MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


The Center for International Studies promotes theoretical and applied international studies at MIT. The activities of the Center, established in 1951, have broadened since the end of the Cold War, reflecting a more complex international security and economic environment. At the same time, the increasingly critical role of science and technology in the analysis and conduct of public policy is affecting the social sciences, both analytically and substantively.

Major research and training units within CIS include the Security Studies Program, the Development Studies Program, the MIT Japan Program, and the MIT Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI) programs on China, Germany, France, India, Italy, and Japan. These established programs provide a rigorous base for new work on emerging issues. CIS traditional strengths in security strategies, development studies and political economy anchor major initiatives on international economic and social performance, technology policy and environmental issues, democratization and ethnic conflict, and migration and refugees. Outreach activities include Japan Program and MISTI internship training programs for scientists and engineers and Seminar XXI executive education programs for senior defense and foreign affairs officials.

The Center for International Studies includes 160 members of the MIT faculty and staff, and visiting scholars from other institutions, many from abroad. It is organized into formal programs, working groups, and individual research projects. Programs engage in a broad range of research and training activities related to their substantive concerns. Multidisciplinary working groups bring faculty, research associates, and students together around shared interests. Faculty members and research staff also conduct their own research projects under the auspices of the center.


The MIT Security Studies Program is a policy research and teaching component of the MIT Center for International Studies. It focuses on the security concerns of states. The program studies:

The MIT Security Studies Program has over 60 associates, including more than a dozen faculty members who devote essentially all of their professional attention to security issues. About half of the program’s faculty members are natural scientists and engineers and half are social scientists, thus giving the program a strong interdisciplinary flavor. Thirty plus graduate students are affiliated with the Program, nearly all of whom are doctoral candidates in political science. In addition, more than 20 fellows are attached to SSP, including military officers from each of the armed services who receive war college credit for time spent at MIT, scientists and engineers from several countries who work on missile defense and nuclear weapons issues, and several senior scholars and former government officials.

Program research is built around the interests of the faculty, the dissertations of the graduate students, and occasional commissioned projects. The research categories are best expressed in a listing of the program’s working groups–faculty led research teams that focus on the same general topic. There are six such groups.

Each year the program sponsors four to six conferences including an annual conference on airpower topics named after MIT graduate General Jimmy Doolittle (USAF), and another on nuclear weapons named after Vice Admiral Levering Smith. Summaries of program conferences are widely distributed.

In addition to conference summaries, the Program publishes a research journal, Breakthroughs; a seminar summary series, "SSP Seminars"; a monthly newsletter, Early Warning; and a working paper/occasional paper series. These are distributed via the Internet and a large mailing list. Several Breakthroughs articles have been reprinted by other publications and several working papers have been adopted for courses at other universities.


The Program in Development Studies draws on social science faculty, scholars, and students from MIT and the Cambridge-Boston academic community to study salient issues of developing countries. With a multidisciplinary training and research agenda, the program sponsors workshops, interdisciplinary research teams, and individual scholarly efforts in a variety of substantive areas including:

The Program in Development Studies works closely with the Inter-University Committee on International Migration, established in 1974. This Committee brings together faculty members and research scholars from Boston University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Harvard, MIT, Tufts University, and Wellesley College concerned with migration and refugee studies.

With a multiyear grant (renewed this year) from the Mellon Foundation, the Committee runs a year-long seminar series and implements the Mellon-MIT Inter-University Program on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Forced Migration, which provides competitively-awarded small grants for faculty, graduate students, and research scholars at member institutions to conduct research on this topic. The Committee also undertakes special projects. It completed a comparative study of US and Japanese migration, citizenship and refugee policies, funded by the Center for Global Partnership, with the publication by Macmillan and NYU Press of a volume entitled Temporary Workers or Future Citizens? Japanese and US Migration Policies, edited by the late Professor Myron Weiner and Professor Tadashi Hanami (Sophia University). A related project by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on German-American Migration and Refugee Policies in which several members of the committee participated was also completed with the publication of a five volume series by Berghahn Press edited by Professor Myron Weiner.

Each year, a staff member of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees participates in the work of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration. In 1998 the Committee initiated the Rosemarie Rogers Working Paper Series with the publication of the study, "Missed Opportunities: The Role of the International Community in the Return of the Rwandan Refugees from Eastern Zaire," by Joel Boutroue of UNHCR. A total of 6 working papers have been published in the series, and another 2 are in press.

Demography, Ethnicity, Security

With support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Program in Development Studies is completing a project on demography and security. Ten studies have been commissioned for a workshop that was held at the Center in late 1998 on the political consequences of demographic changes and the security implications of state policies to change demographic variables. Two books emanating from the project are in press with Berghahn Books. The first is a volume of essays co-authored by Professor Weiner and Dr. Michael Teitelbaum (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) entitled Political Demography, Demographic Engineering. A second, containing the studies commissioned for the workshop, is entitled Demography and National Security, edited by Professor Weiner and Dr. Sharon Stanton Russell (CIS).

The Project on Race, Ethnicity and Censuses, conducted by Associate Professor Melissa Nobles (Political Science), examines the historical development of contemporary political battles over racial census categorization in the United States and Brazil. Both countries have long histories of immigration, both voluntary and involuntary, that are reflected in the categories and uses of census data. A conference at CIS, funded by the Sloan Foundation, brought together scholars in the field. Professor Nobles' completed study, Shades of Citizenship: Race and Censuses in Modern Politics, will be published shortly by Stanford University Press.



MISTI creates and supports programs that promote the internationalization of education and research at MIT. MISTI/China was launched in 1994, the first of a projected series of regional programs to enhance the ability of MIT students to acquire a deeper understanding of how knowledge is created and used in other countries. It also provides opportunities for MIT researchers to develop international collaborations with scientists and technologists at outstanding foreign institutions.

The principal objective of these collaborations is to expand core resources for studying other societies on campus and to share a growing MIT base of knowledge about foreign science, technology, and industry through outreach programs in the United States. Today MISTI has three programs in Asia China, India and Japan and three in Europe, Germany, Italy and France. The mandate of all the programs is to educate MIT scientists, managers and engineers in the language and culture of the country before placing them in "hands on" situations in the host country. The programs also conduct meetings, symposia, workshops and produce and disseminate research on pertinent topics.

Misti China Program

China was the first focus of the MISTI Program, offering opportunities for student internships in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Students work at public service organizations, laboratories, and multi-national corporations with subsidiaries in China. The program also facilitates collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers with their colleagues in outstanding universities and laboratories in China. Students are placed in diverse host institutions such as Tsinghua University, Fudan University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Intel Corporation, Lucent Technologies, IBM, Ingersoll-Rand, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and General Motors.

These internships are intended to serve as a first step in an individual’s career path, not as a "study abroad" or "work abroad" program. Many MISTI interns return from China to take challenging jobs with the same or similar research organization and companies in the United States. They return with strong professional contacts and with what many companies have characterized as a "China expertise."

MIT Computer Education Technology Initiative

In 1997, MISTI sponsored a new student internship program: The MIT Computer Education Technology Initiative. The mission of MIT-CETI is to build cross-cultural understanding between the younger generation of Chinese and American students through the development of computer-related educational projects, thereby strengthening U.S.-Chinese relations in the future. Teams of 2 to 3 MIT students are sent to Chinese high schools for 6-week summer projects which involve setting up Internet nodes, connecting the schools to the Internet, enabling chat rooms between Chinese and American students, and teaching web design courses to Chinese high school students.

Misti Germany Program

In 1996, MISTI launched the MIT Germany Program, modeled on the MIT Japan activities. It provides internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to combine their knowledge of German language and culture with their expertise in the fields of engineering, science, and management. The program places MIT students in German research institutions, companies, and government ministries. In 1997, MISTI placed 22 students in German companies and research institutes. Today the program sends more than thirty students to Germany each year.

Misti India Program

The MIT-India Program, was established through a pilot project in the summer of 1998 that sent six MIT computer science students to a high school in Pune, Maharastra. The interns connected students to the Internet, helped students and faculty create a school web site with local content, and taught students web-programming languages. Today more than twenty interns go to a variety of situations including working at banks, research institutes and hi tech companies.

Misti Italy Program

In 1998 MISTI launched the MIT Italy Program, modeled on the MIT Japan Program. It provides internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to combine their knowledge of Italian language and culture with their expertise in the fields of engineering, science, and management. The Program places MIT students in Italian research institutions, companies, and government ministries.

Misti French Program

In 2000 MISTI launched the MISTI French Program. It will provide internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to combine their knowledge of French language and culture with their expertise in the fields of engineering, science, and management. The program places MIT students in French research institutions, companies, and government ministries.

MIT Japan Program

The MIT Japan Program established in 1981 is the largest most comprehensive program of its kind in the country. It routinely places MIT interns in Japanese laboratories after preparing them at MIT with two years of language and with courses on Japanese culture and history. The program currently sends between 30—40 interns to Japan each year. The program also conducts workshops, symposium and meetings, bringing together U.S. and Asian academics, government organizations, and corporations to address critical issues that arise in the areas of international science, technology, and management. Participants form networks to enhance understanding and effectiveness between the Japanese and U.S. science, technology and business communities.

Since its inception, the MIT Japan Program has sent more that 500 student interns to Asia. Today, more than half of those students are working with U.S. corporations. The internship program has two primary objectives:

Interns receive extensive training at MIT prior to going abroad, including a year long course on the history and culture of Japan and East Asia, and two years of Japanese language. This helps them hit the ground running, and puts them in an excellent position to acquire insider knowledge of science, technology, and management in Japan and East Asia.

Program sponsors place these bilingual, bicultural professionals in key positions in Japan, America, and East Asia to facilitate communication and to acquire technologies and management expertise. As their companies seek new opportunities in a dynamic Asian environment, many former MIT interns play a strategic role in creating networks that aid in the development of business partnerships and joint ventures.

The MIT Japan Program actively engages in policy research on Japan and East Asia. The Program’s current research agenda is focusing on a comparative study of technology development in several East Asian nations: specifically whether a tsunami of converging practices-spread by networks of multinationals and international S&T collaboration, empowered by the forces of global trade and finance- is eradicating nationally based differences in the organization of innovation, or if national differences will harden or persist.

In addition to providing its sponsors with uniquely trained global managers, the MIT Japan Program works with executives on strategy, and mid-level managers and engineers on tactics, in forging effective linkages with their Japanese counterparts. This information and advice is provided through "Target Seminars," both informal working groups and formal training sessions, that address such issues as building trust and effective negotiation with the Japanese.

The program also conducts an annual 3-day Executive Seminar for government, business, and technical managers who are directly involved with East Asian strategies and operations. Current topics include the Asian economic forecast, the future of the Japanese financial market, Asian opportunities for US firms, and China on the eve of the 21st century.

The program is continuing its long distance education through a long distance course that utilize self paced materials: CD-Roms, workbook and a case study book. In addition, it disseminates research and educational materials through a number of printed and electronic media, including the MIT Japan Program Working Paper series; the JPNET (Japanese Network) Project Self paced interactive CD’s, workbook; and a case study book on Negotiation with the Japanese


In addition to the formal programs, CIS research is conducted via crosscutting projects typically organized as working groups. Because many pressing international issues do not fit neatly within functionally or regionally defined category, center working groups link CIS programs to one another, to other groups within MIT, and to many outside institutions. Several of these groups are structured to link the efforts of social science professionals with those of engineers and natural scientists on problems of academic and policy significance. Examples of active CIS working groups include:

Political Economy, Energy and Environmental Studies

The Center for International Studies offers a variety of research and training programs on connections between politics and markets. One cluster of activity centers on national adaptations to a global economy, while a second cluster centers on security and environmental costs that may be external to markets. The activities described below include individual and collaborative faculty and student research, fellowship programs, and several workshops and seminar series. In addition, the center maintains an ongoing grant program for research on international energy and environmental policy. These are areas marked by controversy, and CIS faculty, research associates and students address problems in political economy, energy and environmental studies from an exceptionally broad range of perspectives.

National Adaptations to a Global Economy

Several projects and series examine national adaptations to an increasingly global economy, with attention to the economic and political implications of increasing integration of goods, technology, and capital markets.

The Harvard-MIT Joint Working Group on Transnational Economic Security examines the effects of globalization on the demand for private and public adjustment initiatives and the financial capacity of firms and governments to facilitate adjustment. Further, it looks at firm and governmental incentives to alter taxation, environmenta lregulations, and labor standards. In 1999—2000, the group was organized by political scientists Dr. William Keller and Associate Professor Kenneth Oye of MIT and economists Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Frankel of Harvard. It is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

CIS sponsors occasional seminars and workshops to probe issues of current importance. Some recent examples include:

Responses to Security and Environmental Externalities

A second set of projects centers on how security and environmental costs external to markets might best be addressed. Debates over these issues break out into two broad positions. One line stresses potential causes of market failure, then turns to associated public policy responses. A second line stresses potential causes of regulatory failure, then turns to associated proposals for regulatory reform and/or deregulation. The research activities by CIS faculty and affiliates along these two lines are described below.

Asian Energy and Security Working Group: Michael Lynch continued his work with a team drawn from the Security Studies Program, MISTI and the Japan Program. They are examining security externalities associated with energy and infrastructure choices and to evaluate economic and military strategies for addressing these energy externalities. This group has been funded by the CIS innovation fund and by NEDO.

International Aid and Chinese Coal Combustion Projects: Two teams drawn from the departments of political science, urban studies and planning, chemical engineering, and the technology and policy program are examining local and international responses to Chinese coal combustion. These CIS joint projects with Tsinghua University, Taiyuan University of Technology, Tokyo University and the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH) have been supported by the Center for Global Partnership, the Alliance for Global Sustainability, NEDO, and ABB.

Uncertainty and Environmental Decisionmaking: CIS Research Affiliates James Foster and former NRC Policy Division Director Lawrence McCray have been leading working groups on regulatory adaptation and on the

credible assessment of scientific and technical information. Faculty members Assistant Professor Brandice Canes, Dr. Joanne Kauffman, Professor Oye, Professor Sapolsky, and Professor Eugene Skolnikoff have been participants in conferences and workshops. These activities have been supported by the Consortium on Environmental Initiatives.


The Center for International Studies operates three programs that focus on training and public policy-making. These are addressed to the military and intelligence communities, the State Department and Foreign Service, and to senior Congressional Staff.

Seminar XXI–Foreign Politics, International Relations and the National Interest: Seminar XXI is an educational program for senior military officers, government officials, and executives in the national security policy community. Its fundamental objective is to provide future leaders of the national security policy community with enhanced analytic skills for understanding foreign countries and the relations among them. Fellows learn to raise new questions and to recognize assumptions that underlie assessments of foreign societies confronting them as policymakers. The seminar explores key policy issues by examining countries and problems critical to American interests through a variety of paradigmatic lenses. At each session, eminent experts present alternative perspectives from which the given country or problem can be understood. The seminar seeks to provide concrete frameworks for examining how different paradigms suggest fundamentally different, even conflicting, answers to the questions American policymakers must resolve.

Kalker Seminars on American Foreign Policy: American diplomatic trainees of varying rank participate in a series of workshops dealing with critical issues in global affairs. The series brings together distinguished faculty from American and foreign institutions along with high-level State Department and other government officials. Each month diplomatic trainees focus on an in-depth discussion of major issues and American strategies appropriate to a turbulent contemporary global environment. Seminars are held at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute in the Washington, DC. Area.

Congressional Senior Staff Seminar: This annual seminar provides intensive briefings on a selected issue in science and technology policy for senior members of congressional staff In 1999, the seminar examined issues concerning the Internet including privacy, encryption, intellectual property rights, and the structural impact of electronic commerce on industrial sectors.


The Center for International Studies hosts a variety of workshops, lectures, and seminar series, many of which are open to the Boston area academic community and the public. A list of CIS lectures and seminars follows:

Grant Programs

The Center for International Studies administers a variety of fellowships for social science doctoral students at MIT. Five are administered directly by the Center for International Studies:

  1. Mellon-MIT Inter-University Program on NGOs and Forced Migration
  2. International Energy and Environment Policy Research
  3. MacArthur Transnational Security
  4. Inter-American Foundation
  5. National Science Foundation Democratization Program

In addition to these, CIS serves as the point of contact for three national competitions:

During 1999—2000, CIS provided substantial support for approximately 15 graduate students from several departments through these fellowship programs, in addition to the internships provided via MISTI and MIT Japan for undergraduates.


In addition to the publications of the Security Studies, Japan and MISTI Programs, the Center publishes a bi-annual newsletter, Precis, and several working paper series. These include CIS Working Papers, the Rosemarie Rogers Working Paper Series (formerly the Migration Working Paper Series), and the MacArthur Transnational Security Working Papers.


CIS Director Kenneth Oye and Executive Director William Keller, SSP Director Harvey Sapolsky, Japan Program Director Richard Samuels, and MISTI Director Suzanne Berger, continued to serve in these roles. The Development Studies program is seeking faculty to replace the late Myron Weiner as director; Sharon Stanton Russell continued to oversee the administration and guidance of its various components. Professor Oye is passing the baton of CIS directorship to Professor Samuels, who returns this fall from sabbatical to resume his teaching in Political Science. Professor Van Evera will serve as Associate Director. Staff members hired in the past year include Robin Macdonald (MISTI China), Harlene Miller (SSP), and Lakshmi Nayak (MIT India). CIS draws personnel from the MIT faculty and student body and recruits through the MIT Personnel Department. Our personnel reflect the general commitment of MIT to affirmative action goals. In the nine most senior CIS management positions, CIS currently utilizes one Asian American male and four women.

More information about this center can be found on the World Wide Web at

Kenneth A. Oye, William Keller

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000