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Register in advance for this webinar: https://stanford.zoom.us/webinar/register/8416226562432/WN_WLYcdRa6T5Cs1MMdmM0Mug

 

About the Event: Is there a place for illegal or nonconsensual evidence in security studies research, such as leaked classified documents? What is at stake, and who bears the responsibility, for determining source legitimacy? Although massive unauthorized disclosures by WikiLeaks and its kindred may excite qualitative scholars with policy revelations, and quantitative researchers with big-data suitability, they are fraught with methodological and ethical dilemmas that the discipline has yet to resolve. I argue that the hazards from this research—from national security harms, to eroding human-subjects protections, to scholarly complicity with rogue actors—generally outweigh the benefits, and that exceptions and justifications need to be articulated much more explicitly and forcefully than is customary in existing work. This paper demonstrates that the use of apparently leaked documents has proliferated over the past decade, and appeared in every leading journal, without being explicitly disclosed and defended in research design and citation practices. The paper critiques incomplete and inconsistent guidance from leading political science and international relations journals and associations; considers how other disciplines from journalism to statistics to paleontology address the origins of their sources; and elaborates a set of normative and evidentiary criteria for researchers and readers to assess documentary source legitimacy and utility. Fundamentally, it contends that the scholarly community (researchers, peer reviewers, editors, thesis advisors, professional associations, and institutions) needs to practice deeper reflection on sources’ provenance, greater humility about whether to access leaked materials and what inferences to draw from them, and more transparency in citation and research strategies.

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About the Speaker: Christopher Darnton is a CISAC affiliate and an associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. He previously taught at Reed College and the Catholic University of America, and holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. He is the author of Rivalry and Alliance Politics in Cold War Latin America (Johns Hopkins, 2014) and of journal articles on US foreign policy, Latin American security, and qualitative research methods. His International Security article, “Archives and Inference: Documentary Evidence in Case Study Research and the Debate over U.S. Entry into World War II,” won the 2019 APSA International History and Politics Section Outstanding Article Award. He is writing a book on the history of US security cooperation in Latin America, based on declassified military documents.

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Christopher Darnton Associate Professor of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School
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In October 2022, the Chinese Communist Party elected Xi Jinping for a third term as general secretary, setting Xi on a path to be the longest-serving leader since Mao Zedong’s rule ended in 1976.

The extension of Xi’s rule carries significant implications not only for China, but for the broader Indo-Pacific region and global geopolitical order. No country is more aware of this than Taiwan, which has carefully walked the line between its own autonomy and Beijing’s desire for reunification since the 1940s.

After a summer of rising tensions, many experts believe that Beijing’s timeline for an attempt at reunification is much shorter than conventional thinking has assumed. On the World Class podcast, Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, discusses the prognosis for Taiwan with Oriana Skylar Mastro, an expert on the Chinese military and security, and Larry Diamond, a scholar of China’s sharp power and the role of Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific region.

Listen to the full episode and read highlights from their conversation below.

Click the link for a full transcript of “What We Need To Talk About When We Talk About Taiwan.“

The Likelihood of Invasion


In stark terms, Oriana Skylar Mastro, a center fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, believes there’s a 100% chance China will use some sort of force against Taiwan in the next five years. For the last twenty years, China has been making concerted efforts to modernize its military and increase its capabilities not only to assert force against Taiwan, but to deter intervention from the United States.

In the majority of scenarios, the United States wins in a conflict with China over Taiwan. But the United States also carries a distinct geographic disadvantage. The distance across the Taiwan Strait between the island and mainland China is approximately 100 miles, which is roughly the distance between Richmond, Virginia and Washington D.C. If China moves quickly, PRC forces could take Taiwan before U.S. forces have time to move into position.

When considering possible outcomes in Taiwan, it is equally important to consider the motivations driving Beijing’s ambitions. The leadership on the mainland has been planning and thinking about how to retake Taiwan since 1949. With the modernized capabilities coming online, the balance of power has shifted in China’s military favor, and the cost-benefit calculus favors Beijing’s ambitions. The long-term planning stage is now reaching its end, and the prospects of direct action are increasing.

The clock is ticking. The problem is we don’t know how fast it’s ticking. But we need to move faster than we're moving.
Larry Diamond
Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at FSI

The View from Taipei


Political leaders in Taiwan recognize the growing danger they face across the Strait. In Larry Diamond’s assessment, the end of Hong Kong's autonomy and the suppression of the “one country, two systems” model, the rising military incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone and coastal waters, and the whole rising pace of Chinese military intimidation has sobered Taiwan and visibly impacted Taiwanese public opinion.

Concerningly though, while the political elite recognize the real and present danger of the situation, polling of the general Taiwan public suggests that the vast majority of citizens still feel like an attack or an invasion by China is unlikely. Similar majorities suggest that they would be willing to fight in Taiwan’s defense, but volunteering for military service remains at a minimum.

To maximize safety, Taiwan needs to find ways to strengthen itself in its ability to defend, resist, and deter China, while still avoiding any appearance of moving toward permanent independence or any other action that could be deemed by Beijing as a provocation, says Diamond.

There are things that can completely change Beijing's calculus, but it takes a lot of work, and I just don't see us doing the work yet.
Oriana Skylar Mastro
FSI Center Fellow

What the United States Can Do


When it comes to the defense of Taiwan, the strategic crutch hobbling the United States is geography. Most of the U.S. Pacific forces are not in Asia. The majority are in Hawaii and California, as well as a few bases and airfields in Japan. To be able to effectively deter China, the U.S. needs far greater forward deployed military capability in order to be able to either stop or stall the movement of Chinese troops into Taiwan, says Mastro.

Taiwan needs greater onshore military deterrence capabilities as well. One such strategy is the “porcupine approach,” which increases the number of smaller mobile lethal weapons. By Larry Diamond’s assessment, increased citizen participation in military training is also crucial, with an emphasis on weapons training and urban defense tactics. The U.S. could support these aims by overhauling the current system for weapons procurement to speed up the production and delivery of weapons systems not just for Taiwan, but to the benefit of U.S. defense and other contingencies as well. Working with leadership to create strategic stockpiles of food, and energy should also be a priority, says Diamond.

The U.S. also needs to put much more effort into its diplomatic efforts on behalf of Taiwan. Many U.S. allies and partners are reluctant to ostracize China because of economic ties and concerns over sparking their own conflict with China in the future. A key ally in all of this is Japan. If Japan fights with the United States on behalf of Taiwan, it is a guaranteed win and enough to effectively deter China. But much more needs to be done much more quickly in order to secure those guarantees and present them in a convincing way to Beijing.

“The clock is ticking,” Larry Diamond says. “And the problem is we don’t know how fast it’s ticking. “Taiwan is moving in the right direction. But we need to move faster than we're moving.”

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Larry Diamond and Oriana Skylar Mastro join Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast to discuss China’s ambitions against Taiwan, and how the U.S. and its allies can deter Beijing.

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About the Event: In this seminar, energy and natural resources sector policies of the three former communist countries in Asia - Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan - in close geographic proximity to Russia and China will be considered. There are similarities in the nature of transition from communist regime to democratic societies in these three states, although major differences in social and cultural issues exist. The reliance on energy in neighboring countries Russia and China as well as export of raw materials to these markets have major influence on specific policy agenda. Particular attention is given to energy minerals and trade balance and imbalance thereof. 

About the Speaker: Dr. Undraa Agvaanluvsan currently serves as the president of Mitchell Foundation for Arts and Sciences. She is also an Asia21 fellow of the Asia Society and co-chair of Mongolia chapter of the Women Corporate Directors, a global organization of women serving in public and private corporate boards. During 2021-22, she served on the WCD Global Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Undraa Agvaanluvsan is a former Member of Parliament of Mongolia and the chair of the Parliamentary subcommittee on Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to being elected as a legislator, she served as an Ambassador-at-large in charge of nuclear security issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, where she worked on nuclear energy and fuel cycle, uranium and rareearth minerals development policy. She is a nuclear physicist by training, obtained her PhD at North Carolina State University, USA and diploma in High Energy Physics at the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy. She conducted research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, USA and taught energy policy at International Policy Studies Program at Stanford University, where she was a Science fellow and visiting professor at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation. She published more than 90 papers, conference proceedings, and articles on neutron and proton induced nuclear reactions, the nuclear level density and radiative strength functions, quantum chaos and the Random Matrix Theory, including its application to the modeling of electric-grid resilience.

 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

William J. Perry Conference Room

Undraa Agvaanluvsan
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Rose Gottemoeller
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Just days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Dmitri Medvedev, the former president and prime minister of Russia, took to social media to post a chilling message. He raged against Western sanctions on his country and suggested darkly that Russia could rip up some of its most important agreements with the West. He mentioned the New START treaty, the nuclear arms reduction agreement signed with the United States over a decade ago, but the threat was broader still: the sundering of all diplomatic ties with Western countries. “It’s time to hang huge padlocks on the embassies,” he wrote.

Read the rest at Foreign Affairs

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With Russia Going Rogue, America Must Cooperate With China

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Rose Gottemoeller
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After months of watching hundreds of new nuclear missile silos being dug in the dirt northwest of Beijing, it is welcome news that President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping seemingly agreed at last week’s summit on the need for strategic stability talks. Strategic stability — the idea that nuclear-armed countries should not be able to gain decisive advantage over one another — has taken on new importance as China expands and modernizes its nuclear arsenal.

China is expected to quadruple its number of warheads in the next decade, and is upgrading its nuclear capabilities with new missiles, submarines and bombers. Over the summer, it reportedly fired a missile from a hypersonic glide vehicle while testing its fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) — a technical advance that, if true, means the Chinese can attack targets from space with nuclear weapons. Although China insists it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons, this claim has less credence than in the past, when the country’s nuclear force was much smaller.

Read the rest at Politico 

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After months of watching hundreds of new nuclear missile silos being dug in the dirt northwest of Beijing, it is welcome news that President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping seemingly agreed at last week’s summit on the need for strategic stability talks.

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For spring quarter 2022, CISAC will be hosting hybrid events. Many events will offer limited-capacity in-person attendance for Stanford faculty, staff, fellows, visiting scholars, and students in accordance with Stanford’s health and safety guidelines, and be open to the public online via Zoom. All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone. 

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Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to William J Perry Conference Room in Encina Hall may attend in person. 

Gorakh Pawar
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For winter quarter 2022, CISAC will be hosting hybrid events. Many events will offer limited-capacity in-person attendance for Stanford faculty, staff, fellows, visiting scholars, and students in accordance with Stanford’s health and safety guidelines, and be open to the public online via Zoom. All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone. 

                                                                                           

About the Event: Freddy Chen has developed a domestic political theory to explain the consequences of economic shocks for foreign policy. He argues that political leaders have incentives to improve their perceived competence by linking economic grievances to foreign countries. This linkage, in turn, increases public desire for more hawkish foreign policy. Nonetheless, leaders’ ability to make such connections depends on whether they can successfully manipulate information about the culpability for economic shocks. Therefore, the extent to which leaders can control the information environment determines whether an economic shock leads to more aggressive foreign policy. Survey experiments fielded on the American public and a unique sample of U.S. foreign policy analysts show that the information environment shapes elites’ expectations about leaders’ political behavior, public perceptions of leader competence, perceived culpability for the economic shock, and public preferences over foreign policy. Moreover, a cross-national analysis demonstrates that an economic shock tends to increase foreign policy hawkishness if the shock is more foreign-related or if the public has less access to a potential voice of the opposition. This article advances our understanding of the relationship between economic shocks, foreign policy, and public opinion as well as the interactions between domestic politics and international relations, with important implications for both political science research and policymakers.

About the Speaker: Frederick Chen is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and currently a Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. His research focuses on how economics and security can interact to influence international relations, particularly through domestic political mechanisms. His work has appeared in the Journal of Politics and Conflict Management and Peace Science. He received the David A. Lake Award for best paper from the International Political Economy Society. He earned his M.A. in International Relations from Peking University (2016) and B.A. in International Politics from Tsinghua University (2013).

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to William J Perry Conference Room in Encina Hall may attend in person. 

Frederick R. Chen CISAC
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 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone. 
 

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Sylvie Kauffmann
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For winter quarter 2022, CISAC will be hosting hybrid events. Many events will offer limited-capacity in-person attendance for Stanford faculty, staff, fellows, visiting scholars, and students in accordance with Stanford’s health and safety guidelines, and be open to the public online via Zoom. All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone. 

SEMINAR RECORDING

                                                                                           


About the Event: With the devastating loss of life, economic disruption, and political instability it has wrought, COVID-19 has revealed that national governments and the international community are woefully unprepared to respond to pandemics—underscoring the world’s vulnerability to future catastrophic biological threats that could meet or exceed the severe consequences of the current pandemic. To effectively guard against future biological risks, leaders should take a longer-term view and recognize that, while naturally occurring pandemics remain a threat, the next global catastrophe could result from a laboratory accident or the deliberate misuse of bioscience and biotechnology.   This talk will provide a high-level overview of the broader biothreat landscape and outline actions that national leaders and the international community should take with a view to preventing catastrophic biological events—specifically by constraining capabilities and shaping the intent of powerful actors who may wish to exploit the tools of modern bioscience to cause harm. This talk will outline two priority NTI initiatives to strengthen international capabilities to prevent catastrophic biological events. We are working to develop and launch the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS), a new international organization that will focus on preventing the deliberate abuse or accidental misuse of bioscience and biotechnology by strengthening international biosecurity norms and developing innovative, practical tools to reduce risks throughout the research and development life cycle. NTI is also working to develop the concept of a new Joint Assessment Mechanism to strengthen UN-system capabilities to investigate high-consequence biological events of unknown origin. The ability to rapidly discern the source of emerging pandemics is critical to mitigating their effects in real time and protecting against future risks.
 

About the Speaker: Dr. Jaime M. Yassif is Senior Director and Lead Scientist for Global Biological Policy and Programs at NTI, where her work focuses on strengthening governance of dual-use bioscience and reducing global catastrophic biological risks. Yassif previously served as a Program Officer at Open Philanthropy, where she led the Biosecurity and Pandemic Preparedness initiative. In this role, she managed approximately $40 million in biosecurity grants, which rebuilt the field and supported work in several key areas, including developing new biosecurity programming at leading think tanks, establishing the Global Health Security Index, and initiating new biosecurity work in China and India. Prior to this, Yassif served as a science and technology policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Defense and worked on the Global Health Security Agenda at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to William J Perry Conference Room in Encina Hall may attend in person. 

Jaime Yassif NTI
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 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone. 

SEMINAR RECORDING

                      

About the Event: The Russian military continues to mass forces near Ukraine, while the Kremlin says that the United States and NATO have addressed its secondary concerns but have ignored its key demands, such as that the Alliance foreswear further enlargement. Britain has played a critical role in NATO deliberations on how to respond to Moscow proposals and actions, and the British military is sending additional forces to bolster the Alliance's eastern flank. Sir Roderic Lyne, a former British ambassador to Russia and former foreign policy advisor to the prime minister, will describe how the crisis is viewed in London, the motivations driving Russian actions, and how the West should respond.

 

About the Speaker: Roderic Lyne served in the UK's Diplomatic Service for 34 years, including three postings to Moscow between 1972 and 2004, and was the last Head of the Soviet Department in the Foreign Office. In the mid-1990s he was the adviser to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs, security and Northern Ireland. Since retiring as Ambassador to the Russian Federation in 2004 he has visited Russia about fifty times as a business consultant and lecturer, and has written extensively on the subject. His most recent article was "Putin's Gamble: Must It End Up As Lose/Lose", published by Chatham House in late January. From 2009 to 2016 Roderic Lyne served on the UK's Inquiry into the Iraq conflict of 2003.

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Sir Roderic Lyne
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