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Belfer Center Studies in International Security

George W. Bush and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Although George W. Bush memorably declared, “I’m the decider,” as president he was remarkably indecisive when it came to U.S. policy toward the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. His administration’s policymaking featured an ongoing clash between moderate realists and conservative hard-liners inspired by right-wing religious ideas and a vision of democracy as cure-all.

The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen. Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West.

Coercive Diplomacy and U. S. Intervention

Kosovo, after its incorporation into the Serbian Republic of Yugoslavia, became increasingly restive during the 1990s as Yugoslavia plunged into internal war and Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian residents (Kosovars) sought autonomy. In March 1999, NATO forces began airstrikes against targets in Kosovo and Serbia in an effort to protect Kosovars against persecution. The bombing campaign ended in June 1999, and Kosovo was placed under transitional UN administration while negotiations on its status ensued. Kosovo eventually declared independence in 2008.

Institutional Interests and the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Expertise

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many observers feared that terrorists and rogue states would obtain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or knowledge about how to build them from the vast Soviet nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons complex. The United States launched a major effort to prevent former Soviet WMD experts, suddenly without salaries, from peddling their secrets. In Our Own Worst Enemy, Sharon Weiner chronicles the design, implementation, and evolution of four U.S. programs that were central to this nonproliferation policy and assesses their successes and failures.

Lessons from the War on Terrorism

In an age of global terrorism, can the pursuit of security be reconciled with liberal democratic values and legal principles? During its “global war on terrorism,” the Bush administration argued that the United States was in a new kind of conflict, one in which peacetime domestic law was irrelevant and international law inapplicable. From 2001 to 2009, the United States thus waged war on terrorism in a “no-law zone.”

States and Non-State Actors in Conflict

States, nationalist movements, and ethnic groups in conflict with one another often face a choice between violent and nonviolent strategies. Although major wars between sovereign states have become rare, contemporary world politics has been rife with internal conflict, ethnic cleansing, and violence against civilians. This book asks how, why, and when states and non-state actors use violence against one another, and examines the effectiveness of various forms of political violence.

Competition, Congruence, and Transformation

Since the 1990s, Asia-Pacific countries have changed their approaches to security cooperation and regional order. The end of the Cold War, the resurgence of China, the Asian economic crisis, and the events of September 11, 2001, have all contributed to important changes in the Asia-Pacific security architecture.

Personnel Policy and the Transformation of Western Militaries

Motivated, able, and well-trained military personnel are essential to the success of any military, and personnel policies are crucial to getting and keeping qualified servicemen and women. The transformation of personnel policies is an important element of the broader transformation occurring in Western militaries. Across Europe and North America, nations are embracing plans to change military personnel policies to build future capabilities consistent with new strategic environments and with the demographic and societal realities of the future.

Why Emerging Democracies Go to War

Does the spread of democracy really contribute to international peace? Successive U. S. administrations have justified various policies intended to promote democracy not only by arguing that democracy is intrinsically good but by pointing to a wide range of research concluding that democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with one another.

Dilemmas of US Diplomacy and Intelligence Analysis, 1945-1990

The United States continues to proclaim its support for democracy and its opposition to tyranny, but American presidents often have supported dictators who have allied themselves with the United States. This book illustrates the chronic dilemmas inherent in US dealings with dictators under conditions of uncertainty and moral ambiguity.

Islam and Foreign Policy
Edited by Brenda Shaffer

In recent years, analysts of world affairs have suggested that cultural interests—ethnicity, religion, and ideology—play a primary role in patterns of conflict and alliances, and that in the future the "clash of civilizations" will dominate international relations. The Limits of Culture explores the effect of culture on foreign policy, focusing on countries in the geopolitically important Caspian region and paying particular attention to those states that have identified themselves as Islamic republics—Iran, Taliban Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Since September 11, 2001, much has been said about the difficult balancing act between freedom and security, but few have made specific proposals for how to strike that balance. As the scandals over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the "torture memos" written by legal officials in the Bush administration show, without clear rules in place, things can very easily go very wrong.

The use of case studies to build and test theories in political science and the other social sciences has increased in recent years. Many scholars have argued that the social sciences rely too heavily on quantitative research and formal models and thus have attempted to develop and refine rigorous methods for using case studies. This text presents a comprehensive analysis of research methods using case studies and examines the place of case studies in social science methodology.

The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population

What happens to a society that has too many men? In this provocative book, Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer argue that, historically, high male-to-female ratios often trigger domestic and international violence. Most violent crime is committed by young unmarried males who lack stable social bonds. Although there is not always a direct cause-and-effect relationship, these surplus men often play a crucial role in making violence prevalent within society. Governments sometimes respond to this problem by enlisting young surplus males in military campaigns and high-risk public works projects.

Transforming the US Military System

The war in Iraq and the problematic military occupation of that country have called into question the adequacy of America's all-volunteer force. Politicians and others have expressed doubts about its equity and capability; some have called for the reinstatement of the draft. Yet over the past twenty years the all-volunteer military has become a technologically advanced force that has contributed to America's overall military advantage.

Since the end of the Cold War, Turkey has moved from the periphery to occupy the very center of Eurasian security. It is a critical participant in NATO and aspires to become a member of the European Union.

Lessons from the Middle East

Track-II talks in the Middle East—unofficial discussions among Israeli and Arab scholars, journalists, and former government and military officials—have been going on since soon after the 1967 Six Day War and have often paved the way for official negotiations. This book, a unique collaboration of Israeli and Palestinian authors, traces the history of these unofficial meetings, focusing on those that took place in the 1990s beginning just after the Gulf War. These talks were carried on without media coverage, and this book is the first sustained account of what took place.

Dimensions of Preparedness

The United States now knows that it is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. In Countering Terrorism, experts from such disparate fields as medicine, law, public policy, and international security discuss institutional changes the country must make to protect against future attacks. In these essays, they argue that terrorism preparedness is not just a federal concern, but one that requires integrated efforts across federal, state, and local governments.

Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Asia

Language policy is a sensitive issue in most countries. In countries where more than one language is spoken—the vast majority of countries—language policies affect the ability of individuals and groups to participate in government, to be treated fairly by governmental agencies, to have access to government services, to take advantage of educational opportunities, and to pursue economic success.

Appraising the Field

All academic disciplines periodically appraise their effectiveness, evaluating the progress of previous scholarship and judging which approaches are useful and which are not. Although no field could survive if it did nothing but appraise its progress, occasional appraisals are important and if done well can help advance the field.

State and Local Responses to Terrorism

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been preoccupied by the federal role in preparedness against terror attacks, and by ways to provide a quick fix through organizational overhauls. Airport security has been federalized, and Congress has approved a Cabinet-level homeland security agency. By contrast, national discussion of state and local preparedness has been largely absent.

Winning Without War

On September 11, 2001, the United States began to consider the terrorist threat in a new light. Terrorism was no longer something that happened in other countries on other continents but became a pressing domestic concern for the US government and American citizens. The nation suddenly faced a protracted struggle.

The Seeds of Change in Eastern Europe

In 1989, Soviet control over Eastern Europe ended when the communist regimes of the Warsaw Pact collapsed. These momentous and largely bloodless events set the stage for the end of the Cold War and ushered in a new era in international politics. Why did communism collapse relatively peacefully in Eastern Europe? Why did these changes occur in 1989, after more than four decades of communist rule? Why did this upheaval happen almost simultaneously in most of the Warsaw Pact?

The Middle East remains one of the world's most volatile regions. Stretching from Morocco to Iran, the area has seen numerous international and internal conflicts over the past decades. Understanding the dynamics of these conflicts requires detailed information on the military capabilities of the region's countries.The Middle East Military Balance is prepared annually by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is based on data from many sources, including some that are unavailable to other institutes.

The explosion of violence between Israelis and Palestinians that began in late 2000 is a tragic reminder of the potential for armed conflict in the Middle East. Although many developments in the 1990s appeared to have reduced the likelihood of war in the region, stability between Israel and its Arab neighbors remains tenuous. Security in the Persian Gulf also remains uncertain, as Iran and Iraq have continued their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

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