By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Robert Stavins argues for an economic approach to solving environmental problems and explains why "environmental economics" is not an oxymoron.
January 22, 2015
By Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Last fall, experts from around the world gathered to identify ways to strengthen nuclear security cooperation between the United States and Russia and the United States and China. In this Policy Brief, Nickolas Roth summarizes that conversation and provides policy recommendations based on it.
Improvements in military medicine are costly to implement, and their costs are often ignored. Governments must begin to adjust their estimates of the costs of war to include the effects of increases in nonfatal casualties.
"Possible Frameworks for Verification of a WMD/DVs Free Zone in the Middle East - The Nuclear Dimension"
Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East, issue 33
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
This policy brief argues that, on balance, a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone would be better off relying on IAEA verification and safeguards at the beginning. Over the medium- to longer- term, given the political will, financial, and human resources, the regional states could invest in a regional authority to build up their own capacity and thereby contribute to strengthening mutual confidence and trust.
"A Pre-Lima Scorecard for Evaluating which Countries are Doing Their Fair Share in Pledged Carbon Cuts"
The authors explore a novel approach to evaluating the ambition and fairness of countries' voluntary pledges to reduce emissions. This approach could facilitate negotiations at the upcoming UN climate conference in Lima—and the broader process leading to a new 2015 international climate agreement.
June 26, 2014
"Watch this Space: 'Collective Self-defense,' Constitutional Reinterpretation, and Japan's Security Policy"
By Adam P. Liff, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2013–2014
Throughout the postwar period, the Government of Japan's (GOJ) definition and interpretation of collective self-defense and Article 9 of Japan's constitution have played a crucial role in how its leaders develop and employ military power. This issue also has had significant implications for its political and security relationship with the United States.
For the first time in more than two decades, the United States faces a competitor that has the ability to inflict heavy costs on its air and naval forces. Maintaining stability in East Asia will therefore require significant changes in U.S. military capabilities and posture—changes that are likely to prove difficult while defense resources are scarce. Many of these changes will take years to implement, however, and China's military modernization shows no signs of slowing. The United States cannot afford to delay.
By Pinar De Neve, Research Assistant, Environment and Natural Resources Program
This policy brief is based on the discussion paper "Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China" by Sabrina Howell, Henry Lee and Adam Heal, published by the Belfer Center in June 2014.
By Lucas Kello, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age
The cyber revolution presents formidable challenges to security policy. The risks of inadvertent or accelerating cyber crises are significant but poorly grasped. The penalty for falling behind in terms of strategic adaptation may be disastrous.
By Dominic D.P. Johnson and Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.
In the future, territorial conflict is likely to become more important, as populations grow and resources decline, and as territorial disputes expand into new domains, such as the polar regions, outer space and near-Earth orbits, radio frequency bands, the internet, and the commercial control of land. To avoid war and to enable other positive effects to follow, resolving conflicts is critical. Should territorial issues be resolved, studies have found that demilitarization and democratization are more likely to ensue. States will have a better chance of achieving these goals if they step back and recognize the broader patterns of territoriality in nature, of which humans are just one particularly deadly example.