Security Studies Program


Wednesday Seminar Series

SSP's Fall 2015 Wednesday Seminar Series continues October 14 with Efraim Inbar, Bar-Ilan University, speaking on "The Current National Security Challenges of Israel." 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.




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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

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's book, Networks of Rebellion, has won the 2014 Lepgold Prize for best book on international relations published in 2014. 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.


Cullen Nutt has been chosen as a semifinalist for the 2015 "Bobby R. Inman Award" for Student Scholarship on Intelligence from the University of Texas at Austin Strauss Center. more information


Congratulations to William Graham, 2009-2010 SSP military fellow, on his promotion to brigadier general in the US Army. more information


Barry Posen was on KCRW's Morning Edition on August 10, 2015. The segment was titled "Finding Friends to Fight ISIS in Syria."


Noel Anderson and Alec Worsnop have each been awarded a dissertation fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.


New Publications

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.


Mark S. Bell, "Okay, so what if Iran does get nuclear weapons?" Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, August 20, 2015.


The new issue of International Security, Vol. 40, No.1, Summer 2015 includes articles by Francis J. Gavin, Nicholas L. Miller, and Mark S. Bell on the topic of Nonproliferation and Proliferation. In addition, SSP affiliates Joel Brenner and Jon Lindsay are featured in the "Correspondence" section. more information


Caitlin Talmadge, The Dictator's Army: Battlefield Effectiveness in Authoritarian Regimes, Cornell University Press, September 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, review of Providing for a National Security: A Comparative Analysis, Andrew H. Dorman and Joyce P. Kaufman, eds., (Stanford, CA, 2015) in e-International Relations, August 13, 2015.


Nicholas L. Miller, "Debunked: Why 5 Criticisms of the Iran Deal Are Wrong," The National Interest, August 12, 2015.


The Summer 2015 issue of SSP's internal newsletter, Early Warning, is now available. more information


Julia Macdonald and Jacquelyn Schneider, "Presidential Risk Orientation and Force Employment Decisions: The Case of Unmanned Weaponry," Journal of Conflict Resolution, July 2015.


Peter Krause and Craig Noyes, "A Frightening Thought: When Terrorism 'Works'," The National Interest, July 8, 2015.


Amanda J. Rothschild, "Policy Relevant Scholarship: What's Chutzpah Got To Do With It?", July 6, 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Acquisition Reform: The Elusive Quest,", July 1, 2015.


M. Taylor Fravel, "China's New Military Strategy: 'Winning Informationized Local Wars," Jamestown Foundation, China Brief Volume: 15 Issue: 13, June 23, 2015.


Barry R. Posen, "Prelude to a Quagmire,", June 16, 2015.


Barry R. Posen, "The Iraqi Army No Longer Exists," Defense One, June 7, 2015.


Francis J. Gavin, "Friends or Frenemies: the puzzling foundations of the Ango-American special relationship," The American Interest, June 1, 2015.