Publications

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Publications

Browse FSI scholarship on geopolitics, global health, energy, cybersecurity and more.

Featured Publications

image of a bowl of cartoon frogs with the word Gab on the front

Gabufacturing Dissent: An In-depth Analysis of Gab

Gab was founded in 2016 as an uncensored alternative to mainstream social media platforms. Stanford Internet Observatory’s latest report looks at behaviors and dynamics across the platform.
Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama

Liberalism and Its Discontents

It's no secret that liberalism hasn't always lived up to its own ideals. But in this short, clear account, Francis Fukuyama offers an essential defense of a revitalized liberalism for the twenty-first century.
Everything Counts: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

A new report led by Rose Gottemoeller on non-strategic nuclear warhead policies in Europe, particulary in light of Russia's changing status in the global nuclear community.

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Abbas Milani
Journal Articles

Iran’s 2017 Election: The Opposition Inches Forward

Abbas Milani
2017 October 17, 2017

Abbas Milani argues how the 19 May 2017 presidential election offers a window into the painful predicament of a democracy-minded society

—demographically young, globally inclined, and social-media savvy—subordinated to an authoritarian polity. Read the article here.

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Commentary

Hecker & Milani: Stop killing Iranian nuclear scientists

Siegfried S. Hecker, Abbas Milani
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2015 January 7, 2015

CISAC's Siegfried Hecker and Abbas Milani note in this article for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that for merely working in their field of expertise, Iranian nuclear scientists face perils and pressures that are nothing less than Shakespearean. The question for them is, in a very real sense, "To be or not to be." In the course of the last four decades, these scientists have faced intimidation and severe punishment, including prison terms, at the hands of their own government. In recent years, at least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been the target of assassination attempts often attributed to Israeli intelligence. Regardless of their source, all such threats against scientists are morally indefensible. They offend the scientific spirit, working against the free exchange of ideas that is necessary for humanity to advance. The authors assert, these threats against scientists in Iran undermine global peace, targeting experts whose international collaboration is required to deal effectively with the nuclear risks facing the world today. Simply put, killing nuclear scientists makes reducing the threat of nuclear war harder, not easier.

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Journal Articles

For the People

Siegfried Hecker, Abbas Milani
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2014 January 21, 2014

CISAC's Siegfried Hecker and Abbas Milani, founding co-director of the Iran Democracy Project here at Stanford, write in this Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists analysis that Iran must move beyond false nationalism and the misguided notion that uranium enrichment is the sine qua non of peaceful nuclear energy. At the same time, Iran’s negotiating partners must be more sensitive to the proud history of the Iranian nation.

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Books

Transitions to Democracy: A Comparative Perspective

Kathryn Stoner, Michael A. McFaul, Beatriz Magaloni, Abbas Milani, Gregory Domber, Ray Jennings
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013 March 12, 2013

As demonstrated by current events in Tunisia and Egypt, oppressive regimes are rarely immune to their citizens’ desire for democratic government. Of course, desire is always tempered by reality; therefore how democratic demands are made manifest is a critical source of study for both political scientists and foreign policy makers. What issues and consequences surround the fall of a government, what type of regime replaces it, and to what extent are these efforts successful?

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Working Papers

Transition to Democracy in Iran: Observations on International Influences on Democratization in Iran

Abbas Milani
CDDRL Working Papers, 2009 March 1, 2009

The forces that attempted to create democracy in Iran a hundred years ago are have only grown and become more experienced in the language and logic of democracy. The hitherto unrealized dream of democracy lives on. The abducted revolution of 1979 has only delayed the quest for democracy, but not destroyed it. International forces, acting with prudence and patience can be a crucial ally of Iranian democrats in what has so far seemed like a Sisyphean struggle. 

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Commentary

The Right Way to Engage Iran

Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani
The Washington Post, 2007 December 29, 2007
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Journal Articles

Third Way, A: normalizing relations will help both sides

Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani
Boston Review, 2007 May 1, 2007

Recent developments in Iran have convinced advocates of both softer arms-control approaches and more hard-line regime-change strategies that their analyses are correct and their policy prescriptions are working. The arms-controllers see a Tehran more willing to negotiate; the regime-changers see increasing repression. Though evidence for both claims can be marshaled, neither offers balanced insight into Iranian behavior or a sensible strategy for breaking the decades-long impasse in U.S.-Iranian relations.

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Journal Articles

Iran's weakened hard-liners crave a US attack

Michael A. McFaul, Abbas Milani, Larry Diamond
Christian Science Monitor, 2007 February 6, 2007

Bombing Iran will exacerbate, not resolve problems, Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani demonstrate in a new landmark article. "Rather than throw the reactionaries in Tehran a political lifeline in the form of war, the United States should pursue a more subtle approach: contain Iranian agents in the region, but offer to negotiate unconditionally with Iran on all the outstanding issues.

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Journal Articles

A Win-Win U.S. Strategy for Dealing with Iran

Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond, Abbas Milani
The Washington Quarterly, 2006 December 1, 2006

In an article written for the current issue of the Washington Quarterly by Larry Diamond, Michael McFaull and Abbas Milani, suggests that the U.S.

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Journal Articles

How Iran Can Yet Be Tamed

Michael A. McFaul, Abbas Milani
Hoover Digest, 2006 December 1, 2006

Behind the scenes in Tehran, a fierce power struggle is now taking place. The West can exploit it.

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Journal Articles

Beyond Incrementalism: A New U.S. Strategy for Dealing with Iran

Michael A. McFaul, Abbas Milani, Larry Diamond
Hoover Institution Press, 2005 May 1, 2005

In the coming years, few if any countries will more preoccupy the foreign policy attention of the United States than Iran. The United States has long lacked a viable and coherent policy toward Iran. Perhaps for the first time since the fall of the Shah's regime in 1979, the United States seems determined to try to forge one. The United States must move swiftly to chart a bold, new course that addresses all three of America's principal national interests with Iran. Our policy should seek to halt the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb, to end the regime's support of

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