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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Policy Briefs

Civil Liberties and Security in Cyberspace

Ekaterina Drozdova
CISAC, 2000 August 1, 2000

Societies are becoming more dependent on computer networks and therefore more vulnerable to cyber crime and terrorism. Measures to protect information systems are receiving increasing attention as the threat of attack grows and the nature of that threat is better understood. The primary purpose of this article is to determine what legal standards should govern the use of such measures and what nontechnical constraints are likely to be placed, or should be placed, on them.

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Working Papers

How Much Is Enough? A Risk-Management Approach to Computer Security

Kevin J. Soo Hoo
CISAC, 2000 August 1, 2000

How much security is enough? No one today can satisfactorily answer this question for computer-related risks. The first generation of computer security risk modelers struggled with issues arising out of their binary view of security, ensnaring them in an endless web of assessment, disagreement, and gridlock. Even as professional risk managers wrest responsibility away from the first-generation technologists, they are still unable to answer the question with sufficient quantitative rigor.

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Working Papers

Kenyan IPP Experience, The

Anton Eberhard, Katherine Gratwick
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper #49, 2000 August 1, 2000

Prior to the introduction of independent power projects (IPP), Kenya relied primarily on concessionary funding from multilateral and bilateral agencies to finance new power investments. In the 1990s, however, the global donor trend shifted toward private participation in infrastructure with concessionary funding being targeted at health and social services.

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Working Papers

Raising Global Physical Protection Standards for Weapon-Usable Nuclear Material

George Bunn
Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, 41st Annual Meeting, 2000 July 1, 2000
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Journal Articles

Africa's Scramble for Africa: Lessons of a Continental War

Jeremy Weinstein
World Policy Journal, 2000 July 1, 2000

The war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which began in August 1998, is unprecedented-at times involving armies from eight African states. Soldiers from Chad are fighting alongside regiments from Namibia, Angola, and Zimbabwe in defense of President Laurent Kabila. And on offense, the two main rebel groups, the Congolese Assembly for Democracy (which is known by the acronym RCD) and the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), are backed by troops from Uganda and Rwanda. As Susan E.

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Journal Articles

Russian Democracy -- A U.S. National Security Interest

Michael McFaul, Sarah Mendelson
Demokratizatsiya, 2000 July 1, 2000

Russian democracy and American national security are intimately intertwined. This link is not new, but it is not well understood. When the cold war ended and Soviet communism disappeared, American national security was enhanced. If dictatorship returns to Russia, the United States and its allies will once again be threatened. Containment would likely be adopted as the guiding principle of American foreign policy. The United States could find itself in an arms race with Russia. We argue here that the connection of Russian politics and U.S. security needs to be clearer in the minds of U.S.

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Journal Articles

Raising International Standards for Protecting Nuclear Materials from Theft and Sabotage

George Bunn
The Nonproliferation Review, 2000 July 1, 2000

The break-up of the Soviet Union resulted in conditions that focused attention on the possible risk of "loose nukes."  But the risk from insecure nuclear materials is not limited to the former Soviet Union; there is a need to ensure adequate physical protection on a global basis. 

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Working Papers

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Next Steps, The

Christopher F. Chyba, Thomas Graham, Jr.
, 2000 July 1, 2000

On July 19, 2000 the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) gathered forty preeminent scientists, security experts, and political analysts for a Roundtable Discussion on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at Stanford University. The day-long seminar was intended to explore the diverse set of topics that arose during the October 1999 Sentate debate of the Treaty and to develop a consensus on steps that the United States should now take with regard to the CTBT.

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Working Papers

Peri-Urbanization in Chengdu, Western China: From "Third Line" to Market Dynamics

Douglas Webster, Jianming Cai, Larissa Muller, Binyi Luo
Shorenstein APARC, 2000 May 1, 2000

Peri-urbanization in the Chengdu extended urban region is the subject of this discussion paper. Characteristics of peri-urbanization processes in East Asia in general, and China in particular, have been described in previous outputs of the Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) and Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resource Research (IGSNRR) research team. In a nutshell, peri-urbanization refers to the dynamic process of physical and socioeconomic change beyond the contiguously built-up areas of large cities.

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Working Papers

Ballistic-Missile Defence and Strategic Stability

Dean Wilkening
Adelphi Paper, International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2000 May 1, 2000

Should the US deploy ballistic-missile defences? The arguments for and against are becoming increasingly polarised. This paper offers what is currently lacking in the debate: a quantitative analysis of how well defences would have to work to meet specific security objectives, and what level of defence might upset strategic stability.

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Journal Articles

Amending the ABM Treaty

Dean Wilkening
Survival, International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2000 April 1, 2000

In deploying NMD, the challenge facing the US is to devise a package of incentives that will secure Russian agreement to amend the ABM Treaty. The most promising would involve US concessions in a future START III Treaty to accommodate Moscow's interests. In particular, the US could allow Russia to deploy multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) on mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which are far less destabilising to the nuclear balance than many arms-control advocates assume. In addition,

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Journal Articles

International Law and International Relations: Together, Apart, Together

Stephen Krasner
Chicago Journal of International Law, 2000 April 1, 2000
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Working Papers

What Will Make Chinese Agriculture More Productive?

Scott Rozelle, Jikun Huang, Justin Y. Lin
Chapter 14, pp. 417-449, in Nicholas C. Hope, Dennis Tao Yang, and Mu Yang Li (eds.), How Far Across the River? Chinese Policy Reform at the Millennium, 2000 April 1, 2000

The international community has long recognized China's effort to produce enough food to feed its growing population. Tremendous progress has been achieved in agricultural productivity growth, farmer's income, and poverty alleviation during the reform period. China's experience demonstrates the importance of institutional change, technological development, price and market liberalization, and rural development in improving food security and agricultural productivity in a nation with limited land and other natural resources.

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Journal Articles

Commitment Trap, The: Why The United States Should Not Use Nuclear Threats to Deter Biological and Chemical Weapons Attacks

Scott D. Sagan
International Security, 2000 April 1, 2000

How should the United States deal with so-called rogue states that threaten to use chemical or biological weapons against the U.S. homeland or its troops abroad? Scott Sagan of Stanford University examines Washington's "calculated ambiguity doctrine," which holds that the United States does not rule out the use of nuclear weapons in response to a chemical or biological weapons attack. Sagan argues that the risks associated with this doctrine outweigh the benefits.

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Working Papers

U.S. Enlargement Strategy and Nuclear Weapons, The

Michael M. May
CISAC, 2000 March 1, 2000

The United States has a global security strategy, in deeds if seldom clearly in words. The U.S. security strategy is to enlarge the areas of the world that it can control militarily and to weaken all states outside those areas. The strategy does not rely solely on military means, but enlarged military control is the end and military means--armed interventions, alliance extensions, arms sales--usually lead the way.

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Working Papers

Relating the U.S.-Korea and U.S.-Japan Alliances to Emerging Asia Pacific Multilateral Processes: An ASEAN Perspective

Chin Kin Wah, Pang Eng Fong
Shorenstein APARC, 2000 March 1, 2000

American military power underpinned the security structure of the Asia Pacific region during the Cold War. Post-Cold War, its role is still vital to peace and stability in the region. The most overt manifestations of American military might are the Japan–America Security Alliance (JASA) and the Korea–America Security Alliance (KASA). These bilateral alliances, together with a modified Australia–New Zealand–United States (ANZUS) treaty relationship, point to the diversity of security interests and perspectives in the

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Working Papers

How Liability Law Affects Medical Productivity

Daniel P. Kessler, Mark B. McClellan
NBER, 2000 February 1, 2000

Previous research suggests that "direct" reforms to the liability system - reforms designed to reduce the level of compensation to potential claimants - reduce medical expenditures without important consequences for patient health outcomes. We extend this research by identifying the mechanisms through which reforms affect the behavior of health care providers.

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Journal Articles

Nobody Lost Russia

Michael McFaul
Blueprint, 2000 January 1, 2000

Is Russia lost? To read the barrage of op-ed articles, congressional testimony, and political position papers that have flowed from both the left and the right since last summer, one might have concluded that Russia is dead and gone - and the Clinton Administration is to blame. It is true that eight years after the fall of communism, Russia is riddled with corruption, its politics are unstable, and the structures of democracy and free markets have yet to strike deep roots. There is also a resurgent anti-Western element in Russian politics. But Russia is not lost.

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Journal Articles

Getting Russia Right

Michael A. McFaul
Foreign Policy, 2000 January 1, 2000

Historians will someday write that Russia re-entered the Western community of states as a market democracy at the end of the 20th century. You wouldn't think so, however, from the vituperative and pessimistic tone of most contemporary commentary in the United States about Russia and U.S.-Russian relations. Focusing on lurid accounts of Russian money laundering, cronyism, and widespread political and economic disarray, politicians and pundits have blasted the Clinton administration for mishandling a crucial strategic relationship and "losing" Russia.

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Journal Articles

Russia Democracy: Still Not a Lost Cause

Michael A. McFaul
The Washington Quarterly, 2000 January 1, 2000

In the recent explosion of articles about "Who Lost Russia," analysts have focused almost exclusively on the trials and tribulations of Russia's economic reform and Western attempts to assist these reforms. Russia's financial collapse in August 1998 and recent accusations of money laundering through the Bank of New York are cited as evidence that Russia is lost. The logic of this analysis is flawed. It assumes that these setbacks to economic reform or the rule of law represent end points in Russian history.

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Working Papers

Verification Regime for Warhead Control, A

Suping Liu
CISAC, 2000 January 1, 2000

After a brief period of progress, the U.S.-Russian nuclear reduction process has reached a stalemate. This situation causes us to rethink the following issues:

- What is the motivation for the two nuclear superpowers to conduct nuclear reductions?

- How can the focus of the nuclear arms reduction process be changed from verification of reduction of delivery vehicles to verification of reduction of warheads and nuclear materials?

- What is the objective for future nuclear reductions?

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