MIT Center for International Studies

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Spotlight Archive 2015-16
Spotlight Archive 2014-15
Spotlight Archive 2013-14
Spotlight Archive 2012-13
Spotlight Archive 2011-12
Spotlight Archive 2010-11
Spotlight Archive 2009-10
Spotlight Archive 2008-09
Spotlight Archive 2007-08
Spotlight Archive 2006-07
Spotlight Archive 2005-06
Spotlight Archive 2004-05
Spotlight Archive 2003-04
An archive of events the have been previously spotlighted by the Center.

précis Spring Issue Now Online

The spring issue of précis is now available. The main features include: an interview with Vipin Narang, assistant professor of political science and faculty member of the Security Studies Program; an excerpt from Western Intervention in the Balkans: The Strategic Use of Emotion, by Roger Petersen. Petersen, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science, received the ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities) 2012 Joseph Rothschild Prize for his work; and an essay "What Might an India-Pakistan War Look Like?" by Christopher Clary, a PhD candidate in political science at MIT.


Turkey's New Global Activism

CIS organized a three-day workshop in Istanbul, April 12-14, to assess Turkey's new global role and its application of hard and soft power in its region. Hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the workshop brought together scholars and practitioners from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, including leading Turkish intellectuals and officials. Along with CIS executive director John Tirman, the meeting was shaped by Professor Mario Zucconi (Princeton), Professor Kristin Fabbe (Claremont McKenna), who recently earned a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, and Michael Meier of the Ebert Foundation. Presentations were also made in Ankara to the diplomatic corps, and will be forthcoming in Washington, D.C., Brussels, and Berlin. The workshop prompted considerable coverage in Turkey, and the organizers expect further engagement.


MISTI Adds MIT Korea and MIT Russia

Working with a network of leading companies and universities, MISTI connects students with select hands-on professional and research internships around the globe. The two newest country programs are MIT Korea and MIT Russia. To help make an international experience available to every MIT student, MISTI internships are all-expenses-paid. Apply today!


CIS Summer Study Grant

Doctoral students in international affairs may receive up to $3000 in summer support for dissertation research on a broad range of global issues. Grants may be requested either for fieldwork and/or archival research, or for home-based research and write-up. The main criteria for determining awards will be the importance of the research question and the quality of the research proposal; and the strength of the letter of support. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 3, 2012. More information about the CIS Summer Study Grant. For those applying, read the FAQ.


IUCIM and CIS Honor Sharon Stanton Russell

Sharon Stanton Russell, a mainstay of migration studies at MIT and the Inter-University Committee on International Migration, was honored with a IUCIM symposium and dinner on February 7 at CIS. Russell, who had a long association with the late CIS director Myron Weiner, a leading migration theorist, has been a leader of IUCIM for fifteen years. She has made major contributions to migration studies, including pioneering work on remittances for the World Bank. Among other works, she was co-editor with Weiner of Demography and National Security. Russell has also had long associations with the University of Sussex, the United Nations, and the National Academy of Sciences. The Feb 7 symposium featured presentations by six Committee members: Karen Jacobsen (Tufts), Nazli Choucri (MIT), Robert Lucas (Boston U.), Peggy Levitt (Wellesley), John Harris (Boston U.), and Luise Druke (Harvard Law School). Michael Teitelbaum, another collaborator on cutting edge research with Russell, led a number of accolades at the dinner.


Meet the PEGS Fellows

The Center's Program on Environmental Governance and Sustainability (PEGS) offers fellowships for full-time graduate students enrolled at MIT. The theme for the current fellowship is synergies to promote environmental quality and sustainable development.


précis Fall Issue Now Online

précis, the CIS newsletter, is now online. The fall issue features an interview with Chappell Lawson; an excerpt from John Tirman's book, Deaths of Others; and an essay, Claiming the State, by Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner, a PhD candidate in political science. Also featured is a digest of activities from the fall semester. Read now.


Samuels Honored by Japanese Government

The Japanese Government announced that the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, will be conferred upon Professor Richard J. Samuels, in recognition of his significant contributions to scholarship about Japan and for promoting friendly relations between Japan and the United States. Samuels is currently conducting research in Japan and will receive the decoration from Prime Minister Noda on November 7, and be presented to the Emperor of Japan at the Imperial Palace.


Is National Security Affordable?

Cindy Williams, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Security Studies Program, has just written a new report, "The Future Affordability of US National Security." The report addresses how much the United States might realistically afford to spend in the future on defense and security.


Maleki Joins CIS as Wilhelm Fellow

Abbas Maleki, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister (1988-1997), joins CIS as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow for the 2011-2012 academic year. Maleki is assistant professor of political science at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, director of the International Institute for Caspian Studies, and a senior associate of the Belfer Center's International Security Program. A generous gift from Robert E. Wilhelm supports the Center's Wilhelm fellowship.


Luce Fellowship Deadline Oct. 17

Monday, October 17, is this year's deadline for the Luce Scholars Program. Young scholars from a wide variety of intellectual fields will be placed in 10-month internships in selected countries in Asia. The fellowship is aimed for those with no prior experience in the region. Nominees must be American citizens not yet 30 years old on July 1, 2012, and who have earned at least a bachelor's degree or expect to receive one by July 1, 2012. More information is available here.


MISTI Helps Empower Teachers

Empowering the Teachers is a new project to enable outstanding young Nigerian faculty in science and engineering to collaborate with MIT faculty to develop new curriculum and teaching methods. The program is a collaboration of MISTI and its corporate partners Total and Google. Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande (featured in photo), professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, is the director.


Ugandan Journalist Joins CIS

Jackee Budesta Batanda—a Ugandan journalist who has reported on the vicious acid attacks of women as "revenge crimes" and the targeted murders of albinos—has been selected as the 2011-2012 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. The award is offered through the International Women's Media Foundation and is sponsored in part by CIS.


CIS Remembers Jonathan Tucker

Jonathan B. Tucker, 56, died on July 31, 2011. Jim Walsh, MIT Research Associate, who was a student with Tucker in the Center's Security Studies Program, says "Jonathan was a quiet, kind, and thoughtful person. He was a first-rate scholar, a person who cared deeply about the world, and a wonderful friend and colleague. His passing leaves a terrible void in our community and for me personally." Harvey Sapolsky, MIT Professor Emeritus, wrote a tribute to Tucker.


Gercik Coordinates MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative

A group of MIT faculty from a cross-section of disciplines is mobilizing its own response to the March 11 disaster in Japan with the launch of the MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative. Pat Gercik, associate director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) program at CIS is the 3/11 Initiative's program coordinator and overseer of fundraising efforts. Read more


Harris Named Fulbright Scholar

Tobias Harris, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and a member of the Security Studies Program, will study in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar during the 2011-12 academic year. Harris will conduct interviews and archival research for his project titled "The Politics of Reform in Japan, 1955-2009." He is studying decisions made by Japanese government entities regarding whether and how to undertake reforms, and the factors affecting their success, throughout the country's recent history.


'Deaths of Others' in America's Wars

Americans are greatly concerned about the number of our troops killed in battle—100,000 dead in World War I; 300,000 in World War II; 33,000 in the Korean War; 58,000 in Vietnam; 4,500 in Iraq; more than 1,000 in Afghanistan—and rightly so. But why are we so indifferent, often oblivious, to the far greater number of casualties suffered by those we fight and those we fight for? This is the compelling, largely unasked question that John Tirman, a principal research scientist and executive director at CIS, answers in The Deaths of Others.


MIT-France Helps Advance Energy Research

MIT President Susan Hockfield and other Institute representatives traveled to Paris for the France-MIT Forum on Energy, an event to advance collaboration between Institute researchers and their French counterparts. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of the MIT-France program. Read more.


MISTI Partners with MEET

The Center's MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) announces a new partnership with MEET (Middle East Education through Technology). MEET will be a new MISTI program, managed by David Dolev. MEET is an innovative educational initiative aimed at creating a common professional language between Israeli and Palestinian young leaders. It was founded by two MIT students and this year 12 MIT students and recent alumni will be instructors in Jerusalem.


Lawson Named Director of MISTI

Chappell Lawson, an associate professor of political science at MIT and a member of the MIT Center for International Studies, has been named director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). He succeeds Suzanne Berger, the Raphael Dorman-Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science, as MISTI's director. Lawson will assume his new responsibilities on July 1, 2011. Press release

Massachusetts Institute of Technology