International Security, issue 2, volume 37
By Brendan Rittenhouse Green, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2009–2011
Contrary to conventional accounts, the United States did not immediately adopt a balancing strategy against the Soviet Union after World War II. Rather, the Eisenhower administration sought U.S. withdrawal from Western Europe by pursuing a buck-passing strategy. Only under the Kennedy administration did the United States begin to make permanent commitments to the defense of Europe. A new theory analyzes this shift in policy, defining those who sought to withdraw from Europe as “negative liberals” and those who sought firmer balancing commitments as “positive liberals.”
September 24, 2012
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
As leaders ascend to more powerful positions in their groups, they face ever-increasing demands. As a result, there is a common perception that leaders have higher stress levels than nonleaders. However, if leaders also experience a heightened sense of control—a psychological factor known to have powerful stress-buffering effects—leadership should be associated with reduced stress levels. Using unique samples of real leaders, including military officers and government officials, we found that, compared with nonleaders, leaders had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower reports of anxiety (study 1). In study 2, leaders holding more powerful positions exhibited lower cortisol levels and less anxiety than leaders holding less powerful positions, a relationship explained significantly by their greater sense of control. Altogether, these findings reveal a clear relationship between leadership and stress, with leadership level being inversely related to stress.
"Measuring the Impacts of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Placing the Global 'Success' of TRCs in Local Perspective"
Cooperation and Conflict, issue 3, volume 47
By Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Research Fellow, International Security Program, Megan Mackenzie, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Women in Public Policy Program, 2008–2009 and Mohamed Sesay
"Truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) have emerged as an international norm and are assumed to be an essential element of national reconciliation, democratization, and post-conflict development. Despite the increase in the number of TRCs being initiated around the globe and the international consensus regarding their positive effects, there is little understanding of the longterm effects and consequences of TRCs. Specifically, currently there are no established methods or mechanisms for measuring the impacts of TRCs; furthermore, the few examples of efforts to measure these impacts have serious limitations. This article explores both the rise in TRCs as an international norm and the contradictions and inadequacies in existing efforts to measure the impacts and successes of commissions."
August 31, 2012
Science, issue 6098, volume 337
By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched a process to confront risks posed by global climate change. It has led to a dichotomy between countries with serious emission-reduction responsibilities and others with no responsibilities whatsoever. This has prevented progress, but the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action suggests the prospect for a better way forward and an openness to outside-the-box thinking. Scholars and practitioners have a new opportunity to contribute innovative proposals for a future international climate policy architecture.
Forthcoming February 2013
Applied Energy, volume 102
The key findings derived from this study improve the understanding of the effects of China's domestic investment on its energy consumption expansion and reflect the fact that China's rapid urbanization and industrialization processes are among the main reasons for the large amount of energy consumption in China. The authors provide some quantitative information for further determining the energy-saving potentials of China's economy during these processes.
"Agenda for Peace or Budget for War? Evaluating the Economic Impact of International Intervention in Somalia"
International Journal, issue 2, volume 67
By Aisha Ahmad, Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2011–2012
This article shows how international humanitarian aid, particularly food aid, has played an instrumental role in perpetuating chronic civil war and state collapse in Somalia from 1992–2012. During the 1992 famine, food aid created lucrative opportunities for criminal elements of the Somali business community, who partnered with local warlords to create an enduring system of corruption and aid dependence. International aid financed this elite pact between business and warlords, which subsequently undermined domestic processes of order-making and reduced the bargaining power of local communities in the peace-building process.
July 13, 2012
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, issue 4, volume 68
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
China currently has far fewer nuclear weapons than the U.S., possibly the fewest of the five original nuclear weapons states. But if China feels threatened by the deployment of U.S. missile defenses, that could well change.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Early Edition
By Jonas Kathage, Matin Qaim and Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
Despite widespread adoption of genetically modified crops in many countries, heated controversies about their advantages and disadvantages continue. Especially for developing countries, there are concerns that genetically modified crops fail to benefit smallholder farmers and contribute to social and economic hardship. Many economic studies contradict this view, but most of them look at short-term impacts only, so that uncertainty about longer-term effects prevails. The authors address this shortcoming by analyzing economic impacts and impact dynamics of Bt cotton in India.
International Security, issue 1, volume 37
By Ulrich Krotz, Richard Maher, David M. McCourt, Andrew Glencross, Norrin M. Ripsman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, January–June 2011, Mark Sheetz, Associate, International Security Program, Jean-Yves Haine and Sebastian Rosato, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2005–2006
Ulrich Krotz and Richard Maher, David M. McCourt and Andrew Glencross, Norrin M. Ripsman, Mark S. Sheetz and Jean-Yves Haine respond to Sebastian Rosato's spring 2011 article, "Europe’s Troubles: Power Politics and the State of the European Project."
International Security, issue 1, volume 37
By Paul Staniland, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Intrastate Conflict Program, 2008–2009
Do insurgent groups use external funding, involvement in illicit economics, and looted resources to increase their military resilience, or do increased resources lead to a lack of discipline? A new study suggests that both outcomes are possible, and the answer depends on the group’s underlying social network. Groups with strong ties among their leaders as well as to their local communities are able to utilize resources to increase their fighting power and organizational capacity, whereas groups with weak ties are more likely to degenerate into greedy bands of thieves. It is therefore important that policymakers understand and consider the social and organizational bases of insurgent groups.