Security

Members of NATO sit around table in conference

Security

FSI's scholars tackle a range of issues, from longstanding concerns like nuclear nonproliferation and military defense to new challenges such as cybersecurity, biosecurity and emerging regional conflicts.

Research Spotlight

Overlapping atoms combine in the shape of a flower

Particulate Plutonium Released from the Fukushima Daiichi Meltdowns

A new study reveals particles that were released from nuclear plants damaged in the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami contained small amounts of radioactive plutonium.
Potemkin Papers

Potemkin Pages & Personas: Assessing GRU Online Operations, 2014-2019

Upon request by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), researchers reviewed a data set of social media posts that Facebook provided to SSCI.
A woman in Mexico grieves

Living in Fear: The Dynamics of Extortion in Mexico’s Drug War

Using new survey data from Mexico, including list experiments to elicit responses about potentially illegal behavior, this article measures the prevalence of extortion and assistance among drug trafficking organizations.

Featured Scholars

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Megan Palmer

CISAC Affiliated Researcher
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Megan Palmer

CISAC Affiliated Researcher
Executive Director, Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives, Department of Bioengineering
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Scott Sagan

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Scott Sagan

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science
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Alex Stamos

Director, Stanford Internet Observatory
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Alex Stamos

Director, Stanford Internet Observatory
Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution
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Amy Zegart

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Amy Zegart

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution

Upcoming Events

See all upcoming events related to our research on international security.

Publications

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Journal Articles

Almost Parity: Understanding the India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Arzan Tarapore
2021
A chapter in the edited volume 'Routledge Handbook on South Asian Foreign Policy'
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Journal Articles

Indian Ocean Strategic Futures

Arzan Tarapore, David Brewster
Asia Policy , 2021
Re-examining assumptions of capability and intent
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White Papers

My Heart Loves the Army: An Investigation into a Jordanian Disinformation Campaign on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter (TAKEDOWN)

Shelby Grossman, Elena Cryst, Renee DiResta, Carly Miller, K.H., Rajeev Sharma, Chase Small, Julia Thompson
2021
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Working Papers

The Virus and the Vote: Administering the 2020 Election in a Pandemic

Nathaniel Persily, Charles Stewart III, Chelsey Davidson, Zahavah Levine
2021
A Compendium of Research from the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project
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Policy Briefs

Mitigating the Risk of a China–India Conflict

Arzan Tarapore
Australian Strategic Policy Institute , 2021
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Commentary

How to Protect Critical Infrastructure Fom Ransomware Attacks

Gregory Falco, Sejal Jhawer
2021
Op-ed in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, by Gregory Falco and Sejal Jhawer
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Journal Articles

Amplification and Its Discontents

Daphne Keller
2021
Essay published by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University
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Books

Blood and Diamonds

Steven Press
2021
Germany’s Imperial Ambitions in Africa
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Journal Articles

Lancet Series on Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings

Paul H. Wise, Eran Bendavid, Stephen J. Stedman
2021

A new four-paper series in The Lancet exposes the far-reaching effects of modern warfare on women’s and children’s health.

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Books

Negotiating the New START Treaty

Rose Gottemoeller
2021
Rose Gottemoeller, the US chief negotiator of the New START treaty—and the first woman to lead a major nuclear arms negotiation—delivers in this book an invaluable insider’s account of the negotiations between the US and Russian delegations in Geneva in 2009 and 2010.
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Journal Articles

Building Strategic Leverage in the Indian Ocean Region

Arzan Tarapore
The Washington Quarterly , 2020
The United States and its likeminded partners, particularly India — if four constraints are more realistically accounted for — and other members of the Quad, can more effectively mitigate the risks of Chinese military expansion by building “strategic leverage” along these four lines of effort in the Indian Ocean region.
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Journal Articles

Democratic Source Code for a New U.S.-EU Tech Alliance

Marietje Schaake, Tyson Barker
2020
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White Papers

Election 2020: Antitrust and Privacy in the Age of Big Tech

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

ANTITRUST AND PRIVACY CONCERNS are two of the most high-profile topics on the tech policy agenda. Checks and balances to counteract the power of companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are under consideration in Congress, though a polarized political environment is a hindrance. But a domestic approach to tech policy will be insufficient, as the users of the large American tech companies are predominantly outside the United States.

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Policy Briefs

Preparing for the Age of Deepfakes and Disinformation

Dan Boneh, Andrew Grotto, Patrick McDaniel , Nicolas Papernot
2020

POPULAR CULTURE HAS ENVISIONED SOCIETIES of intelligent machines for generations, with Alan Turing notably foreseeing the need for a test to distinguish machines from humans in 1950. Now, advances in artificial intelligence that promise to make creating convincing fake multimedia content like video, images, or audio relatively easy for many. Unfortunately, this will include sophisticated bots with supercharged self-improvement abilities that are capable of generating more dynamic fakes than anything seen before.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Foreign Interference and Domestic Manipulations Aimed at Voters and Electoral Outcomes

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

IN 2016 WE LEARNED ABOUT EFFORTS BY FOREIGN ACTORS to interfere in the U.S. election by injecting misinformation and disinformation into public discourse on social media. False events and personas added to the polarization and manipulation of voters.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Political Advertising and Social Media

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

VOTERS ARE BEING INUNDATED WITH POLITICAL ADVERTISING on social media and online platforms during the 2020 election season. Campaigns, PACs and third parties have added new tools and tactics for gathering data on voters and targeting them with advertising, and now they can pinpoint niches of potential voters on social media in ways unknown in prior election cycles.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Content Moderation and Accountability

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

AS WE APPROACH THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES, content moderation on social media platforms is taking center stage. From speech issues on Facebook and Twitter to YouTube videos and TikTok brigands, the current election season is being reshaped by curation concerns about what’s allowed online, what’s not, upranking and downranking, and who’s deciding.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Social Media and Political Polarization

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE EMERGENCE OF A DIGITAL SPHERE where public debate takes place raises profound questions about the connection between online information and polarization, echo chambers, and filter bubbles. Does the information ecosystem created by social media companies support the conditions necessary for a healthy democracy? Is it different from other media? These are particularly urgent questions as the United States approaches a contentious 2020 election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Technology’s Role in Administering Democratic Elections

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES will take place on November 3 in the midst of a global pandemic, economic downturn, social unrest, political polarization, and a sudden shift in the balance of power in the U.S Supreme Court. On top of these issues, the technological layer impacting the public debate, as well as the electoral process itself, may well determine the election outcome.

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Commentary

Al Qaeda’s Leader Is Old, Bumbling—and a Terrorist Mastermind

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir, Colin P. Clarke
Foreign Policy , 2020

Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden. In part that’s because the United States hasn’t cared enough to focus attention on him. Aside from massive financial overtures for intelligence on his whereabouts—there’s currently a $25 million bounty offered for his head, higher than the reward for any other terrorist in the world—the U.S. government has been relatively blasé about al Qaeda since Zawahiri took over in 2011.

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Journal Articles

Al Qaeda’s Franchise Reboot

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir, Colin P. Clarke
Foreign Affairs , 2020

Nineteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does al Qaeda still pose a significant threat to U.S. national security? Among researchers, military and intelligence officials, and policymakers who study the group, there is little consensus. But very few experts on Salafi-jihadi movements would dismiss the group outright. So when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confidently declared in a March interview on Fox & Friends that “al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self,” we were startled and concerned.

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Books

The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century

Donald K. Emmerson
2020

Southeast Asia is arguably the most diverse region in the world. Accordingly, rather than addressing the exact same question, the contributors to this volume have — as experts on Southeast Asia-China relations — explored the matters they see as most important and most deserving of exploration and exposure. After the editor’s introduction, the chapters proceed in pairs. Each pair and a closing chapter cover a distinctive theme in Southeast Asia’s interactions with China.

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Journal Articles

The Legal Authority for States’ Stay-at-Home Orders

Mark A. Hall, Michelle Mello, David Studdert
New England Journal of Medicine , 2020

In March 2020, when many U.S. states and localities issued their first emergency orders to address Covid-19, there was widespread acceptance of the government’s legal authority to respond quickly and aggressively to this unprecedented crisis. Today, that acceptance is fraying. As initial orders expire and states move to extend or modify them, legal challenges have sprouted. The next phase of the pandemic response will see restrictions dialed up and down as threat levels change.  As public and political resistance grows, further legal challenges are inevitable.

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