October 2, 2015
Science, issue 6256, volume 350
By Carlo Carraro, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland, Charles Kolstad, Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert C. Stowe, Executive Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program; Manager, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has proven its value as an institution for large-scale scientific collaboration to synthesize and assess large volumes of climate research for use by policy-makers, as well as for establishing credibility of findings among diverse national governments. But the IPCC has received considerable criticism of both its substance and process."
International History Review, issue 5, volume 37
By Jayita Sarkar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
The article examines the strategic circumstances leading to non-aligned India's safeguard of its nuclear option during a crucial period in its proliferation trajectory, when it was one of the states closest to nuclear-weapons development, and faced US pressures to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that was being negotiated at the time.
Nature Climate Change
By Zhu Liu, Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Steven J Davis, Kuishuang Feng, Klaus Hubacek, Sai Liang, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Bin Chen, Jingru Liu, Jinyue Yan and Dabo Guan
International trade has become the fastest growing driver of global carbon emissions, with large quantities of emissions embodied in exports from emerging economies. International trade with emerging economies poses a dilemma for climate and trade policy: to the extent emerging markets have comparative advantages in manufacturing, such trade is economically efficient and desirable. However, if carbon-intensive manufacturing in emerging countries such as China entails drastically more CO2 emissions than making the same product elsewhere, then trade increases global CO2 emissions.
Energy & Environmental Science
High cost and technical immaturity of bulk (multi-hour) electricity storage (BES) systems are often cited as major hurdles to increasing the penetration of intermittent renewables. The authors use a simple model to assess the economics of BES under carbon emissions constraints.
Nature, volume 524
By Zhu Liu, Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Dabo Guan, Wei Wei, Steven J Davis, Philippe Ciais, Jin Bai, Shushi Peng, Qiang Zhang, Klaus Hubacek, Gregg Marland, Robert J. Andres, Douglas Crawford-Brown, Jintai Lin, Hongyan Zhao, Chaopeng Hong, Thomas A. Boden, Kuishuang Feng, Glen P. Peters, Fengming Xi, Junguo Liu, Yuan Li, Yu Zhao, Ning Zeng and Kebin He
The authors findings suggest that overestimation of China's emissions in 2000–2013 may be larger than China's estimated total forest sink in 1990–2007 or China's land carbon sink in 2000–2009. The revisions of the Chinese emissions are substantial enough that they may lead to adjustments in the Global Carbon Cycle.
"From the Aztecs to the Kalahari Bushmen — Conservative Justices' Citation of Foreign Sources: Consistency, Inconsistency, or Evolution?"
Yale Journal of International Law Online, volume 41
By Zachary D. Kaufman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program
What stands out as different in the reasoning of Obergefell is that members of the Court's conservative wing invoked foreign law in a constitutional case about a domestic matter. By doing so, the Court's conservatives appeared to contradict their own previous statements about the role of foreign law in interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Besides legalizing marriage equality, Obergefell may therefore also set an important precedent as to the appropriateness of citing foreign sources in constitutional decisions.
Science and Engineering Ethics
The introduction of new energy technologies may lead to public resistance and contestation. It is often argued that this phenomenon is caused by an inadequate inclusion of relevant public values in the design of technology. In this paper, the authors examine the applicability of the value sensitive design (VSD) approach.
"Do States Delegate Shameful Violence to Militias? Patterns of Sexual Violence in Recent Armed Conflicts"
Journal of Conflict Resolution, issue 5, volume 59
By Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Ragnhild Nordas, Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2010
Existing research maintains that governments delegate extreme, gratuitous, or excessively brutal violence to militias. However, analyzing all militias in armed conflicts from 1989 to 2009, we find that this argument does not account for the observed patterns of sexual violence, a form of violence that should be especially likely to be delegated by governments. Instead, we find that states commit sexual violence as a complement to—rather than a substitute for—violence perpetrated by militias.
July 23, 2015
By Morena Skalamera, Associate, Geopolitics of Energy Project
Ever since the 1973 oil embargo, and especially since the Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis of 2006, Western policy makers have paid a great deal of attention to energy security. Yet there is no consensus as to what energy security is, what methodologies are most useful for conceptualizing and operationalizing the term, or even whether it is possible to generalize about anything as complex and contextually dependent as energy security. This enormous diversity of theoretical, methodological, and epistemological perspectives on the study of energy security complicates any assessment of the state of the field. It is, however, precisely because ‘energy security’ is such an elusive concept that academics, statesmen, and analysts of energy politics should not strive to coalesce around one precise definition.
Terrorism and Political Violence
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
The percentage of Israelis killed by terrorism is higher than in any other democracy. The article analyzes the threats Israel has faced, the impact terrorism has had on Israel, and the counter-terrorism policies Israel has adopted.