Security Studies Program


SSP writing on the ISIS terror attacks

Barry Posen has a new article: "Contain Isis," The Atlantic, November 20, 2015.


More articles on the crisis appear below in the publications section.



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.




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SSP extends its appreciation to The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has awarded SSP a 36 month, $1 million, grant to support our research on the global “Diffusion of Power.” This will allow us to sustain and expand our work on Asian Security, Nuclear Arms Control and Strategy, Domestic Political Instability and Violence in the Greater Middle East, and U.S. Grand Strategy.


In the News

Peter Krause was on CBS radio November 24, 2014 re: ISIS, refugees, Syria, US Foreign Policy.


Barry Posen was on NPR's "On Point" November 23, 2015. Segment titled "Should We Go All-In On ISIS?"


Vipin Narang is the 2016 recipient of the Best Book Award of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association (ISA). Vipin won for his recent book, Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era.


On October 23, 2015, SSP held a special seminar on Capitol Hill titled "Political Struggles in the Middle East." A seminar summary is now available.


Mark Bell and Amanda Rothschild have jointly won the International Studies Association's 2016 Patricia Weitsman Graduate Student Paper Award.


Peter Krause was in the media discussing Syria: on CBS-Radio’s “Nightside" with Dan Rea, October 14, 2015; and NECN’s “Broadside” with Steve Aveson, October 8, 2015.


Reid Pauly has won the "Doreen & Jim McElvany Nonproliferation Challenge" run by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. His paper, "A Norm in All But Name: Paul Nitze, McGeorge Bundy, and the Idea of Nuclear Non-Use," is to be published in The Nonproliferation Review, and the award comes with a cash prize.


Barry Posen discussed his book, Restraint, at the Institute for World Politics on September 24, 2015. more information, including video


Paul Staniland has won the 2014 Lepgold Prize for his book, Networks of Rebellion. Earlier this year the book was also awarded the 2015 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize.


Richard J. Samuels was featured on NHK, with broadcasts September 11 and 12, 2015. Topic: "Power Plays in Asia-Pacific 70 years after WWII"


Barry Posen's book, Restraint, was reviewed in the September 24, 2015 issue of the New York Review of Books.


New Publications

Barry R. Posen, "Contain ISIS," The Atlantic, November 20, 2015.


Fiona S. Cunningham and M. Taylor Fravel, "Assuring Assured Retaliation: China's Nuclear Posture and U.S.-China Strategic Stability," International Security, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2015).


Roger D. Petersen, "In Syria, Politics Can Be More Effective Than Military Action," New York Times, November 17, 2015.


Kelly M. Greenhill, "Europe Must Deal With the Breeding of Terrorism Within its Borders," New York Times, November 16, 2015.


Jim Walsh, "To Paris, With Love: A Boston Perspective On Coming Back From Terror,", November 16, 2015.


The MIT Security Studies Program's 2014-2015 Annual Report is now available. more information


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "The Army Is In Box Canyon,", November 3, 2015.


Amanda J. Rothschild, "The forgotten whistle-blowers who saved Jewish lives," Boston Globe, November 1, 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "If You Want to Fix Defense Contracting, Mergers Aren't the Problem," The National Interest, October 29, 2015.


Mayumi Fukushima, "Accessing the Diplomatic and Military Archives in Japan," H-Diplo, October 16, 2015.


Carol R. Saivetz, "Russia bets on Assad,", October 18, 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "The Fading of the Marine Corps,", October 8, 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Rand Paul: The Champion of American Leadership?" The National Interest, September 29, 2015.


Gautam Mukunda, "We'll Tire of Trump's Narcissism, Eventually,", September 13, 2015.


Peter Krause, "Price-Tag Attacks Against Palestinians Are About the Nature of the Jewish State,” with Ehud Eiran, War on the Rocks, September 1, 2015.