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  • Author: J.C. Sharman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The making of the international system from c. 1500 reflected distinctively maritime dynamics, especially “gunboat diplomacy,” or the use of naval force for commercial gain. Comparisons between civilizations and across time show, first, that gunboat diplomacy was peculiarly European and, second, that it evolved through stages. For the majority of the modern era, violence was central to the commercial strategies of European state, private, and hybrid actors alike in the wider world. In contrast, large and small non-Western polities almost never sought to advance mercantile aims through naval coercion. European exceptionalism reflected a structural trade deficit, regional systemic dynamics favoring armed trade, and mercantilist beliefs. Changes in international norms later restricted the practice of gunboat diplomacy to states, as private navies became illegitimate. More generally, a maritime perspective suggests the need for a reappraisal of fundamental conceptual divisions and shows how the capital- and technology-intensive nature of naval war allowed relatively small European powers to be global players. It also explains how European expansion and the creation of the first global international system was built on dominance at sea centuries before Europeans’ general military superiority on land.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy, Law of the Sea, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The cost to US consumers and firms imposed by tariffs on Chinese imports is not large relative to the gain that would be achieved if the US succeeds in persuading China to stop illegally taking US firms’ technology. But the Trump administration should state that this is the goal, and that the tariffs will be removed when it is met.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: René Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In 2014, world per capita greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent terms (CO2e), exceeded 7 tons. Per capita emissions for Latin America and the Caribbean were even higher, at 9 tons CO2e. To achieve international goals for the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for annual emissions to fall to 2 tons per capita by the year 2050 and 1 ton per capita by the year 2100. It is clear that we face a moral problem: everyone needs to, and can contribute to, the fight against climate change (Pope Francis, 2015). Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A large literature assumes that alliances entangle the United States in military conflicts that it might otherwise avoid. Since 1945, however, there have been only five cases of what might be characterized as U.S. entanglement—the 1954 and 1995–96 Taiwan Strait crises, the Vietnam War, and the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s—and even these cases are far from clear-cut. U.S. entanglement is rare because the United States, as a superpower with many allies, is capable of exploiting loopholes in alliance agreements, sidestepping commitments that seriously imperil U.S. interests, playing the demands of various allies off of each other, and using alliances to deter adversaries and allies from initiating or escalating conflicts.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Bosnia, Vietnam, Kosovo
  • Author: Charles L. Glaser
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the intense focus on China's rise, the United States has yet to confront the most challenging question posed by this power shift: Should it pursue a strategy of limited geopolitical accommodation to avoid conflict? U.S. policy continues to focus almost entirely on preserving the geopolitical status quo in Northeast Asia. Given the shifting power balance in Asia, however, there are strong theoretical rationales for considering whether significant changes to the status quo could increase U.S. security. A possibility designed to provide the benefits of accommodation while reducing its risks is a grand bargain in which the United States ends its commitment to defend Taiwan and, in turn, China peacefully resolves its maritime disputes in the South China and East China Seas and officially accepts the United States' long-term military security role in East Asia. In broad terms, the United States has three other options—unilateral accommodation, a concert of Asian powers, and the current U.S. rebalance to Asia. Unilateral accommodation and the rebalance have advantages that make the choice a close call, but all things considered, a grand bargain is currently the United States' best bet.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Cooperation, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Mark S. Bell
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: What happens to the foreign policies of states when they acquire nuclear weapons? Despite its importance, this question has not been answered satisfactorily. Nuclear weapons can facilitate six conceptually distinct foreign policy behaviors: aggression, expansion, independence, bolstering, steadfastness, and compromise. This typology of foreign policy behaviors enables scholars to move beyond simple claims of “nuclear emboldenment,” and allows for more nuanced examination of the ways in which nuclear weapons affect the foreign policies of current and future nuclear states. The typology also sheds light on Great Britain's response to nuclear acquisition. Britain used nuclear weapons to engage in greater levels of steadfastness in responding to challenges, bolstering junior allies, and demonstrating independence from the United States, but it did not engage in greater levels of aggression, expansion, or compromise. The typology and the British case demonstrate the value of distinguishing among different effects of nuclear weapons acquisition, have implications for scholars' and policymakers' understanding of the role of nuclear weapons in international politics, and suggest avenues for future research.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Martin L. Weitzman
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is difficult to resolve the global warming free-rider externality problem by negotiating quantity targets. By contrast, negotiating a single binding minimum carbon price (the proceeds from which are domestically retained) counters self interest by incentivizing agents to internalize the externality. The model of this paper indicates an exact sense in which each agent's extra cost from a higher emissions price is counterbalanced by that agent's extra benefit from inducing all other agents to simultaneously lower their emissions. Some implications are discussed.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Claude Bruderlein
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Syrian refugee crisis represents one of the greatest humanitarian challenges the international community has faced over the recent years, prompting record-high levels of international aid. In view of the complexity of the political and social environment in which these challenges arise and the historical scale of the population affected, innovative and creative programmatic responses are essential to address the short and middle-term needs of refugees and reducing instability in the Middle East region. Over 20 students from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard School of Public Health participated in "Assessment of the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Critical Review of the National and International Responses," a winter field study course in Jordan supported by the Middle East Initiative and led by Professor Claude Bruderlein. Read more about their learning experience below and in the attached report.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: An extensive literature shows that information-creating mechanisms enhance the transparency of and can support participation and compliance in international agreements. This paper draws from game theory, international relations, and legal scholarship to make the case for how transparency through policy surveillance can facilitate more effective international climate change policy architecture. This paper critically evaluates the historic practice of monitoring and reporting under the global climate regime, with a focus on how surveillance affects the legitimacy, reciprocity, and adequacy of climate agreements. Given the inadequate nature of climate policy surveillance, I draw lessons from policy surveillance in multilateral economic, environmental, national security, and other contexts. I also describe how the institution of policy surveillance can facilitate a variety of climate policy architectures. This evaluation of policy surveillance suggests that transparency is necessary for global climate policy architecture.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The goal of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is to help identify and advance scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic public policy options for addressing global climate change. Drawing upon leading thinkers in Argentina, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, and the United States, the Project conducts research on policy architecture, key design elements, and institutional dimensions of domestic climate policy and a post-2015 international climate policy regime. The Project is directed by Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Eric A. Posner, David Weisbach
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A treaty satisfies what we call International Paretianism if it advances the interests of all states that join it, so that no state is made worse off. The principle might seem obvious, but it rules out nearly all the major proposals for a climate treaty, including proposals advanced by academics and by government officials. We defend International Paretianism, and for that reason urge commentators in the debate over climate justice to abandon efforts to right past wrongs, redistribute wealth, and achieve other abstract ideals through a climate treaty.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The outcome of the December 2011 United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, provides an important new opportunity to move toward an international climate policy architecture that is capable of delivering broad international participation and significant global CO2 emissions reductions at reasonable cost. We evaluate one important component of potential climate policy architecture for the post-Durban era: links among independent tradable permit systems for greenhouse gases. Because linkage reduces the cost of achieving given targets, there is tremendous pressure to link existing and planned cap-and-trade systems, and in fact, a number of links already or will soon exist. We draw on recent political and economic experience with linkage to evaluate potential roles that linkage may play in post-Durban international climate policy, both in a near-term, de facto architecture of indirect links between regional, national, and sub-national cap-and-trade systems, and in longer-term, more comprehensive bottom-up architecture of direct links. Although linkage will certainly help to reduce long-term abatement costs, it may also serve as an effective mechanism for building institutional and political structure to support a future climate agreement.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Durban
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On December 31, 2012, the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period will expire. Unless states agree to a second commitment period, requiring a further round of emissions cuts, the Protocol will no longer impose any quantitative limits on states' greenhouse gas emissions. Although, as a legal matter, the Protocol will continue in force, it will be a largely empty shell, doing little if anything to curb global warming.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Akihiro Sawa
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: With the gap between developed and developing nations remaining unclosed, post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations have run into rough waters: Developing countries insist that developed countries be committed to more ambitious targets for the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol and provide large amounts of financial or technological assistance to developing countries, while developed countries propose that financial and technological support be balanced with developing countries' mitigation actions and measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV).
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Akinobu Yasumoto, Mutsuyoshi Nishimura
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: An effective policy approach to climate change would be a global emission trading system. Opinions differ, however, as to what approach should be pursued when fostering a global emissions trading system. Many argue in favor of linking various national and regional emission trading systems as a possible way forward. However, an alternative method, which involves developing a new system from the ground up, could prove more advantageous. Under an Upstream Global Emission Trading System (UGETS), all nations would use an upstream emissions trading system that would result in far fewer monitoring points than a downstream system. A nation would only need to keep track of domestic shipments and imports of fossil fuels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan, Debra Decker
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the evolution of nuclear energy markets and key drivers of the growing “nuclear renaissance.” We focus on uranium, the largest part of the nuclear fuel markets, and analyze market demand, supply, and prices since the 1970s. We review the forces impacting this market – historically and prospectively - and note proliferation concerns surrounding nuclear energy: i.e. the same facilities that enrich uranium for electricity generation can also enrich it further for nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Security, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Markets, Nuclear Weapons
  • Author: Andrea Gabbitas
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since September 11, the relationship between the United States and Russia has evolved significantly. At the Crawford summit in November 2001, President George W. Bush and President Vladimir V. Putin officially declared a “new relationship” between the United States and Russia. A significant portion of this new relationship has centered on nonproliferation matters, which have been declared a priority by both presidents. In fighting terrorist threats, Bush and Putin have “agreed to enhance bilateral and multilateral action to stem the export and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological materials, related technologies, and delivery systems as a critical component of the battle to defeat international terrorism.”
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael Vatis
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The events of September 11, 2001, underscored the vulnerability to foreign attack of the territory of the United States itself, in a way not seen since Pearl Harbor. Since that day, the federal government, the media, and the public have been intensely focused on taking measures to protect us from similar attacks — or from even more devastating attacks involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD), such as nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological weapons.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America