MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


The Center for International Studies promotes theoretical and applied international studies at MIT. Major research and training units within CIS include the Security Studies Program (SSP), the Development Studies Program, the MIT Japan Program, and the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI). These established programs provide a rigorous base for work on emerging issues. Traditional strengths in security strategies, development studies and political economy anchor major initiatives on democratization and ethnic conflict, migration and refugees, international economic and social performance, regulatory and trade policy, technology policy and environmental issues.

CIS research is conducted by established formal programs and through less formal crosscutting projects. Work by institutionalized CIS Programs, described more fully below, includes:

Many pressing international issues do not fit neatly within functionally or regionally defined programs. Current crosscutting CIS working groups link CIS programs to each other and link CIS to other groups at MIT. These include:

CIS operates major training, internship and outreach programs and provides substantial support for graduate and undergraduate scholarship. Last year, CIS programs and projects provided full or partial support to approximately 40 graduate students in the social sciences. In addition, CIS provides educational opportunities for MIT scientists and engineers and for national decisionmakers. The Japan Program and MISTI train and place approximately 110 interns per year in Japan, China, and Germany. CIS educates public and private decisionmakers through two Washington based executive education programs, the Seminar XXI Program and the Kalker Workshops at the Foreign Service Institute, and through the Senior Congressional Staff Seminar at MIT. Finally, CIS also sponsors a broad array of seminars, colloquia, and lectures on campus, offering the MIT community diverse perspectives on important international issues.


The MIT Security Studies Program (SSP), formerly the Defense and Arms Control Studies Program, 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.

SSP 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 and Dr. Owen Cote, examines American defense policies and has been especially concerned with the effect casualties have on the conduct and political acceptability of war. A second, led by Professor Barry Posen, has concentrated on conventional warfare with special emphasis on ethnic conflicts. A third, 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 fourth, directed by Professor Theodore Postol and Dr. George Lewis, explores defense technology issues, most recently on the future of the ABM Treaty. A fifth, also led by Professor Sapolsky, has been examining the environmental legacies of the Cold War. A sixth, jointly directed by Professors George Rathjens, Carl Kaysen and Jack Ruina, has been exploring American national strategy and force requirements in a world filled with ethnic turmoil and failed states. A seventh, led by Professor Richard Samuels and offered in conjunction with the MIT Japan Program, looks at security issues in Asia. An eighth, led by Dr. Marvin Miller, studies proliferation problems. In addition, the program sponsors several seminar series including the SSP seminars, the Future of War seminars (joint with three programs at Harvard), the Star Series and the Weapon Seminars Series. Four major conferences were held: Privatization and Outsourcing (our third annual defense environmental conference); The Future of the US and European Defense Industries (joint with the London based Centre for European Reform); The Second Admiral Levering Smith conference (a nuclear weapons series); the Fifth Annual James H. Doolittle conference (this year's topic was Defense Research); and Urban Warfare, our invitational conference.

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 seventh year; Early Warning, the program's newsletter; Security Studies Seminars, reports on current topics; a working paper series; and the newly established MIT Security Studies Conference series. Major sponsors have been the Carnegie, Ford, MacArthur, and the Alton Jones Foundations. In addition to twelve faculty members, thirty-five graduate students, twelve post-doctoral visitors and scholars, four military fellows were affiliated with the program this year.


Research and training in development studies within the Center focused on questions of citizenship, ethnicity and nationalism, international migration and refugee movements, non-governmental organizations, transnational linkages between developed and developing countries, environmental policies, economic liberalization, and trade reform.

The CIS based Inter-University Committee on International Migration, chaired by Professor Myron Weiner, continued its guest lecture series on new approaches to the study of migration and refugee flows. In 1997-98 the seminar focused on two themes: policy issues that have arisen over the prevention, management, and resolution of refugee movements, and emerging trends in international labor flows. With support from the Mellon Foundation, the Committee initiated a new program on Non-Governmental Organizations and Forced Migration. The program awarded small grants to graduate students and research scholars at MIT and other member institutions of the Committee, including Harvard, Boston University and Regis College. Sharon S. Russell (CIS) is program director. The Committee completed its comparative study of US and Japanese migration, citizenship and refugee policies, funded by the Center for Global Partnership, with the publication by Macmillan and NYU Press of a volume entitled Temporary Workers or Future Citizens? Japanese and US Migration Policies, edited by Professor Weiner and Professor Tadashi Hanami (Sophia University). A related project by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on German-American Migration and Refugee Policies in which several members of the committee participated was also completed with the publication of a five volume series by Berghahn Press edited by Professor Weiner. Under an arrangement with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) each year one of their staff members participates in the work of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration. The end of empire was the topic of the MIT-Harvard Joint Seminar on Political Development (JOSPOD), co-organized by Professor Weiner (Political Science).

With support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, Professor Weiner initiated a project on demography and security. Ten studies have been commissioned on the political consequences of demographic changes and on the security implications of state policies to change demographic variables for a workshop that will be held at the Center in late 1998. A project on race, ethnicity and censuses conducted by Assistant Professor Melissa Nobles (Political Science), drawing in part from a conference at the Center funded by the Sloan Foundation, was also completed. It will be published by Stanford University Press under the title Shades of Citizenship: Race and Censuses in Modern Politics.

CIS supported four series on development issues.


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 in 1995, reflecting the high level of the Program's accomplishments. With funding from this award as well as from MIT's Ayukawa Fund, 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:

In research, the Program undertook the following projects during this period:

Japan-related research findings are also disseminated through the Program's Working Paper Series. During the period under review, 15 working papers were published.

Significant outreach activities this year have included:

The Program's Corporate Consortium has 17 members, all of them large American multinationals, and the list of Japanese host organizations continues to grow.


The MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI) creates and supports programs for the internationalization of education and research at the Institute. MISTI's objectives are to expand core resources for studying foreign societies on campus and to share a growing MIT base of knowledge about foreign science, technology, and industry through outreach programs in the US.

MISTI/CHINA has been the first focus of the project offering internships in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to students who wish to have the experience of working in a multinational company, laboratory or public service organization. MISTI/China also facilitates collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers in outstanding universities and laboratories in China.


Research and training activities in political economy continued to expand dramatically, with work clustering in two overlapping areas. One set of projects centers on national adaptations to an increasingly global economy. Projects in that area examine the economic and political consequences of increasing integration of markets for goods, technology, and capital. A second set of projects centers on how economic, security and environmental externalities might be addressed efficiently and effectively.

The Harvard-MIT Joint Working Group on Transnational Economic Security examined the effects of globalization on the demand for private and public adjustment initiatives and on the financial capacity of firms and governments to facilitate adjustment; and on firm and governmental incentives to alter taxation, environmental regulations, and labor standards. This group was co-chaired by Associate Professor Kenneth Oye and Dr. William Keller (MIT) and Professors Dani Rodrik and Raymond Vernon (Harvard) and was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Environmental issues were the focus of three sets of activities.

(1) China Environment: Two teams are examining local and international implications of coal combustion in China. Professor Karen Polenske of DUSP is examining the human health effects of household coal combustion in China. International aid and industrial coal combustion is the focus of a CIS joint project with Tsinghua University, Tokyo University and the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH). The MIT members of the team include Professors Janos Beer and Adel Sarofim of Chemical Engineering and Assistant Professor Zhiyuan Cui and Professor Oye of Political Science. The project has been supported by diverse sources including the Japan Foundation, ABB, NEDO, the Alliance for Global Sustainability and the MISTI program.

(2) Sustainable Development: Professor Nazli Choucri organizes the Global Forum on Sustainable Development which focuses on technology, policy, and strategy dimensions of evolving global accords on environment and sustainable development. This UN supported initiative includes international institutions, business and industry. Professor Choucri has also been working with China's Agenda 21 to develop Chinese language electronic networking facilities on problems of sustainable development.

(3) Regulation and Trade: Professors Sapolsky and Oye have formed a new working group examining environmental regulations and trade. The group is examining how scientific and technical information on environmental and health risks is incorporated into regulatory decisionmaking in the US, Europe and Japan, and is evaluating the implications of international variation in regulations on trade and investment. The project is supported by the Consortium on Environmental Challenges and by the Alliance for Global Sustainability.


Seminar XXI is held in Washington DC for senior military officers, government officials and industry executives in the national security and economic policy communities. 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. By considering countries and issues through different frameworks of analysis, the range of possible explanations for these countries' behaviors is widened, as is the range of US policy options that can be considered systematically. In 1997-98, Professors Oye, Posen, and Weiner (Political Science) served as Co-Directors, while founders Professor Suzanne Berger, Jake Stewart, and Mitzi Wertheim served as members of the Executive Committee.

CIS runs a parallel program of "Kalker Workshops" 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. The workshops are led by Professor Emeritus Lincoln P. Bloomfield (Political Science) and Fred Hill of the Department of State and are funded by a generous contribution of alumnus Harry Kalker.

Professor Eugene Skolnikoff leads an annual seminar that provides intensive briefings on a selected issue in science and technology policy for senior members of congressional staff. In 1998, the seminar offered a full range of views on the science and policy of climate change. The series has been supported by the Sloan Foundation.


Five fellowship programs provide funding for doctoral students and faculty seed research. The Program in Transnational Security, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, provides support for research on transnational economic security and on 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. 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. The International Energy Policy Research Grant competition continues to provide funding to faculty, researchers, and advanced doctoral students working on any aspect of international energy, environment and related technology policy. The Ford Foundation-sponsored methodology program provides support to students working on development issues. The new Mellon Foundation program on Non-Governmental Organizations and Forced Migration awards small grants to graduate students and research scholars at MIT and other member institutions of the Committee. In addition to these four fellowship programs, CIS research and outreach activities provide substantial support for graduate education.


During 1997-98 CIS was host to visiting scholars from China, Israel, India, Japan, Korea and Russia. In addition to the publications of the Security Studies, Japan and MISTI Programs, the Center publishes a bi-annual newsletter, PreCIS, and four working paper series. They are 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 an MIT alumnus. In addition the Center publishes the Migration Working Paper Series and the MacArthur Transnational Security Working Papers.


CIS Director Kenneth Oye, Security Studies Director Harvey Sapolsky, Japan Program Director Richard Samuels, MISTI Director Suzanne Berger, and Development Studies Director Myron Weiner continued to serve in these roles. Dr. William Keller joined CIS as the new Executive Director. Prior to coming to MIT, Dr. Keller served as Deputy Director and Associate Professor at the Center for Trade and Commercial Diplomacy of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and as Project Director and Senior Analyst at the Office of Technology Assessment. Ms. Deborah Grupp joined CIS this summer as our new Administrative Officer. CIS draws personnel from the MIT faculty and student body and recruits through the MIT Personnel Department. Our personnel reflect the general commitment of MIT to affirmative action goals. In the nine most senior CIS management positions, CIS currently utilizes one Asian American male and four women.

More information about this center can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Kenneth Oye

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98