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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Commentary

Wer hilft den Opfern?

Daniel Schatz
Die Welt , 2011

Der diesjährige "Freedom in the World"-Bericht des Forschungsinstituts "Freedom House" weist bereits zum fünften Jahr in Folge auf einen alarmierenden Rückgang von Freiheit, Demokratie und Achtung der Menschenrechte weltweit hin. Während die Menschenrechte in den Diktaturen in Nordkorea, im Iran, in Syrien, Libyen und China mit Füßen getreten werden, dominieren den außenpolitischen Diskurs in Europa vor allem zwei Themen: die israelische Blockade des Gazastreifens und der von den USA geführte Krieg gegen Terror.

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Books

Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security

Thomas Fingar
Stanford University Press , 2011

Description from Stanford University Press:

The US government spends billions of dollars every year to reduce uncertainty: to monitor and forecast everything from the weather to the spread of disease. In other words, we spend a lot of money to anticipate problems, identify opportunities, and avoid mistakes. A substantial portion of what we spend—over $50 billion a year—goes to the U.S. intelligence community.

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Commentary

When will European groups send flotillas to help people of North Korea and Syria?

Daniel Schatz
Ynetnews.com , 2011

Freedom House’s Freedom in the World survey showcases an alarming decline in freedom, democracy and respect for human rights around the world for a fifth consecutive year. Only 60% of the world’s 194 countries and 14 territories can be defined as democracies with respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.

While universal human rights are trampled upon in dictatorships as North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya and China, the European foreign policy debate is dominated by Israel’s blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza and the US-led war against international terrorism.

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Journal Articles

Restitution for Reconciliation: The US, Japan, and the Unpaid Assets of Asian Forced Mobilization Victims

Matthew Augustine
The Journal of Northeast Asian History , 2011

More than six decades after the end of World War II, the Japanese government has yet to return an estimated ¥278 million worth of unpaid financial assets owed to Asian victims of forced mobilization for the war effort. During the Allied Occupation of Japan, American authorities directed Japanese officials to deposit these assets in the Bank of Japan for eventual restitution, setting up a custody account in 1946 and a foreign creditor’s account in 1949. However, the outbreak of the Korean War destroyed any chance of restitution, as the U.S.

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Commentary

The Biggest Threat to Western Values

Tarak Barkawi
Al-Jazeera (English) , 2011

Multiculturalism does not pose a significant danger to Western values - but neoliberalism does.

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The paranoid style in politics often imagines unlikely alliances that coalesce into an overwhelming threat that must be countered by all necessary means.

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Commentary

Nuclear Zero? Why Not Nuclear Infinity?

Matthew Kroenig
The Wall Street Journal , 2011

Source: Wall Street Journal

The world would not be safer if the U.S. had no nuclear weapons.

The international Global Zero movement has captured the imagination of people around the world. Proponents argue that by cutting its nuclear arsenal dramatically, the U.S. can lead the way to a "world free of nuclear weapons."

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Journal Articles

Adventures in scientific nuclear diplomacy

Siegfried S. Hecker
Physics Today , 2011

Siegfried Hecker offers a first-person perspective on the important contributions scientists can make toward improving the safety and security of nuclear materials and reducing the global nuclear dangers in an evolving world.

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Journal Articles

The New Asianism: Japanese Foreign Policy under the Democratic Party of Japan

Daniel C. Sneider
Asia Policy , 2011

This article examines the foreign policy views of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), from the party’s founding through its first year in power.

Main Argument

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Commentary

While world seeks to defeat terror, Stockholm welcomes notorious terrorist into country

Daniel Schatz, Abraham Cooper
Ynetnews.com , 2011

The number one topic around the globe has been the world after Bin Laden and the appropriate ways for democracies to dispose of terrorists. From Washington, to Brussels, to Tel Aviv and Islamabad, pundits and average citizens have weighed in on the debate.

Sweden’s contribution to the question of how to deal with terrorism was to provide a welcome mat - in the form of a taxpayer-funded lecture tour - for the notorious Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) airplane hijacker, Leila Khaled.

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Journal Articles

“Spytainment”: The Real Influence of Fake Spies

Amy Zegart
International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence , 2011

An excerpt from "Spytainment: The Real Influence of Fake Spies" (pp. 599-600):

For avid fans of the now-departed television show 24, a visit to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters will be disappointing. The visitors’ center looks nothing like the ultra high-tech rooms of CTU, Jack Bauer’s fictitious counterterrorist agency.

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Working Papers

Game Changers for Nuclear Energy

Katherine D. Marvel, Michael M. May
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences , 2011
From Game Changers for Nuclear Energy, p. 1
 
Anticipating the future is difficult in any situation, but assessing the prospects for nuclear power in the next fifty years presents especially complex challenges. The public perception of nuclear power has changed and continues to change. Once viewed as a miracle of modern technology, nuclear power came to be perceived by many as a potential catastrophe; now it is viewed as a potential, albeit potentially still dangerous, source of green power.
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Abstracts

2011 winners of The William J. Perry Prize and the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Varun Sivaram, Jaclyn Tandler
Center for International Security and Cooperation , 2011

Varun Sivaram: "Sunny Side Up: Characterizing the U.S. Military's Approach to Solar Energy Policy." 

Jaclyn Tandler: "Let Them Eat Yellow Cake: Understanding the History of France's Sensitive Nuclear Export Policy."

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Books

Managing price volatility: Approaches at the global, national, and household levels

Peter Timmer
Center on Food Security and the Environment , 2011

This paper serves as background to the fourth presentation in a Symposium Series on Global Food Policy and Food Security hosted by the Center on Food Security and Environment at Stanford University and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Commentary

How China views US nuclear policy

Thomas Fingar
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , 2011

Article Highlights

  • Although Chinese academics and military officers praised some aspects of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, they continue to view US nuclear policy with suspicion.
  • The factors responsible for negative Chinese reactions include bad timing, concerns about China's deterrent capability, a lack of consultation, and cultural differences.
  • Improved dialogue between the US and China on security issues can help reduce the potential for misperception and mistrust.
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Working Papers

Resisting Europe: Protest and Opposition in the EU

Ruby Gropas
CDDRL Working Papers , 2011

Protest, demonstrations and social unrest have been increasingly prevalent across the European Union. European citizens appear ever more discontent with their national governments and with ‘Europe'. Reforms and policies aimed at countering the challenges of the economic crises and increased global competition are met by strong public opposition. Recent student movements protesting against educational reforms, strikes and massive anti-austerity demonstrations in many European capitals, protest votes for extreme right or left political parties are just some of these manifestations.

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Journal Articles

Local Politics in the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Nanjing Under Military Control

Dong Guoqiang, Andrew Walder
Journal of Asian Studies , 2011

China's protracted regional conflicts of 1967 and 1968 have long been understood as struggles between conservative and radical forces whose opposed interests were so deeply rooted in existing patterns of power and privilege that they defied the imposition of military control.

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Working Papers

The Trilateral Process: The United States, Ukraine, Russia and Nuclear Weapons

Steven Pifer
Brookings Institution , 2011

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine had the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal on its territory.  When Ukrainian-Russian negotiations on removing these weapons from Ukraine appeared to break down in September 1993, the U.S. government engaged in a trilateral process with Ukraine and Russia.  The result was the Trilateral Statement, signed in January 1994, under which Ukraine agreed to transfer the nuclear warheads to Russia for elimination.

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Policy Briefs

Climate trend and global crop production since 1980

David Lobell, Wolfram Schlenker, Justin Costa-Roberts
, 2011

One way of understanding how climate change is likely to affect global food production and food security is to better understand the recent past. That is, how have changes al-ready influenced agricultural activities and production? For example, considerable debate has taken place on whether future impacts in agriculture will be driven mainly by rising temperatures, or if instead precipitation changes are the main concern. The answer to this would influence strategies to adapt, such as investing in heat tolerance versus waiting for better rainfall projections.

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Books

Assisting the escape from persistent ultra-poverty in rural Africa

Christopher Barrett
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.


Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is home to two-thirds of the world’s ultra-poor today. This paper offers current thinking on the structural causes of the spatially concentrated, persistent ultra-poverty that has plagued Africa for a generation and some key entry points for facilitating Africans’ escape from persistent ultra-poverty.

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Journal Articles

Expanding the Boundaries of Agricultural Development

Rosamond Naylor
Food Security , 2011

The challenges of reducing global hunger and poverty are different today than they were 30 years ago. Current challenges include price volatility associated with increased integration of food, energy, and finance markets; the steady progression of climate change; poorly defined land institutions; and a failure to break vicious cycles of malnutrition and infectious disease.

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Books

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

Francis Fukuyama
Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux , 2011

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today's developing countries-with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

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