MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Center for International Studies


1994-95 was notable at CIS for several new projects to support doctoral student training and faculty research in the areas of democratization, transnational security, technology policy, and trade. Five major conferences during the year addressed issues in global migration, defense/environmental clean-up and defense policies. All of these activities are consistent with the Center's ongoing efforts to respond to global changes and set new intellectual agendas which reflect the political and economic transformations of the 1990s.


The MIT Defense and Arms Control Studies Program (DACS) analyzes security alternatives available to the United States and other major and regional powers. Of great interest to the program is the role the United States will play in the world scene no longer dominated by the Cold War confrontation. The program also is examining the extent to which perceived economic and environmental problems are likely to affect international security arrangements, military options, and the resources made available for armed forces.

The Defense and Arms Control Studies Program sponsors a number of working groups--research collaborations of faculty, staff and students--with each group adopting a distinctive format and topic. One, led by Professor Harvey Sapolsky, examines American defense policies and has been especially concerned with the effect casualties have on the conduct and political acceptability of war. Another, directed by Professor Stephen Meyer, has focused on the security policies of the former Soviet Union and most recently on the adjustments made by the defense industries of the former Soviet Union to new political and economic realities. A third, led by Professor Barry Posen, has concentrated on conventional warfare with special emphasis on nationalism-driven conflicts. A fourth, led by Professor Sapolsky, has been concerned with the impact the end of the Cold War will have on aerospace, shipbuilding, and research and development. A fifth, directed by Professor Theodore Postol, explores defense technology issues, most recently on the future of the ABM Treaty. A sixth, also led by Professor Sapolsky, has been examining the environmental legacies of the Cold War. A seventh, jointly directed by Professors George Rathjens and Jack Ruina, has been exploring American national strategy and force requirements in a world filled with ethnic turmoil and failed states. An eighth, led by Professor Richard Samuels and offered in conjunction with the MIT Japan Program, looks at security issues in Asia. A ninth, led by Dr. Marvin Miller, studies proliferation problems. In addition, the program sponsors several seminar series including the DACS seminars, the Future of War seminars, and the Defense Star seminars. Three major conferences were held: Organizational Issues in the DOE/DOD Cleanup Efforts; Force Projection Capabilities and Polices, and; The Second General Doolittle Workshop -- Airpower after the Gulf War.

The director of the program is Professor Sapolsky, who has sought to encourage the initiatives mentioned above and to increase the program's research and public education activities. Among the Program publications are Breakthroughs, a research journal now in its fifth year; DACS Facts, the program's newsletter, and; DACS Seminars, reports on current topics. A working paper series has also been restarted. Dr. George Lewis became the Program Assistant Director. Major sponsors have been the Carnegie, Ford, and MacArthur Foundations. In addition to ten faculty members, thirty-five graduate students, eight post-doctoral visitors and scholars and two military fellows were affiliated with the program this year.


In keeping with the above-mentioned challenge to seek new approaches to a re-defined global order, the seminars within the Program in Development Studies continue to probe questions of ethnicity and nationalism, refugee movements, environmental policies and governmental and trade reform. The following seminars and workshops reflect those concerns.

The Seminar on Peoples and States: Ethnic Identity and Struggle, chaired in 1994-95 by Professor Jean Jackson (Anthropology/Archaeology), examines issues of the creation of ethnic and nationalist identities in relation to the state; the Ford Development Seminar, a workshop funded by the Ford Foundation, explores new conceptual approaches to the study of developing areas. Each lecture is followed by a workshop for doctoral students to discuss methodological issues in field research. It is organized by Dr. Elizabeth Leeds, (CIS).

The MIT-Harvard Joint Seminar in Political Development (JOSPOD), co-organized by Professors Myron Weiner (Political Science) and Jorge Dominguez (Harvard University), dealt in its 30th year with the theme of The Politics of Economic Reform; the Bustani Middle East Seminar, organized by Professor Philip Khoury (History Faculty) has treated such concerns as the prospects for peace in the Middle East, religious fundamentalism, and ethnic identity; the Inter-University Seminar on International Migration, organized by Professor Weiner, concentrates on the themes of security implications of refugee flows and consequences of migration for the labor force. The Migration Seminar sponsored two major conferences during the year organized by Professor Weiner: Japanese and U.S. Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Policies in December, 1994 and; Migration in South Africa, held in February, 1995. The Faculty Seminar on Global Environment and Sustainable Development, organized by Professor Nazli Choucri (Political Science), brings together faculty throughout the Institute for discussions on such issues as international environmental regulations and financial and business responses to environmental challenges.


Although there is no formal program on comparative and international political economy within the center, research on political economy has been a major focus of CIS. Faculty and graduate students have examined traditional concerns such as trade and competitiveness as well as emerging policy areas including the environment and health care. Three political economy seminars continued in 1994-95: the International Institutions and Political Economy Seminar, organized jointly by CIS director Associate Professor Kenneth Oye and Professor Robert Keohane (Center for International Affairs, Harvard); the MIT/Harvard Joint Research Seminar on International Environmental Affairs: Institutions, Politics and Policies, coordinated by Professor Eugene Skolnikoff (Political Science) and William Clark (Harvard); and Political Economy of Global Energy and Environment, run by CIS Visiting Research Associate Michael Lynch. Several new research initiatives have also been undertaken. Professor Meyer (DACS, Political Science) is finishing a book on the economic consequences of environmental regulations within the US; Professor Oye is continuing projects on the causes and consequences of the regionalization of trade, and on the comparative uses of compensation with Professor James Snyder (Political Science) and doctoral student Brian Burgoon. Professor Suzanne Berger and Adjunct Professor Ronald Dore (Political Science) completed a study on the effects of economic liberalization on convergence of domestic institutions; and Professor Sapolsky (DACS, Political Science), is continuing a study on the containment of health care costs in the US.


In 1991, the MIT Japan Program was named by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research as one of the first four United States-Japan Industry and Technology Management Training (JITMT) Centers in the nation. This grant was renewed two years later and again this year, reflecting the high level of the Program's accomplishments. With funding from this award as well as from the Ayukawa Foundation, the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, the Starr Foundation, and its Corporate Consortium, the Program continues to be the largest, most comprehensive, and most widely copied center of applied Japanese studies in the world. Dissemination of the Program's accumulated knowledge and experience is pursued through three sets of coordinated activities: education, research, and outreach.

Education is central, with placement of MIT science, engineering, and management students as interns in Japan at the core. Educational activities during the period under review were as follows:

1) The Program placed a record 57 interns. 2) The Program's two summer courses in technical Japanese, one for computer science and electrical engineering and the other for materials science and related engineering, continue to attract a large number of highly qualified applicants. 3) The Program has also begun to work closely with the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI), which was established by the Institute's former provost Mark S. Wrighton, to help place interns in the Pacific Rim. 4) The Program is also active in curriculum development and training. The Japan Effectiveness Training (JET) course was offered for the fourth consecutive summer this year; the Program's sponsor retreat last November was attended by 29 individuals from industry and government; four Target Seminars were given during the period under review; and the Program's Video Series currently contains 28 titles and are an important tool for dissemination of information to individuals with time and/or budget constraints.

In research, the Program undertook the following projects during the period under review:

1) The Re-emergence of Great Power Politics in East Asia, under the direction of Program Director Richard J. Samuels. 2) Technology Supply Chains: Customer-Supplier Relationships, under the direction of Professor Charles H. Fine of the MIT Sloan School of Management. 3) The Future of U.S.-Japan Defense Technology Collaboration, under the direction of Research Associate Dr. Michael Green.

Japan-related research findings are also disseminated through the Program's Working Paper series.

Significant activities during the period under review have included:

Partnering With Japan: Managing Risk, Maximizing Benefit (symposium).

Multinationals and East Asian Integration (workshop).

Creating and Managing Corporate Technology Supply Chains: Linking Technology Sourcing Practices to Future Growth and Competitiveness (strategic briefing).

Asia Pacific Crisis Simulation Exercise.

Continued publication of The MIT Japan Program Science, Technology & Management Report.

Japan Science and Technology Databases.

Cooperation with the Institute's Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures on the JPNET (Japanese Network) Project to build a virtual community for Japanese specialists.

Cooperation with the MIT Libraries on the Japanese Scientific and Technical Information Project to create a national resource for Japanese scientific and technical information.

Continuation of the program's dinner series, technology forum lectures, informal talks, IAP events, weekly Japanese lunch table with Japanese cultural activities, and Japanese film showings.

The Program's Corporate Consortium now has 16 members, all of them large American multinationals--and the list of Japanese host organizations continues to grow.


MISTI is a major new program, directed by Professor Berger and administered through the Center for International Studies, to internationalize education and research at the Institute. With the main goal of the Program to teach MIT students to do research in an interntional context, MISTI will work with MIT faculty to develop collaborative research projects. The first geographical focus is on China with attention to the issues of sustainable development and the environment. Components of the Initiative include (1) an internship program for students to do research abroad, (2) a speaker series on China designed to education the MIT community about the culture, economy and politics of China, and (3) enhancement of the curriculum to include a larger segment of education about foreign societies, economies, politics, culture, and language. Future plans include expansion of the Program to Latin America.


Seminar XXI is an educational program held in Washington DC, for senior military officers, government officials and industry executives in the national security policy community. Conducted under the auspices of CIS, Seminar XXI recently completed its ninth year and continues to enjoy great success. Three MIT professors, Kenneth Oye, Barry Posen, and Myron Weiner (Political Science) serve as Co-Directors, while founder Suzanne Berger remains active as a member of the Executive Committee.

The main objective of Seminar XXI is to develop among the program Fellows new analytic skills for understanding foreign societies, including the instincts to ask different questions about the facts they receive on the job and in turn, to search out alternative interpretations of that data. Seminar XXI meets nine times over the course of the year, with each session focusing on a different foreign country or policy issue. The approach is not meant to cultivate country or functional expertise, but rather to provide concrete examples of the program's essential point: different frames of interpretation through which societies are understood yield fundamentally different answers to the questions policy makers must ask and resolve. By considering the politics of each country through different frameworks of analysis, the range of possible explanations for these countries' behaviors is widened, as is the range of US policy options which can be considered systematically. Each of the nine sessions bring together distinguished faculty from US and foreign institutions.


As an off-shoot of the Seminar XXI Program, the Center runs a parallel program at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute in Washington in which American diplomatic trainees of varying rank participate in a series of workshops dealing with salient issues in global affairs. This series, also bringing together government officials and distinguished faculty and other experts from American and foreign institutions explores American strategies appropriate to a contemporary global environment. Workshops are led by Professor emeritus Lincoln P. Bloomfield (Political Science). They are funded by a generous contribution of alumnus Harry Kalker.


Two new fellowship programs provide funding for doctoral students and faculty seed research. (1) The Program in Transnational Security, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is operated collaboratively with the Center for International Affairs at Harvard. Support is provided for research on (a) transnational economic security and (b) intergroup conflicts, human rights and refugees. Funding is available to doctoral students for academic year and summer support and to faculty for seed research support. (2) The National Science Foundation Traineeship in Democratization provides five fellowships annually for five years to support doctoral student training. Doctoral students from all social science departments at MIT are eligible to apply. (3) The International Energy Policy Research Grant competition is open annually to faculty, researchers, and advanced doctoral students working on any aspect of international energy, environment and related technology policy. In 1994-95 eight awards were given to students and faculty from the Departments of Political Science and Urban Studies and Planning. (4) In a new Federal initiative, the National Security Education Program provides study abroad scholarships for undergraduates and fellowships for graduate students. The Program, administered through CIS, awarded two doctoral awards to Political Science students in 1995.


During 1994-95 CIS was host to visiting scholars from China, Russia, Israel, the Sudan, Norway and Japan. In addition to the publications of the DACS and Japan Programs, the Center publishes a bi-annual newsletter, PréCIS, and two working paper series, CIS Working Papers and Findings, a series of article-length summaries of recently completed social science dissertations in comparative and international studies. The latter is funded by a grant from MIT alumnus Robert Wilhelm (`62).

Affirmative Action: The Center draws its members from the MIT faculty and student body and its support staff through the MIT Personnel Department and our pool reflects the general commitment of MIT to affirmative action goals. General funds presently support part of the salaries of four people, three of whom are women, including our Assistant Director. The Director of the Center is an Asian American and the Managing Director of the MIT Japan Program is a woman.

Elizabeth Leeds
Kenneth Oye

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95