-emissions by 15 percent. CIS and the MIT Energy Club are delighted to welcome Denmark's Ambassador to the U.S., Friis Arne Petersen, to MIT campus for a talk on expectations for the UN Climate Conference and how Denmark has implemented its climate and energy policy. The Climate Security event is open to the public and will be at the Stata Center (32-141) on Mon, Sept 8, at 3:00p.

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CIS Launches Interview Series with Scholars

The Center begins the 2008-09 academic year with a series of interviews with our scholars. Our first feature is with economist and securities expert Carl Kaysen. 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. Interview >>>

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Fravel on China, Q&A with Boston Globe

M. Taylor Fravel, member of the Center's Security Studies Program and associate professor of political science at MIT, examines China's security in his book, Strong Borders, Secure Nations (Princeton University Press, October 2008). His work has been endorsed as "novel and provocative" and a "benchmark study of China's behavior along its frontiers and a brilliant contribution to political science." The Boston Globe featured a Q&A with Fravel on Sunday, August 10.

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Columbian Journalist Joins CIS

Jenny Manrique, a Colombian freelance journalist, joins CIS as its 2008-09 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. Manrique writes for Comunicaciones Aliadas, a non-governmental online magazine based in Peru that focuses on Latin American news, particularly human rights. A reporter for seven years, Manrique has covered subjects such as kidnapping, drug trafficking and refugees. Most recently, she covered the release of hostages held by the Colombian guerrilla group FARC in January. In the course of her journalistic work, Manrique has received multiple death threats and was forced into exile in Peru for eight months. She will use her time as a Neuffer Fellow to improve coverage on social justice issues.

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America's New Grand Strategy

Barry Posen, director of the Center's Security Studies Program and Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, was one of several experts invited to speak at a congressional hearing on a new grand strategy for the United States. The July 15 hearing marks the first of several debates planned by the U.S. House of Representatives House Armed Services Committee in an effort to help the "next president determine a strategy for today's rapidly changing world," said the committee chairman, Ike Skelton, in a speech earlier this month. Skelton also stated that "Congress should be involved in the process, and to ensure that a new strategy is one that the American people can support, the general outline of the debate should be shared with and involve the American people."

Admiral Fallon
Admiral Fallon, Former CENTCOM Head, Joins CIS

Admiral William J. Fallon, the former commander of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command, will join the Center as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow. He will make CIS his academic home for nine months, starting August 2008. As a Wilhelm Fellow, he will collaborate with the MIT community in research, seminars, conferences, and other intellectual projects. Admiral Fallon led U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), one of five geographic joint military commands of the U.S. armed forces, each headed by a senior four-star general or admiral, from March 2007 to March 2008. During his tenure as CENTCOM commander, he was responsible for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and directed all U.S. military activities in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa. Press Release


 
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