Ongoing Research & Projects

American Exceptionalism

What would be entailed to reboot rather than refute American Exceptionalism? To foster a societal identity and articulate a national narrative that affirm what is exceptional about the U.S. more as distinctiveness than superiority. To help guide and legitimize a foreign policy with a better chance of serving American interests and affirming global leadership befitting this third decade of the 21st Century. (Bruce Jentleson)

America’s 21st Century Global Role 

Project explores the “polarity-pluralism” duality of the centripetal push of great power competition to greater bloc polarity and the centrifugal push of “geopolitical pluralism” by which many states see their national interests as best served by having relations with more than one major power; what constitutes a rules-based order and how the US can play a globally credible role given our own record as rules abuser not just abider and the shortcomings of the liberal international order; and foreign policy politics including Congress, public opinion and other aspects. (Bruce Jentleson)

Arctic Security

With the effects of climate change being experienced most significantly in the Arctic region, how can the U.S., as an Arctic nation, prepare for these rapid changes as they challenge paradigms for global logistics, resource harvesting, changing international commons, and security.  (Tim Nichols)

War Games for Homeland Security

This project will assess the educational impacts of student participation in national security simulated exercises (or “war games”).  (David Schanzer)

Diplomacy of the First World War 

This project is a large-scale examination of the diplomacy of the First World War from the perspective of all the combatant and key neutral powers, from the outbreak of the war through the conclusion of the armistice in November 1918.  (Jennifer Siegel)

International Crisis Behavior 

This project examines  whether, and under what conditions, security assistance to US partners tends to increase or decrease security in partner states. The project also considers the situations in which a defender in an international crisis will respond with violence or non-violence to a crisis trigger and the situations in which a challenger will choose a violent or a non-violent counter-response. (Kyle Beardsley)

Nuclear Alliances

This project investigates the inner workings of nuclear-armed alliances, and asks whether there indeed was a “nuclear revolution” in alliance politics, be it in NATO or in the Warsaw Pact.  (Susan Colbourn and Simon Miles)

The Warsaw Pact, 1955–1991

This project will test whether the strategic concepts that guided US and NATO policy actually operated on their Eastern targets in the way that practitioners and scholars claimed.  (Simon Miles)

She Was a Spy! 

This project considers the activities of Marthe Cnockaert, a Belgian woman who claimed in the 1930s to have spied for Britain while working as a German nurse behind the front lines.  Cnockaert—who published two memoirs, a hybrid book of what she claimed to be fictionalized true stories, and a spate of out-and-out spy novels—may have crafted a self-portrait that was as much fiction as fact.  (Jennifer Siegel)

Space Diplomacy lab 

The Space Diplomacy Lab will provide a forum to convene a diverse, multidisciplinary set of academics, policymakers, and diplomatic practitioners from the fields of space science and technology, national security, and international diplomacy to develop policy proposals and solutions to ensure the promise of a secure and sustainable future of humanity in space. (Giovanni Zanalda)

Middle east Infrastructure

The Targeting of Infrastructure in the Middle East project explores the targeting of environmental infrastructures by different actors involved in war-making in the Middle East and North Africa. A database codes targeting of infrastructure in the post-2011 conflict zones of Syria, Yemen, and Libya as well as in more protracted cases of conflict: Israel, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon. (Erika Weinthal)

Post-Conflict Power-Sharing and Public Goods 

In this project, we test several hypotheses regarding the relationship between power-sharing and public goods provision. To test our claims, we use data from a sources on post-conflict power-sharing and governance quality between 1945 and 2007. (Edmund Malesky)



Core Research Questions

What role should America play in the today’s complex, multipolar world?

How is national security and foreign policy shaped by domestic politics, both in the U.S. and globally, especially public opinion and the interplay of key governmental institutions like the military and other bureaucracies?

How should great power competition be managed to avoid large scale warfare?

How should intelligence be collected and used in a way that is consistent with democratic values?

What has caused the rise of international and domestic violent extremist movements and how should they be curbed?

How should nations work together to address transnational issues like climate change, migration, development, and global health?

What circumstances and factors lead to effective alliances in both war and peace?

How should policymakers address threats and seize opportunities to strengthen the United States’ role forging a 21st century rules-based order?