Political scientists have found that early life experiences powerfully affect future leaders. Drawing on a variety of sources, this article investigates the formative role of Xi Jinping’s youth during a tumultuous time period in Chinese history. Xi’s life before and during the Cultural Revolution help explain his toughness, idealism, pragmatism, and caution. However, the evidence on how Xi’s childhood and young adulthood shaped his view on how to best handle political contradictions is ambiguous.
Highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) were released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) to the surrounding environment at an early stage of the nuclear disaster in March of 2011; however, the quantity of released CsMPs remains undetermined.
From New York Times bestselling author and former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Stanford University professor Amy B. Zegart comes an examination of the rapidly evolving state of political risk, and how to navigate it.
The world is changing fast.
The sovereign state is frequently held up as the legitimate source of domestic order and an important provider of public goods in any society, regardless of regime type. But Hezbollah and the Islamic State in the Middle East, pirate clans in Africa, criminal gangs in South America, and militias in Southeast Asia are examples where nonstate actors have controlled local territory and have delivered public goods that the state cannot or will not provide. This book takes the reader to territories where state governance has broken down—or never really existed.
Complex industries such as petroleum production, civil aviation, and nuclear power produce “public risks” that are widely distributed and temporally remote, and thus tend to be ignored by the risk producers. Regulation is perhaps the most common policy tool for governing such risks, but requires expert knowledge that often resides solely within the industries.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has formulated an encompassing working definition of global catastrophic biological risks (GCBRs) that reflects diverse sources of risk and mechanisms of damage. The authors draw on their definition to highlight some important considerations for understanding and addressing GCBRs.
Fifteen years after September 11, the United States still faces terror threats—both domestic and foreign. After years of wars, ever more intensive and pervasive surveillance, enhanced security measures at major transportation centers, and many attempts to explain who we are fighting and why and how to fight them, the threats continue to multiply.
So, too, do our attempts to understand just what terrorism is and how to counter it.
Overconfidence in the controllability of nuclear weapons creates danger. The passing of the last elite witness of the most dangerous nuclear crisis, i.e. the “Cuban Missile Crisis”, and the Trump administration only make this more salient. In this context, this article reviews the scholarly literature about the limits of predictability and controllability of nuclear crises and investigates three failures of learning from them.
This is a chapter in the second edition of The National Security Enterprise, a book edited by Roger Z. George and Harvey Rishikof that provides practitioners' insights into the operation, missions, and organizational cultures of the principal national security agencies and other institutions that shape the U.S. national security decision-making process.
Under the sponsorship of Stanford University, we designed a massive open online course (MOOC) to raise public consciousness about the past, present, and future dangers of nuclear weapons. Most individuals—and many policymakers—remain blissfully unaware that risks such as nuclear terrorism, a regional nuclear war, or a nuclear conflict started by accident are higher today than during the Cold War. Our course, Living at the Nuclear Brink: Yesterday and Today, successfully appealed to a broad audience and increased discourse about this existential threat facing humankind.
Sayuri Romei, a political scientist and predoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), has a new working paper that shows Japan is an increasingly divided country between elites and the public as it grapples with whether it should acquire nuclear weapons itself and not rely on America’s protection.
CISAC's Herbet Lin and Jackie Kerr from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory write in this draft working paper that the United States has no peer competitors in conventional military power. But its adversaries are increasingly turning to asymmetric methods in cyberspace for engaging in conflict -- and free and democratic societies are especially vulernable. Development of new tactics and responses is therefore needed.
CISAC's Siegfried Hecker, Larry Brandt and Jason Reinhardt worked with Chinese nuclear organizations on issues involving radiological and nuclear terrorism. The objective was to identify joint research initiatives to reduce the global dangers of such threats and to pursue initial technical collaborations in several high priority areas.
Uneasy Partnerships presents the analysis and insights of practitioners and scholars who have shaped and examined China's interactions with key Northeast Asian partners. Using the same empirical approach employed in the companion volume, The New Great Game (Stanford University Press, 2016), this new text analyzes the perceptions, priorities, and policies of China and its partners to explain why dyadic relationships evolved as they have during China's "rise."
Siegfried Hecker describes the scientific collaboration that took place between Russian and American nuclear weapons laboratories following the end of the Cold War. Their shared pursuit of fundamental scientific discoveries built trust between the nuclear weapons scientists and resulted in important scientific progress.
Safety-critical system domains such as critical infrastructures, aerospace, automotive, and industrial manufacturing and control are becoming increasingly dependent on the use of distributed systems to achieve their functionality. These distributed systems can contain many complex interactions among their constituent components.
Latin America experienced recurring episodes of populism, and of military reaction against populists, during the twentieth century, frequently ending in coups d’état. In the twenty-first century, military coups appear to have died out even as populist regimes returned during the third wave of democracy. This paper examines military contestation in populist regimes, both left and right, and how it has changed in the contemporary period.
Disaster risk is the product of a complex set of networked processes. Development professionals often use participatory tools to help understand disasters. However, such tools are not designed to capture the interconnections that shape risk. Using flooding in the slums of Freetown, Sierra Leone, as a case study, this article demonstrates how the tools of network analysis can be employed to develop network maps using participatory datasets and discusses the utility of such displays in designing interventions to reduce risk.
High-security organizations around the world face devastating threats from insiders—trusted employees with access to sensitive information, facilities, and materials. From Edward Snowden to the Fort Hood shooter to the theft of nuclear materials, the threat from insiders is on the front page and at the top of the policy agenda. Insider Threats offers detailed case studies of insider disasters across a range of different types of institutions, from biological research laboratories, to nuclear power plants, to the U.S. Army. Matthew Bunn and Scott D.
Are nuclear weapons useful for coercive diplomacy? Since 1945, most strategic thinking about nuclear weapons has focused on deterrence - using nuclear threats to prevent attacks against the nation's territory and interests. But an often overlooked question is whether nuclear threats can also coerce adversaries to relinquish possessions or change their behavior. Can nuclear weapons be used to blackmail other countries? The prevailing wisdom is that nuclear weapons are useful for coercion, but this book shows that this view is badly misguided.
The Summary and Briefings from the Stanford-China Workshop on Reducing Risks of Nuclear Terrorism is the result of a collaborative project engaging researchers from the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and several Chinese nuclear organizations focused on the response to nuclear terrorism threats. A goal of the research was to identify prospective joint research initiatives that might reduce the global and regional dangers of such threats.