Security Studies Program


Wednesday Seminar Series

The Fall 2016 Wednesday Seminar Series continues October 26, 2016. Yuhki Tajima, from Georgetown University, will speak on "How Wartime Unit Cohesion Explains Postwar Patronage: Evidence from Former Insurgents in Aceh, Indonesia." more information



The Security Studies Program at MIT is a graduate-level research and educational program based at the Center for International Studies at MIT. The senior research and teaching staff includes social scientists and policy analysts. A special feature of the program is the integration of technical and political analysis of national and international security problems. Security Studies is a recognized field of study in the MIT Political Science Department. Courses emphasize grand strategy, the causes and prevention of conflict, military operations and technology, and defense policy.




more information




MIT_SSP on Facebook





Barry Posen named Kissinger Chair at the Kluge Center

While on leave for the 2016-2017 academic year, SSP Director Barry Posen will be serving as the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center. more information


In the News

Barry Posen and Joshua Shifrinson were quoted extensively in "NATO Has Problems, But Trump Won't Fix them," Boston Review, August 22, 2016.


Peter Krause was on NECN on August 16, 2016 in a segment titled "The Fight Against ISIS."


Jim Walsh was on WBUR's Here and Now, July 18, 2016 in a segment titled "From Turkey To Nice, Looking At Safety And Stability Around The Globe."


Taylor Fravel was on NPR's Morning Edition July 13, 2016 in a segment titled "Will Hague Tribunal's South China Sea Ruling Inflame U.S-China Tensions?"


SSP Director Barry Posen has received a great honor: the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Studies Association. more information


Taylor Fravel has been awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year, a prestigious award he will use to further his research on Asia's ongoing maritime disputes. MIT News article


New Publications

Eric Heginbotham and Richard J. Samuels, "How to Get China to Use Its Leverage Against North Korea," The National Interest, September 18, 2016.


Jayita Sarkar, “Three concrete steps toward South Asian nuclear stability,” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 13 September 2016. 


Phil Martin, "Why Zimbabwe's Military sticks with Mugabe," Foreign Affairs, September 12, 2016.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Why Primacy Is a Bad Strategy for America," The National Interest, September 5, 2016.


John Park and Jim Walsh, "Stopping North Korea, Inc.: Sanctions Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences," MIT Security Studies Program, August, 2016.


Barry R. Posen, "The High Costs and Limited Benefits of America's Alliances," The National Interest, August 7, 2016.


Rachel Tecott and Sara Plana, "Maybe U.S. Police aren't militarized enough. Here's what police can learn from soldiers," Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog, August 16, 2016.


Harvey M. Sapolsky and Elizabeth Barnes, "Move to the North Atlantic's First Island Chain,", August 15, 2016.


Noel Anderson, "Why Victories in Battle Have Not Yet Finished the War Against al-Shabaab," Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Vol. 58, issue 4, 2016, pp. 51-62.


The July 2016 issue of Early Warning, SSP's internal newsletter, is now available.


Peter Krause,“Old (Molotov) Cocktails in New Bottles? “Price-Tag” and Settler Violence in Israel and the West Bank,” with Ehud Eiran, Terrorism and Political Violence, (published online July 11, 2016.)


M. Taylor Fravel, "The Strategic Implications of the South China Sea Tribunal's Award,", July 13, 2016.


M. Taylor Fravel, "Why does China care so much about the South China Sea? Here are 5 reasons," Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, July 13, 2016.


H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable 8-16 on Barry Posen's book, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable, Volume VIII, No. 16 (2016).


M. Taylor Fravel, "What is the future of the South China sea?", July 12, 2016 (with Jessica Chen Weiss, Peter Dutton, Orville Schell, Edward Friedman, Tom Nagorski)


M. Taylor Fravel (and many other contributors), "China's Claims in the South Sea Rejected," conversation, July 12, 2016.


M. Taylor Fravel, "Traditional Fishing Grounds and China's Historical Rights Claims in the South China Sea," Maritime Awareness Project, July 11, 2016.


Harvey M. Sapolsky and Elizabeth S. Barnes, "Warsaw: NATO's Theater of the Absurd,", July 8, 2016.


M. Taylor Fravel, "What will guide China's response to the South China Sea tribunal ruling?" op-ed, South China Morning Post, July 8, 2016.


Gautum Mukunda, "What Brexit Means for the Openness of the World Economy," Harvard Business Review, June 24, 2016.


Amanda Rothschild, "51 US diplomats criticized US policy on Syria. Will their dissent make a difference?" Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog, June 24, 2016.