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

Global Missile Defense Cooperation and China

Riqiang Wu
Asian Perspective , 2011
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Policy Briefs

Demographic Change in East Asia: Economic, Social, and Security Implications

Shorenstein APARC , 2011

Japan leads, chased closely by South Korea, with China, on a vastly larger scale, not far behind. Not as mercantilist development states nor as threats to America’s high-tech industry, but rather as the world’s most rapidly aging societies.

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Dissertations

Climate Change and Conflict: Identifying the mechanisms

Kaitlin Shilling
2011

Climate change will lead to massive conflicts, according to claims of such prominent sources as Sir Nicholas Stern and the US National Security Agency - claims repeated by the media. Efforts to tease a specific climate change signal from historical records of civil conflict have proved inconclusive, however: they postulate that farmers will become fighters when resources become critically scarce; but they have been unable to illuminate what specific mechanisms may be involved.

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Books

Nuclear non-proliferation

Siegfried S. Hecker, Matthias Englert, Michael C. Miller
Cambridge University Press, Chapter 14 , 2011

Textbook Synopsis From Cambridge University Press online:

How will we meet rising energy demands? What are our options? Are there viable long-term solutions for the future? Learn the fundamental physical, chemical and materials science at the heart of: 


• Renewable/non-renewable energy sources 
• Future transportation systems 
• Energy efficiency 
• Energy storage 

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Books

Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution

Pamela Matson, Walter P. Falcon, Ashley Dean, Rosamond L. Naylor, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Peter Jewett, Ellen McCullough, Michael Beman, Amy Luers, David Lobell, Toby Ahrens, John Harrison, Gerrit Schoups, Lee Addams, David S. Battisti, Jose Luis Minjares
Island Press , 2011

Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.

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Journal Articles

Smallholder irrigation as a poverty alleviation tool in sub-Saharan Africa

Jennifer Burney, Rosamond Naylor
World Development , 2011

Promotion of smallholder irrigation is cited as a strategy for enhancing income generation and food security for sub-Saharan Africa’s poor farmers, but what makes this technology a successful poverty alleviation tool? In the short run, the technology should pave the way for increased consumption, asset accumulation, and reduced persistent poverty among users. Over the longer run, it should lead to institutional feedbacks that support sustained economic development and nutritional improvements.

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Commentary

President Obama’s Asia Overdrive

Nina L. Hachigian
The Center for American Progress , 2011

When Asia’s leaders gather in Honolulu next week for the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Americans will get a glimpse of the Obama administration’s hyperactive Asia agenda. While America has always been a Pacific nation, the Obama administration is now beginning to match the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region with America’s own brand of energy and leadership.

Before President Barack Obama alights on the tarmac in Honolulu, he will have prepared the way to lead anew in Asia. Among a number of significant “firsts” for our nation in the region are:

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Commentary

Technology Can Nudge Climate Change Politics

Charles Perrow
Bloomberg News , 2011

Reducing carbon-dioxide emissions is primarily a political problem, rather than a technological one. This fact was well illustrated by the fate of the 2009 climate bill that barely passed the U.S. House of Representatives and never came up for a vote in the Senate. The House bill was already quite weak, containing many exceptions for agriculture and other industries, subsidies for nuclear power and increasingly long deadlines for action. In the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats from coal-dependent states sealed its fate.

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Books

African Agricultural Productivity Growth and R&D in a Global Setting

Philip G. Pardey
Center on Food Security and the Environment , 2011

This paper was prepared for Stanford University’s Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, hosted by the Center on Food Security and the Environment, and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Commentary

What's Next for Medvedev?

Matthew Rojansky
The National Interest , 2011

Russia will soon have another liberal ex-president. Twenty years ago this December, Mikhail Gorbachev stood in the Kremlin as the Soviet flag was lowered and replaced with the Russian tricolor. He sat down in the back seat of his limousine and was driven out the Borovitskaya gate, no longer president of the Soviet Union but instead a private citizen of the newly independent Russian Federation.

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Journal Articles

Deterring Strategic Cyberattack

David Elliott
IEEE Security & Privacy , 2011
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Journal Articles

The Global Costs of American Ethanol

Rosamond Naylor, Walter Falcon
The American Interest , 2011

World leaders are focused on agricultural supply data, insurance schemes and speculation as they try to quell volatility in global food markets. They should also turn their attention to perhaps the leading cause of price instability: U.S. ethanol policy.

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Commentary

The false promise of the nation-state

Tarak Barkawi
Al-Jazeera (English) , 2011

Emerging nation-states like Libya and Palestine are constrained by local elites integration in socio-economic networks.

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Attention is fixed on Mahmoud Abbas' application for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and on the capture of state power by Libyan rebels. Have we forgotten to ask whether and under what conditions the nation-state is a viable political vehicle for justice and liberation?

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Working Papers

Assessment Paper on Non‐Proliferation

Benoît Pelopidas
Geneva Centre for Security Policy , 2011

This paper, written for a September 2011 seminar hosted by the Geneva Center for Security Policy,  analyzes developments since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Action Plan was adopted by concensus at the 2010 NPT Review conference. The seminar included participants from the Permanent Missions to the Conference on Disarmament, academia, and non-governmental organizations. 

An excerpt from the text, pg. 1:

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Commentary

No Need to Reset the Reset

Matthew Rojansky
The New York Times , 2011

Russia watchers in the West cannot be surprised that Vladimir Putin is on his way back to the Russian presidency. Dmitri Medvedev was always his protégé, and there was no doubt that major decisions could not be made without his approval. This includes signing the New START arms control treaty, cooperating with NATO in Afghanistan and supporting U.N. sanctions on Iran — all of which should provide reassurance that Putin’s return won’t undo the most important accomplishments of the U.S.-Russia “reset.”

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Commentary

Al Qaeda is Down, Not Out

Amy Zegart
Los Angeles Times , 2011
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Commentary

9/11 and the makers of history

Tarak Barkawi
Al Jazeera (English) , 2011

After 9/11, the administration of US President George W Bush initiated the era of the global war on terror. For many, this was a misguided response to terror attacks. But before the decade was over, US forces invaded two countries and are now fighting shadow wars in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, while an air war continues in Libya. Pentagon commands cover the entire planet, and US military assistance programmes are active in almost every country.

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Books

Leaders and International Conflict

Hein Goemans, Giacomo Chiozza
Cambridge University Press , 2011

An Editorial Review of Leaders and International Conflict from Amazon.com:

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Books

American Interests in South Asia: Building a Grand Strategy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

Anja Manuel, Anja Manuel
2011
American Interests in South Asia is the latest in a series of policy books stemming from the Aspen Strategy Group's annual summer workshop. This book provides an intensive exploration of the interconnected national security challenges posed by the events in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
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