Recent Events

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"Our theoreticians were armed with McNamara's arguments." Reflections on Soviet military strategy in the 1960s and 1970s.

March 3, 2018

Abstract: The quotation in the title is taken from the memoirs of Boris Chertok, a leading Soviet missile designer.  In my talk I will examine significant shifts in Soviet thinking about nuclear...

The Cold War: A World History

April 19, 2017

Abstract: The Cold War was about the rise and the solidification of US power. But it was also about more than that.

Empires and Occupations: Global Dynamics of the Illiberal Wartime State, 1914-18

March 9, 2017

- This event is co-sponsored by Stanford Global Studies, The Europe Center, and the History Department - Abstract: By 1914, exploiting colonies was a well-established practice of even the most ...

The Presidency, the Media, and the Public: a Short History

February 10, 2017

Abstract: The formal constitutional character of the presidential office – that is, the method of electing the president, and the powers both granted and denied to the president -- was defined by...

Oil-Gotten Gains: Petrodollars, Abscam, and Arab American Activism, 1973-1981

September 22, 2016

Abstract: In the 1970s, soaring oil prices provided huge revenues to oil producing Arab countries, which, together with private Arab companies and individuals, invested billions of dollars in the U...

Deterrence without Bombs

September 15, 2016

Abstract: Deterrence is one of the most central concepts in international relations scholarship.

‘Expensive, prone to obsolescence, and lacking in credibility as a deterrent’: US attitudes to the UK’s independent nuclear capabilities, and McNamara’s Ann Arbor speech of June 1962 revisited

April 5, 2016

Abstract: On 13 February 2016, in a widely-reported interview for the BBC, Ashton Carter, the US Secretary of Defense, made clear that the US Government supported the maintenance and renewal of...

"The closest we came to nuclear war:" New Insights about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1995 Black Brant event

January 28, 2016

Abstract: The 1995 launch of a sounding rocket from Andoya in Norway allegedly misinterpreted as an attack in Russia and the so-called "Cuban Missile Crisis" in 1962 have one thing in common: they...

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Nuclear Safeguards, 1953-1971

December 1, 2015

Abstract: The nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran moved the International Atomic Energy Agency to the center of public attention.

Was There a German Nuclear Question? A Critical Reappraisal

October 22, 2015

Abstract: Many scholars contend that there was a specific German nuclear question. To them, asking the question “Was there a German nuclear question?” may be surprising and odd.

“No room for make-believe”: Making sense of US nuclear war plans during the Cold War

April 30, 2015

Abstract: Scholars know quite a lot about U.S. nuclear war planning from the end of World War II to the end of the Cold War.

Rethinking the Nuclear Age: The View from Africa and Its Implications for Policy

April 29, 2015

Abstract: Today’s international relations are plagued by anxieties about the nuclear state and the state of being nuclear.

The UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent and the Chevaline Program: An Overview

March 10, 2015

Abstract: Chevaline was the codename given to a highly-secret program begun in 1970 to improve the performance of the UK's force of Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missiles in order to give...

Fear and Democracy: Reflections from the 1930s and 1940s on the Presidency, Congress, and National Security

January 21, 2015

Please note that this Seminar is held on a Wednesday.About the topic: This talk explores two primary questions: (1) the origins of the modern US national security state, and what might be called a...

Cold War Internationalism: The Case of Labor

April 15, 2014

Sandrine Kott has been educated in France (Paris), Germany (Bielefeld and Berlin) and the USA (New York).

Cold War Internationalism: The Case of Labor

April 15, 2014

Sandrine Kott was educated in France (Paris), Germany (Bielefeld and Berlin) and the USA (New York).

Does Terrorism Work? The Case of the Provisional IRA

April 10, 2014

About the Speaker: Richard English is the Wardlaw Professor of Politics in the School of International Relations, and Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence ...

An Army Like No Other: The Origins of Military Culture

April 3, 2014

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Gil-li Vardi joined CISAC as a visiting scholar in December 2011.

Strategy in Theory and Strategy in Practice

April 1, 2014

Sir Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor of History of War, University of Oxford, will discuss "Strategy in Theory and Strategy in Practice."

Military Operations and National Policies, 1914-1918

March 31, 2014

Sir Hew Strachan, the Chichele Professor of History of War, University of Oxford, will discuss "Military Operations and National Policies, 1914-1918."

When We Began to "Think Globally": Radioactive Fallout, the Cold War, and the Making of a Global Environmental Problem, 1945-1963

March 20, 2014

ABOUT THE TOPIC: The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 is known as the first nuclear arms control agreement.

How the Cold War Came to Afghanistan, 1945-1952

March 6, 2014

ABOUT THE TOPIC: No country was as devastated by the Cold War as Afghanistan, yet the historical understanding of how the global conflict came to Kabul remains tentative, generally limited to...

Disarmament, Arms Control, and Stability: The Community of Nuclear Arms Controllers, 1957-1960

February 27, 2014

ABOUT THE TOPIC: The intellectual history of nuclear arms control has largely been written as a history of ideas, untethered from personal biography and social context.

Why Nuclear Weapons Became Unsustainable: Modernization Theory, International Norms, and the Environmental Roots of the Nuclear Taboo, 1958-1968

February 13, 2014

ABOUT THE TOPIC: Why was nuclear war deemed unwinnable in the United States? Pace conventional wisdom, the truth was not self-evident.


michael mcfaul 2 Michael A. McFaul Director, Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Naimark, Norman Norman M. Naimark Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, History, Professor, by courtesy, German Studies, Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution
Taubman Phil Philip Taubman Lecturer
Gabrielle Hecht Gabrielle Hecht Senior Fellow Professor, History
Vardi, Gil li Gil-li Vardi Lecturer, GSB, History
yogesh joshi Yogesh Joshi Affiliates
Benoit Pelopidas Benoît Pelopidas Affiliate
Rakove, Robert Robert Rakove Affiliate
Chris Dunlap Christopher Dunlap Affiliate