October 28, 2015
By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Gabe Chan, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2015 and Amitai Bin-Nun, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2014–2016
The Federal Government has many tools at its disposal to advance energy technology innovation. It can signal markets, for example, through energy tax and regulatory policy ("market pull"), and it can advance research, development, and deployment of energy technologies ("technology push"). Both of these kinds of tools can be effective, but the most effective policy portfolio balances a combination of these policies.
October 21, 2015
By Derek S. Reveron, Faculty Affililate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Dr. Derek Reveron, professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Navy War College, testified before the Armed Services Committee on October 21, 2015.
October 13, 2015
By Andrew Gawthorpe, Former Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2015–2016
This written testimony to the UK Parliament's Defence Select Committee focuses on the continuing challenges posed to the United Kingdom by the weakness of state institutions and the resultant instability, civil war, and insurgency in the Middle East and North Africa. It argues that the spillover effects of this state weakness threaten the UK directly and the cohesion of its vital European security partnerships.To avoid a cycle of inaction followed by tardy and inappropriate over-reaction, the UK needs to work with its international partners to craft a strategy of sustained engagement towards the region.
September 21, 2015
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Two proliferation experts discuss the risk of other regional states pursuing nuclear capabilities of their own to counter Iran, and whether they have the necessary funds, technical capability, outside help, and political will.
September 23, 2015
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
The Thucydides Trap Case File has been assembled by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center searching for precedents and analogs that may help us better understand the current case of what political scientists call “hegemonic challenge.” This file includes all cases that we have identified so far where a major rising power threatened to displace a major ruling power. In 12 of the 16 cases, this rivalry produced war. In 4 of the cases, by extraordinary efforts or circumstances, the parties avoided war. Lessons from both the failures and successes offer many insights and clues for statesmen attempting to manage current relations between an emerging superpower and the reigning hegemon.
September 22, 2015
The goal of the Thucydides Project is to illuminate the challenge both America and China face as China rises to rival U.S. predominance in Asia today, and in time the world. As part of the Applied History Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center, the Thucydides Project is exploring this challenge by examining historical precedents and analogs. The 16 cases identified in phase one of the project include all instances since 1500 (that we have been able to identify and review) in which a major “ruling power” was challenged by a rapidly “rising” power.
Plants draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, sequestering the carbon in biomass and thus helping to mitigate climate change. This mitigation has an economic value commensurate with reduced damages from climate change. However, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has not calculated the carbon-sequestration benefits provided by the 84 million acres of land it manages, even though 85% of this land is vegetated.
The NPS has a dual mission—to foster both tourism ("visitation" to those researching this topic) and land stewardship. Measuring the value of carbon sequestration would complement ongoing attempts to measure the economic value of tourism by providing an initial estimate of the economic importance of one component of the NPS's stewardship obligations.
"The Role of Border Carbon Adjustment in Unilateral Climate Policy: Insights from a Model-Comparison Study—Summary"
In the absence of an effective global agreement to reduce carbon emissions, some industrialized countries have taken unilateral action to reduce emissions. However, unilateral carbon policy can lead to leakage of carbon emissions and precludes abating emissions where such abatement would be least expensive (possibly in other countries). Border carbon adjustment (BCA) is one policy option to mitigate these two disadvantages of unilateral action, but the effectiveness of these measures remains unclear. Comparing the results of simulated carbon policy and BCA in multiple computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of the global economy offers several estimates of the effectiveness of BCA.
September 30, 2015
By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Simon Saradzhyan testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Hearing on "The Threat of Islamist Extremism in Russia," on September 30, 2015.
In his testimony, Saradzhyan asked: "Can the United States and Russia cooperate against the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other international terrorist organizations, even though the bilateral relationship has deteriorated in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine? My answer is they can and they will if they act in their best interest."
August 14, 2015
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
On Thursday, August 6, Belfer Center Senior Fellow Olli Heinonen took part in a teleconference sponsored by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) to assess the Iran nuclear agreement.
Heinonen was joined by fellow arms control experts Joan Rohlfing and Frank von Hippel in the panel discussion titled "Decoding the Iran Agreement: What Constitutes Effective Verification and Monitoring?" The discussion was moderated by The Atlantic's James Fallows.