Security Studies Program


SSP Publications

New issues of the following are now available:


The Winter 2014 issue of SSP's internal newsletter, "Early Warning" more information


The 2013-2014 Annual Report (link to pdf) 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.



The Nuclear Studies Research Initiative (NSRI) is now accepting papers for their second workshop. more information



We are now accepting fellowship applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. more information



MIT_SSP on Facebook




In the News

Barry Posen's book, Restraint: A New Foundation for US Grand Strategy, has been has been named by Times Higher Education as one of 2014's best books of the year.


This year's Ruina Nuclear Age dinner was held October 27, 2014, with keynote speaker Ambassador Robert L. Gallucci, His topic: "Nuclear Weapons: They're Back" more information


Christine Leah, "Time for Japan to Get Its Own Nuclear Weapons?" The National Interest, December 3, 2014. Interview and article excerpt.


Interview with Barry Posen on November 17, 2014 by on the topic of Restraint. link to video


Barry Posen gave the Kenneth Walz Memorial Lecture at Columbia University October 30, 2014. The title: "Why American Restraint Makes Sense in a World Going to Hell."


Interview with Professor Barry Posen: "America Doesn't Need to Lead the Free World," by Scott Beauchamp, The Atlantic, November 14, 2014.


Amanda Rothschild has received the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies.


MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative hosted its first event October 28, 2014. SSP's Jeanne Guillemin was one of the panelists. Link to recording on YouTube


Barry Posen took part in an event at Brookings on October 17, titled "U.S. Grand Strategy: World Leader or Restrained Power?"


Jonathan Caverley was interviewed by Bill Moyers about his research, October 16, 2014. Transcript is titled "Does Rising Inequality Make a Democracy More Warlike?"


Barry Posen was on The Agenda, TVO (Ontario television), September 30, 2014 to discuss "Obama's ISIS Strategy."


"3 Questions: Jim Walsh on the elusive U.S.-Iran nuclear treaty," MIT News Office, September 30, 2014.


A report by the Observer Research Foundation about Vipin Narang's book talk, "Nuclear Strategies in the modern era," is now available. more information


A Defense Concept for Ukraine

This paper was written by Professor Barry R. Posen twenty years ago. It was never published in English. Though the order of battle assumptions are no longer accurate, the basic architecture of the military problem remains. Those following events in Ukraine may find the analysis useful.


New Publications

Cindy Williams, “Regional Representation in the U.S. Military,” in Renaud Bellais, The Evolving Boundaries of Defence: An Assessment of Recent Shifts in Defence Activities (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2014).


M. Taylor Fravel, "Territorial and Maritime Boundary Disputes in Asia," in Saadia M. Pekkanan, John Ravenhill, and Rosemary Foot, eds., Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia, Oxford University Press, 2014.


Joshua Shifrinson, "Put It In Writing: How the West Broke Its Promise to Moscow," Foreign Affairs, October 29, 2014.


William Luers, Thomas Pickering, James Walsh, "An Iran Nuclear Deal Is There for the Taking," The National Interest, October 15, 2014.


Paul Staniland, "Violence and Democracy," Comparative Politics, Vol. 47, No. 1 (October 2014), pp. 99-118.


Boaz Atzili, "For Israel, defense may be the best defense," The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, September 23, 2014.


Carol Saivetz, "The Price of 'Novorossiya',", September 7, 2014.


Nicholas L. Miller (with Jeremy Ferwerda), "Political Devolution and Resistance to Foreign Rule: A Natural Experiment," American Political Science Review, Vol 108, No. 3 (August 2014) pp. 642-660.


Jeanne Guillemin, "Smallpox: The long goodbye," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 21, 2014.


Peter Krause (with Ehud Eiran), "The 'price' of radical flanks and the conflict in Gaza," The Washington Post, July 11, 2014.


Francis J. Gavin, "What new academic research can teach us about nuclear weapons," The Washington Post, July 8, 2014.


Philip Martin, "Intervention and the Prospects for Power-Sharing in Iraq," The Duck of Minerva, June 27, 2014.


Barry R. Posen, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy (Cornell University Press, 2014)


Vipin Narang, Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era: Regional Powers and International Conflict (Princeton University Press, 2014)


M. Taylor Fravel, "Policy Report: U.S. Policy Towards the Disputes in the South China Sea Since 1995," S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, March 2014. (pdf)


Russell Rumbaugh (with Barry Blechman), "Bombs Away: The Case for Phasing Out U.S. Tactical Nukes in Europe," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014.