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Professor Leila Fawaz was kind to make me aware of a post she recently wrote for the blog of the American Historical Association, and the AHA was kind, in turn, to let me repost her piece on the Admissions Blog.  Professor Fawaz was the first recipient of Fletcher’s inaugural Faculty Research Award for her book, A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War.

“Understanding the Present: The Impact of World War I in the Middle East”

Watching the ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, I cannot but recall the suffering of Middle Eastern people at another time of great upheaval: during the First World War and following its settlement.

First British Guard, Jaffa Gate, 1917. Credit: Library of Congress.

The history of the Great War helps us to understand how the violent past is responsible for the current turmoil in the Middle East. Historians have covered the destruction caused by the First World War in Europe extensively, but many in the West do not realize the level of destruction and upheaval it caused in the Middle East. The losses in the Middle East were staggering: the war not only ravaged the land and decimated armies, it destroyed whole societies and economies. In this way, the experience of World War I in the Middle East is perhaps more akin to the experience of World War II in Europe. The social, economic, and psychological effects were deep and devastating.

The title of my book, A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War (Harvard University Press, 2014), which I spoke on recently at the Washington History Seminar, comes from a line in the journal of a Turkish feminist, Halidé Edib. In an episode about her travels by train through villages from Anatolia to Homs during the Great War, she remarked on a haunting sense of misery. In the villages, not a man was to be seen because so many had died or been conscripted. Locusts had devoured fields. Famine shadowed families and took many lives. She wrote, “I have seen, I have gone through, a land full of aching hearts and torturing remembrances” (1). As the memory of the war evolved decades later, people began to describe it as a great war of suffering—the safarbarlik, or mobilization—in which barefoot soldiers crossed cities, deserts, whole regions away from their homes, and millions of civilians faced starvation, disease, relocation, and levels of misery so profound and so lasting that their memory was passed on from one generation to the other.

Map of Sykes–Picot Agreement showing Eastern Turkey in Asia. Credit: The National Archives (United Kingdom).

The conclusion of the war introduced additional political upheaval to the region. In the West the war solidified already formed national identities. But in the East it shattered the imperial Ottoman system that, for all its faults, let a multiplicity of identities coexist for much of the time. The Sykes-Picot Agreement, drawn during the war in 1916, divided the region into spheres of influence between the British and the French: roughly, Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq were designated British while Lebanon and Syria were assigned to the French, should the Allies win the war. No representatives of these regions were privy to the agreement. It was negotiated in secret and contrary to the principles of self-determination that would become a centerpiece of Woodrow Wilson’s “14 Points” plan for world peace at the end of the war. The French Mandate that replaced the Ottomans in 1923 introduced a new foreign rule to the Lebanese and Syrian people, who once again had no say in their government. The region was thus entrapped in new structures of imperial governance, and the foundations were laid for enduring mutual suspicion.

When the Islamic State bulldozed the berm between Iraq and Syria in June 2014, it publicized the event as the destruction of the Sykes-Picot border. The reference is indicative of the level of lingering resentment towards the West’s unilateral redrawing of borders 100 years ago. Why are old agreements from a century ago at the center of heated debates in the Middle East? The answer is that the suffering the region endured during the Great War lives on in the memory of its people, and decisions made then continue to affect relations among Middle Eastern peoples to this day.

The current refugee crisis is an opportunity to reflect back 100 years ago to the mistakes made following the Great War that caused—and continue to trigger—so much suffering and conflict. This is why the study of history is invaluable to understanding the present. Like memory, history’s influence is not fleeting but longstanding. We must account for it as we move forward.

Note

1. Halidé Edib, Memoirs of Halidé Edib (London: John Murray, 1926), 375.

 

Returning again to the Faculty Spotlight series, today we’ll read about Professor Sulmaan Khan, who is actually on sabbatical this semester.  When he rejoins us at Fletcher in the spring, he will teach The Historian’s Art and Current Affairs and Foreign Relations Of Modern China, 1644 to the Present.  He also teaches China’s Frontiers.

FRAGMENTS OF A FLETCHER LIFE 

Sulmaan KhanFall — one of those glorious New England fall days when you long to feel the wind in your face.  “We’re going outside today,” I announce to the class.  Nods of approval.  We settle down on the grass, the leaves red and gold around us, and talk of Chinese foreign relations.  Later, trying to write about it, I will forget what it was we discussed that particular day.  (It was too late in the semester for Koxinga, that crazy warrior whom Japan, Taiwan, and China all claim for their own; it was too early for Deng Xiaoping, with the pragmatism he brought to China and the carnage he unleashed at Tiananmen Square.  We could have been talking about the Taiping rebellion or we could have been talking about the Korean War — as I say, I cannot be sure).  But I will remember the red-tail.

A pair of red-tailed hawks has been nesting near Fletcher at least since I started here in 2013.  And as we talk, one of them comes soaring in upon the winds — a huge chocolate-brown and white hawk, the red tail like fire in the autumn sky — to land in the tree behind us.  I pause, mid-lecture, to point it out to the class.  For a large bird, the red-tail can be astonishingly adept at hiding; this one chooses to blend almost entirely into the branches.  I wait till everyone has seen it before carrying on.  It is important, of course, to know the details of China’s past.  But you cannot let magic pass you by, and there is something magical about red-tails.

*

As geniuses go, Bismarck is an astonishingly divisive figure.  (But then, so too is Henry Kissinger, who wrote more insightfully about Bismarck than any other historian).  I have been trying to explain Bismarck’s problem to my class on The Historian’s Art and Current Affairs: his diplomacy was too complex, too intricate for most people to understand.  There was shock, horror when his successors discovered the treaties he had made, the web of alliances and obligations virtually impenetrable to them.  Good as he was, I tell the class, he could not prepare the way for his successor.

“I don’t think he can be called good then.  That level of disorganization is unacceptable,” says one of my students.  A good leader, she explains, creates a system and grooms people who can work it.

“But is it is his fault?” I ask.  “Can you blame him if no one else was quite smart enough to understand how the treaties worked?”  This is the central argument about Bismarck, and the class — a confident, stimulating bunch — will be at it for the rest of the session.

“He could have color-coded them,” says another student decidedly.  She has, I have to acknowledge, a point there.

*

Ellen McDonald is our research librarian, and, as I invariably tell students working on their capstones, the smartest person at Fletcher.  She knows almost everything and what she doesn’t know, she knows how to find out.  She is also incredibly idealistic.  She believes deeply in the holy myths of academe, in its commitment to seeking truth, the freedoms it grants you for that quest.  She has spent time in jail for protesting defense policies she found abhorrent; she has been a foster mother to numerous children.  She is as formidable a combination of intellect and heart as one can encounter, and I always come away from conversations with her feeling inspired.

Today, Ellen is talking about elephants.

“Do you know that in the time we have been talking an elephant has been slain?” she asks.

I do know that.  In my heart of hearts, I still want to be a naturalist.

“I’ve created a research guide on illegal wildlife trafficking,” she says, punching it up.  It is an impressive piece of work.

“We have to save the elephant,” Ellen tells me.  “Are you in?”

How could I not be?

*

In spring, students’ minds turn to their futures.  For the second years, there is the job hunt.  For first years, the questions are, if not as pressing, perhaps more tortuous.  “What is the best way of using this summer to ensure I get a job next year?  Can I balance what I want to do with the responsible thing to do?  If I do something this summer and don’t like it, can I do something else next year, or has the chance been missed?”

A student has come to me with a gleam in her eye and a ramble planned: she wants to take the Trans-Siberian railway.  It is a glorious trip: she will meet people she would never have dreamt of, see Russia and China the way few people have.  For a student of international affairs, it will be a learning experience better than any internship.  I am proud that she is brave enough to reach for this.

“Take the train,” I say.  “You won’t regret it.”  I feel a surge of gratitude for my own teachers, for their wisdom in telling me to trust my instincts and take a trail even if I didn’t know where it would lead.  One has an entire lifetime to be grown-up and responsible; giddy adventure just might be good preparation for that lifetime.  At the very least, it will be fun.

She takes the train. She writes to me in Russian a few months later. She has had a grand time.

*

At graduation, one of the speakers talks about the problems the world faces: the poverty, the inequality, the death penalty and how it is still practiced in Boston.  She is passionate; she is logical; she is all one hopes a speaker would be.  “What did you think of it?” students ask later.  “We hear some people thought it might not be appropriate.”

“I loved it,” I say.  It is their day and they deserve all the congratulations coming their way — but it is wise to temper those congratulations with a reminder that there is work to be done.  “I don’t want you to get too comfortable,” I say.  “And I’m glad she didn’t let you.”

Red tail hawkI think about this as I walk back down towards the Davis Square T-stop.  I will not be back to the comforts of Fletcher next fall: a sabbatical has rolled around, and I will be off in Asia, doing research for a book on Sino-Japanese relations (at least, that’s how it starts out.  Books are living things; they become what they want to become, regardless of what you plan for them).  One needs a change to stay fresh, and I am glad for the chance to head to Japan, China, and Taiwan, to see new places and hear new things.  But I will miss Fletcher.  It is like nowhere else I know.

A shadow falls on the grass, and I look up.  Overhead, a red-tail is climbing in lazy spirals.  It circles once more as I watch, then veers off towards Fletcher and is gone.

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Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation is a field that has grown dramatically at Fletcher in recent years.  Professor Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church kindly offered this run-down on a conference she attended recently that served as a Fletcher reunion.

A highlight of my professional calendar is the American Evaluation Association (AEA) annual conference.  As the preeminent professional event for the global evaluation community, this 4000+ attendee conference shows the innovation, diversity, and scale of the profession.  In addition to the professional development opportunities, the event is a highlight because of the opportunity to reconnect with the Fletcher Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DME) community through the annual Fletcher lunch.  Learning what former students are doing, along with their challenges and accomplishments, is always a rewarding experience.

This year, an extraordinary 29 Fletcher alumni and students attended the AEA conference in Chicago.  A few fun facts:

  • Two alumni flew from Turkey where they work in humanitarian M&E.
  • One alumna was from my very first year of teaching at Fletcher (nine years ago).
  • Twenty-six attended the Fletcher lunch, of whom only one was male.  (He took the picture below!)
  • One alumna is the head of an AEA Topical Interest Group.
  • Approximately six alumni did presentations, and some did more than one.
  • Approximately five alumni work for funders.
  • Seven current students attended, of whom one was a first-year student.
  • One recent graduate returned to Rwanda to continue her role in development M&E.
  • At least nine nationalities were represented.

AEA Crew1

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With today’s post, I’m returning to our occasional Faculty Spotlight series.  These posts are designed to bring out an aspect of the professor’s background or experience at Fletcher that goes beyond the basics of a c.v.  Today we’ll hear from Lawrence Krohn, Professor of Practice of International Economics, who currently teaches Introduction to Economic Theory, Macroeconomics, and Macroeconomic Problems of Middle Income Countries: Focus on Latin America.

Larry KrohnI was smitten at 17.  Deeply in love.  The University of Pennsylvania’s economics faculty, however eminent, was not my inspiration; in four years, I hardly ever saw them.  It was the subject matter itself that seduced me.  Only much later, over the years, did I discover that this strange passion, this way of viewing the world, was shared by economists of wide-ranging personalities, nationalities, political persuasions.  I suspect that my colleagues in economics at Fletcher feel just as I do.

Many individuals of humanistic persuasion, knowing economics only by reputation (often as the “dismal science”), might well wonder what sort of person could be enthralled by money and finance.  Therein lies the error: economics is only superficially about money and finance.  Its ultimate domain is that of human wants and our world’s highly constrained ability to satisfy them.  Many emotions are thereby touched; economics is about people.

The so-called economics “imperialists” among us maintain that most issues that do not appear economic in nature are indeed so at their core. I don’t share this extreme position, as it implicitly depreciates other perspectives I respect, such as the political, social, and psychological.  But I do agree that few real-world phenomena are without important economic aspects, so the tools of economics remain indispensable to all thinking persons, not least those pursuing a curriculum of international affairs!

Economic modeling daunts some students – but without good reason.  Modeling is a tool of simplification, not complication.  It reduces often complex issues to their essentials by paring away the irrelevant, while retaining strict logical consistency.  Yes, at modeling’s highest professional levels, complex math is unavoidable.  But models a Fletcher student will encounter rely on basic accounting (high school algebra with some clothes on) and a few simple, but powerful, assumptions about the behavior of consumers, firms, and governments.  Thus, fear of models is unwarranted and the intellectual reward to a modicum of concentration on them is high.

I’ve been doubly fortunate: first, to have had two entirely complementary careers — the longer one, as international economist for several global banks, sandwiched by two stints (including the present one) in academia.  As a former academic, I was well equipped for the simplification required to explain complex economic phenomena to portfolio managers who, their energy and intelligence notwithstanding, were in no way trained economists.  Conversely, at Fletcher since 2005 (full-time since 2008), I have been able to draw amply on my real-world experience in global finance.

Second, I was lucky as well to have stumbled fortuitously onto Latin America in the 1980s, despite the lack of any ethnic or other association with the region.  What a laboratory for economists that continent has always been and remains!  Its problems, like those of other middle-income nations, have been related to, but still distinct from the more familiar ones of industrial nations.

With hindsight, it is relatively easy to identify policy errors that have been made; more difficult to define optimal policies.  Whenever I deal with economic policy — even in a developed-nation context — I start from the premise that governments almost always execute policy inefficiently (often corruptly as well).  Alas, given the myriad real-world departures (called market distortions or imperfections) from market fundamentalists’ Smithian ideal, unfettered market forces also prove notoriously inefficient, and are often, moreover, perceived as unfair (admittedly, a subjective notion).

So the question becomes for each contemplated policy, how much state intervention is desirable.  Where should the line be drawn between the completely planned economy and laissez-faire?  Honest and well informed observers can legitimately disagree on the answers, which is what makes economic debate so endlessly fascinating.

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Sometimes there’s a positive side to being a little slow to post.  Today I can tell you about a conference that took place on October 8th and 9th, but also provide some follow-up.

Professor Daniel Drezner has put together several “Ideas Industry” conferences in the past year or so, the most recent being the one this month.  Here’s the description:

As the 2016 presidential race heats up, foreign policy looks like it will play a prominent role in the campaign.  Even at this embryonic stage, the presidential candidates have weighed in on a myriad number of foreign affairs topics, including the nuclear deal with Iran, the war against the Islamic State, the proper U.S. approach towards immigration, and Sino-American relations.  The salience of foreign affairs has waxed and waned in post-Cold War presidential campaigns.  Based on the campaign rhetoric and polling to date, however, 2016 will be a year when it matters.

Saying that foreign affairs will be a campaign issue gives rise to some important questions, however.  How do candidates develop their foreign policy worldview?  What is the relationship between foreign policy expertise and the candidate and campaign staff?  Do campaign pledges on foreign affairs matter if a candidate wins?  And how does all of the campaign rhetoric on foreign policy look to the rest of the world?  We will tackle these questions with a conference of journalists, scholars, pollsters, policy practitioners, and international observers — part of a larger, multiyear, overarching project on the ideas industry in American foreign policy.

And here’s the schedule of topics and speakers:

Welcome and Introduction — Daniel W. Drezner, The Fletcher School

What does the public care about in 2016?
Liz Mair, Mair Strategies, chair
Richard Eichenberg, Tufts University
Dina Smeltz, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Lynn Vavreck, UCLA
Bruce Stokes, Pew Research Center

What role do foreign policy advisors play in campaign politics?
Susan Glasser, Politico, chair
Alex Wong, Office of Senator Tom Cotton
Marie Harf, U.S. Department of State
Rosa Brooks, Georgetown University
Kori Schake, Hoover Institution

The view from the 2016 campaigns
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post, chair
Laura Rosenberger, Hillary for America
Doug Stafford, Rand Paul for President
Brian Hook, Lattitude LLC
Mike Gallagher, Walker for America

The view from the rest of the world
Ian Johnstone, The Fletcher School, chair
Yehuda Yaakov, Israeli Consul General
Lana Zak, ABC News
Suzanne Maloney, Brookings Institution
Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post

Do campaign pledges even matter on foreign policy?
Jeffrey Taliaferro, Tufts University, chair
Jamelle Bouie, Slate
Elizabeth Saunders, George Washington University
Douglas Foyle, Wesleyan University
Gautam Mukunda, Harvard University

Want to catch up on the conference discussions?  First, you can read Professor Drezner’s Washington Post column reflecting on conference take-aways.  Second, you can review the Twitter chatter.  And, last, you can watch recordings of the panels, starting with Professor Drezner’s introduction.

 

I apologize for the blog silence this week.  And today I’m still going to let someone else do the talking for me.

Though there isn’t great change semester-to-semester in the Fletcher full-time faculty, we’re nonetheless fortunate to have new people and new ideas coming into the School each year.  Whether we’re bringing someone in to cover for a professor on leave or there’s a newly created position, we welcome several additions to the teaching community every semester.  Our academic dean, Steven Block, recently introduced the new faculty in an email to the School.  The professors are:

Paul Berkman, Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy.  Paul Berkman is an interdisciplinary scientist with formal training in oceanography and ecology.  He focuses on science-policy interactions in international governance, particularly with regard to the cooperative management of transboundary resources and international spaces that exist beyond national jurisdictions.  His principal activities currently involve the: (1) “North Pole as a pole of peace” with the High Seas in the central Arctic Ocean as an undisputed international space; (2) conceptual development and practical implementation of environmental security in the Arctic Ocean; and (3) science-policy lessons from the first 50 years of the Antarctic Treaty System.  Professor Berkman earned his Ph.D. at the University of Rhode Island.

John Cerone, Visiting Professor of International Law.  John Cerone is returning to Fletcher to teach International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law.  He has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court.  He has also been a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

James Fry, Visiting Professor of International Law.  James Fry will be teaching International Organizations.  He is visiting from the University of Hong Kong, where he is Associate Professor of Law and Director of the LLM Program.  Professor Fry has provided legal counsel and expertise to various international organizations throughout the world, including the International Committee for the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Meteorological Organization, and the World Trade Organization, and he has represented the New York City Bar Association in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.  His Ph.D. is from the University of Geneva.

Michele Malvesti, Professor of Practice.  A highly experienced practitioner of national security at the most senior levels of government, Professor Malvesti brings a wealth of expertise, including serving two presidential administrations at the White House.  From August 2002 to October 2007, she served in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, including as the Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy.  In this role, she advised the President and his National Security Advisor and Homeland Security Advisor on U.S. counterterrorism policy and strategy.  She subsequently returned to the White House in 2009 to co-chair the Presidential Study Review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counterterrorism on behalf of the Obama Administration.  She arrives in January, for a three-year appointment.  Professor Malvesti earned her Ph.D. at the Fletcher School.

Kingsley Moghalu, Visiting Professor.  Professor Moghalu, a Fletcher graduate, earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.  He joins us from his position as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he was in charge of the Operations Directorate.  He is also the author of three books, most recently Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter. This book provides the foundation for his seminar this fall.  Professor Moghalu is a member of the Board of Directors, the Monetary Policy Committee, and the Committee of Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in addition to numerous boards and commissions.

Kimberly Theidon, Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies.  Professor Theidon is a renowned medical anthropologist who joins us from Harvard University, following an interim year as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.  Her research interests include political violence, transitional justice, reconciliation, and the politics of post-war reparations.  Professor Theidon will be teaching Memory Politics: Truth, Justice and Redress; Engaging Human Security; and Issues in Global Health.  Her most recent book, Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru was awarded the 2013 Honorable Mention from the Washington Office on Latin America-Duke University Libraries Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, and the 2013 Honorable Mention for the Eileen Basker Prize  from the Society for Medical Anthropology for research  on gender and health.  Her Ph.D. is from University of California, Berkeley.

I join Dean Block in welcoming the new members of Fletcher’s faculty!

 

A quick photo follow-up on the post last last week that included the farewell to the community from Professor (now Ambassador) Basáñez.  He just sent me this photo with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto, which I’m happy to share.

Amb. Basanez

 

Chatted about behind the scenes — but unofficial until just recently — is the news that Fletcher professor Miguel E. Basáñez is Mexico’s new ambassador to the U.S.  Professor Basáñez wrote to the community last night to bid us a temporary farewell.  I asked his permission to share his message via the blog, which previously featured him in the Faculty Spotlight series, and he graciously agreed.  He wrote:

It is both with joy and sadness that I write to let you know that I have been officially approved as the next Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., which forces me to bring to an end a golden page in my life — seven wonderful years at Fletcher.

It will be a joy, an honor, and a privilege for me to serve my country as its Ambassador.  As you may know, Mexico is the country where the largest community of expatriate Americans live — over 1 million strong — for good reason.  Mexico remains a very safe country for foreign visitors.  Not to mention, we boast beautiful beaches (Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun), world-famous archaeological sites (Chichen Itzá, Teotihuacán, Palenque), and a wealth of charming colonial towns (Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Querétaro).  I hope that you will consider friendly and beautiful Mexico in your future travels.

As Ambassador, I will also be working to represent the large and diverse community of Mexicans who live in the United States.  Historically, economic conditions in Mexico have made it difficult for our country to retain its raw, uneducated — yet extremely talented — youth, who have worked hard and succeeded in the U.S., adding greatly to the economy.  These immigrants (who now number 35 million people) now produce economic output of $1.5 trillion, a number which if added to Mexico’s GDP, would raise Mexico from 14th to 7th in world GDP.  I look forward to working on their behalf to the best of my abilities.

Yet it is with sadness that I say goodbye to Fletcher, where I have deeply enjoyed my interactions with the faculty and staff, learning about their academic endeavors and life experiences.  Most of all, I have enjoyed teaching here at Fletcher, where I have found the brightest and most intellectually engaging students any professor could wish for.

At Fletcher, I was able to realize my life’s work as a mathematician of culture, based on public opinion polls from around 100 countries every five years since 1980.  My years of study and research on culture culminates in my book, A World of Three Cultures, which will be published in the late fall of this year by Oxford University Press.  I hope you will agree to allow me to host a book launch event at Fletcher at the end of the fall semester.  It would seem only appropriate to hold the event at the place that has been my academic home for the past seven years.

I would very much like to return to Fletcher when I end my service as Ambassador, so that I can share with students both my academic work on culture and my experiences as Ambassador.

I wish you all the best, and I hope to see you in Washington, DC.

Coincidentally, the nominee for the position of Ambassador to Mexico from the U.S. is a Fletcher graduate, Roberta Jacobson, F86.  Assuming she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, what a nice coincidence to have a swap of members of the Fletcher community for these two very important positions!

 

The pre-session students are here, but they’re too busy and/or new to be making news, which leaves me grasping for a topic for today’s post.  I’ve reached into my magic bag of possible blog topics and pulled out a few notes on staff and faculty.

First, from one of the monthly updates we receive, news of a staff member who is also a Fletcher graduate:

Mieke van der Wansem, F90, associate director of educational programs at the Fletcher School’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, was senior faculty at an intensive week-long executive education program, the International Programme on the Management of Sustainability. The course, held every June in the Netherlands in partnership with the Sustainability Challenge Foundation, is designed for mid-career professionals mostly from developing countries. The training focuses on the mutual gains approach to negotiation and consensus building for sustainable development conflicts. The goal of the trainings is for professionals from many different sectors to be better able to achieve sustainable development goals through effective stakeholder engagement and negotiation.

Mieke conducts several training sessions each year, and was in South Africa earlier in the spring for a similar program.  The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy has a particularly active research and practice agenda.

Next, a Tufts Now story about the (relatively) new director of the The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Dr. Nadim Shehadi.  In the article, he notes that The Fares Center is important “because profound misunderstanding of the complexities of the Middle East is prolonging suffering and violence. The center could help frame discussion about the region, taking advantage of the Fletcher School’s international reputation and its alumni, who are influential in every corner of the globe.”

In faculty news, last spring, a student pointed out that Professor Elizabeth Prodromou, F83, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (Helsinki Commission), “speaking on genocide denial, ‘memoricide’ and the industry of denialism.  The Congressman who spoke after her mentioned that he’s never heard the subject explained so well.”

And, finally, Professor Jeswald Salacuse sent us a link to a long video interview with a Hawaii television program that he did on his most recent book, Negotiating Life.  The interview is interesting, and Fletcher is one of the stars.  It originally ran some time back, but I’m making up for having never included it on the blog.

 

At Fletcher, we refer to International Security Studies in two ways.  First, as the Field of Study that is among the most commonly pursued by students.  Second, for the International Security Studies Program, which offers extremely robust programming throughout the year.  Despite the important place that Security Studies (in both its meanings) occupies at Fletcher, I have not always done my part in spreading the word.  Making up for that lapse is going to be a focus of my blog work for 2015-16, and there’s no time like the present to start.  To do so, I reached out to my old friends, Prof. Shultz and Prof. Pfaltzgraff to ask for information.  It happened they had just completed a report for one of the organizations that funds their work (and that of many master’s-level and PhD students).  Today, I’m going to share excerpts of that report.  This is a long post, but the extra length is needed to capture the broad scope of ISSP activites.

International Security Studies at The Fletcher School

With the beginning of 2015-16, the International Security Studies Program (ISSP) will enter its 45th year at The Fletcher School, and International Security Studies remains at the cutting edge of The Fletcher School’s multidisciplinary curriculum.  Through its many graduates and other efforts, ISSP has a major impact in shaping strategic thought and analysis in and beyond the political-military affairs community.  Many ISSP graduates have gone on to important positions of responsibility in the United States and abroad, including General Joseph Dunford, incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and currently Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Course Offerings & Curriculum Development

ISSP offers a range of courses that examine conflict and war; strategy and statecraft; crisis management; regional security; intelligence; homeland security; proliferation; national security decision making; and terrorism.  Our courses are theoretical and policy-oriented, as well as historical and contemporary, and reflect and anticipate a rapidly changing security environment, while providing instruction on the basic and timeless issues of strategy, statecraft, conflict, and war.  During the 2014-2015 academic year, seventeen courses were offered in International Security Studies or closely related areas including: The Role of Force in International Politics, International Humanitarian Law; Internal Conflicts and War; Proliferation-Counterproliferation and Homeland Security Issues; The Evolution of Grand Strategy; Foundations of International Cybersecurity; The Strategic Dimensions of China’s Rise; Modern Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Peace Operations; Foreign Relations and National Security Law.  In support of our curriculum, ISSP sponsors a high-level guest lecture series, an annual conference, a colloquium series, a crisis simulation exercise, and occasional field trips.

ISSP Student Research Supervision

During the 2014-2015 academic year the Security Studies faculty supervised a large number of student research papers, including seven MA theses and 15 MALD Capstone Projects.  Currently 18 students are working on PhD dissertations under supervision of Security Studies faculty.  Between 1971 and 2015 a total of 201 dissertations in the ISSP were completed and the PhD awarded.  International Security Studies remains among the most popular fields as well as the largest Field of Study at Fletcher.

Military Fellows

During the 2014-2015 academic year nine mid-level officers were assigned to the ISSP in lieu of spending a year at one of the various service War Colleges.  This year’s group included two Air Force, one Navy, four Army, and one National Guard officer, and one senior official from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  The mid-career military fellows, who pursue special research projects at Fletcher, bring an unusual set of experiences, expertise, and knowledge that adds greatly to our curriculum.

“Outside the Classroom” Educational Programs

Beyond its course offerings, the ISSP sponsors various “outside-the-classroom” activities designed to enrich the education of our students by addressing the emerging issues of 21st century international security.

IFPA-Fletcher Conference Series

Central to our programmatic activities are high-level conferences.  These conferences help to publicize the Security Studies field in the broader national security/foreign policy communities.  This year the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) and ISSP joined together to organize and facilitate “Symposium on New Dynamics in Japanese Security Policy,” a one-day symposium at Fletcher to promote an informed exchange of views on the new dynamics of Japan’s security policy and their implications for U.S.-Japanese strategic cooperation going forward.

The symposium provided a unique opportunity for a select group of Japanese and American policy experts, academics, business leaders, and officials to review and explain in some depth key aspects of the Abe administration’s defense and foreign policy reforms aimed at facilitating Japan’s emergence as a “proactive contributor to peace” at both the regional and global levels.  The Honorable Hideshi Tokuchi, F86, Vice Minister for International Affairs at Japan’s Ministry of Defense, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon.

Crisis Simulation Exercise (SIMULEX)

Simulex1Each year, as part of the seminar on Crisis Management and Complex Emergencies, ISSP includes a weekend crisis simulation exercise.  The 40th anniversary of SIMULEX event was held on November 7-8, 2014 and had more than 160 participants from The Fletcher School and the outside community.  The scenario was entitled “Baltic Crisis and a Chaotic Middle East.”

Speakers Program

Lectures by outside experts on topics related to international security remain an important dimension of ISSP.  These presentations, usually in a luncheon/lecture setting, take place throughout the academic year.  Our objective is to draw speakers from a broad cross-section of the professional civilian and military communities, and to design the lecture format in such a way as to give our students maximum opportunity to meet with such experts.  Among the speakers sponsored by the ISSP during the 2014-2015 academic year were:

Fall Semester:
Major General Yaakov Amidror, former Israeli National Security Advisor: Israel’s Security Challenge.
Dr. Daniel Fine, Research Associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT: Geopolitics of Russian Oil and Gas: Limits of Sanctions and Counter-Sanctions.
Sigrid Kaag, former Special Coordinator of the joint Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and United Nations mission to eliminate the chemical weapons program of the Syrian Arab Republic: Effective Multilateralism, The Experience of Chemical Weapons Elimination in Syria.
VADM Frank C. Pandolfe, Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), Joint Staff: Global Trends and International Security.
A
DM Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations: The Future of Naval Operations.
Dr. David McKean, Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State: Foreign Policy Challenges in a Changing World.
Dr. Alexander Mirtchev, president of Krull Corp., USA: Rebalancing the Global Security Disequilibrium: Dealing with the Challenges to the Post-Cold War Order in the Universally-Securitized World.
Dr. Hassan Abbas, F02, F08, professor and chair of the Department of Regional and Analytical Studies at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs: Taliban and ISIS: A Comparative Analysis and Future Prospects.
Rebecca Ulam Weiner, Director of Intelligence Analysis for the NYPD Intelligence Bureau: Al Qa’eda and ISIS Messaging to the West.

Spring Semester:
Slobodan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic, Chairman and Executive Director respectively of CANVAS (the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies): Strategic Nonviolent Resistance in the 21st Century: Lessons Learned from the Arab Spring, Ukraine, and Hong Kong.
General Joseph Votel, Commanding General of the U.S. Special Operations Command: USSOCOM and the Challenges Associated with Russian Aggression.
General Knud Bartels, current Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: Security Challenges facing NATO.
General Frank Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau: The Modern Day Minuteman — The National Guard in the 21st Century.
Major General and Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, former Director of Defence R&D in the Israeli Ministry of Defence, and currently professor at the University of Tel-Aviv and Deputy Director of the Hartog School of Government and Policy: The Israeli Cyber Ecosystem: Combining Industry, Government, and Academia.
Lt. General John Nicholson, Commander of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), NATO: An overview of NATO’s Land Command, its mission and priorities, and Russia’s Impact on NATO.
NATO Parliamentarians Conference, featuring:

Dr. Robert Legvold, Visiting Professor, The Fletcher School, and Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Columbia University: Perspectives on U.S.Russian Relations.
Dr. Kostas A. Lavdas is Professor of Hellenic and European Studies, The Fletcher School, and Professor of European Politics and Director of the Centre for Political Research and Documentation (KEPET) at the University of Crete: A Transatlantic Relationship for the 21st Century: Advancing Collective Security through Complementarity and Effective Burden Sharing.
Dr. Sung-yoon Lee, F94, F98, is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies, and Assistant Professor, The Fletcher School: Five Myths about North Korea.

Fellowships to ISSP Students

With support from several external foundations and fellowships, during the 2014-2015 academic year, ISSP granted tuition assistance and research support to a total of 39 master’s-level and PhD students, along with support for two student-organized academic activities.

Planned Activities (as of June 2015)

On November 13-14, 2015, ISSP will hold our annual weekend simulation, Simulex 2015.

In 2015-2016, ISSP will host one Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, one Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, one Army Lieutenant Colonel, and one Army Colonel as senior research fellows, in lieu of their studies at the Army War College, along with one Navy Federal Executive Fellow.

Faculty

Prof. Shultz and Dean StavridisThe core ISSP faculty is comprised of three professors: Richard Shultz, Director of the ISSP and Professor of International Politics; Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies; and Antonia Chayes, Professor of Practice in International Politics and Law.  In addition, ISSP faculty includes two adjunct professors: Toshi Yoshihara, F04, John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies and professor of strategy in the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College; and James Forest, Director and Professor of Security Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell.

ISSP has also added to its core faculty a new Professor of Practice, Michelle Malvesti, F00. Professor Malvesti worked for several years in the U.S. Intelligence Community as a Middle East terrorism analyst at the Joint Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency.  More recently her government service included Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy for the Directorate for Combating Terrorism in the National Security Council, where she advised President Bush and his administration on US counterterrorism policy and strategy.  During the Obama Administration she co-chaired the Presidential study review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counter terrorism.

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