Research Opportunities

Funded Summer Internships for Government Concentrators

We are delighted to announce that the Government Department will once again fund several summer internships open only to Government concentrators through the Chair’s Traveling Fund. See below for information on these opportunities and how to apply.

Offered in partnership with several Harvard Centers, these internships offer the opportunity to fuse practical and academic experiences.

Please note that selection in each case will be made by a joint Government/Center committee and may also require an interview with the host institution.

 

Center for European Studies

The Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), Belgrade, Serbia

The Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) is a non-profit, non-governmental, international network, oriented to educational work related to strategic nonviolent conflict. CANVAS founders were part of the team that organized a successful nonviolent movement that  lead to the overthrow of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic as part of the Bulldozer Revolution in 2000. Its  mission now is to reach widest possible international audience in order to share experiences and spread knowledge about  strategic nonviolent conflict  to future generations. For further information about CANAVS work, please visit  https://canvasopedia.org/

Responsibilities: The CANVAS Analytical Research Intern will primarily work on situation research and analysis for the countries where the CANVAS team is working, but duties are subject to change depending on current needs and ongoing projects. Students will also work on weekly reports for several different countries.

Intern duties also include: social media management, drafting articles for English-language publications, region-specific analyses and research, transcription of videos, tracking news stories, and inventorying  publications.

If there is the possibility (depending on the period when the co-op student is engaged) that he/she will participate in a workshop for activists involved in nonviolent struggle.

Qualifications: Analytical thinking, good writing skills, good research and organizational skills, and strong interpersonal abilities , Serbian is not a prerequisite. This position is ideal for Government concentrators but not limited to them.

Schedule: Start date late May/early June, minimum duration 8 weeks.

Application deadline: February 7, 2020. Apply via CARAT

 

Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, The Hague, Netherlands

The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR), a research center at EUROCLIO, the European Association of History Educators in The Hague, is seeking interns to assist with research on its Contested Histories in Public Spaces project. Work will include research and evaluation of project materials, assisting in the drafting of research papers, and mapping studies, as well as the possible development of interactive, on-line materials.

The intern will be based in the EUROCLIO offices in The Hague, Netherlands, and will divide her/his time between IHJR and EUROCLIO projects and activities, including research and writing, as well as visits to the Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and other Hague-based international institutions. On return, the student may elect to continue to reflect on the substance of his or her experience through an independent study for credit in the Government Department (Gov 91r).

Timeframe: June and July 2020

Application deadline: February 7, 2020. Apply via CARAT

 

China Fund

Harvard China Student Internship Program

The 2020 Program is offered in partnership with Chinese corporations, NGOs/NPOs, and multinational companies in China. Students experience modern China through their internship placements and gain an introduction to Chinese history and culture, all while learning first-hand about life in the workplace. The structure of the program includes a nine-week internship, a week-long field trip, and numerous cultural events.

Program Dates: Saturday, June 6th Friday to August 14th, 2020. (One week of orientation/field trip organized by the Harvard China Fund will take place from June 6th to June 13th).

Eligibility: Returning undergraduates from all concentrations are eligible to apply. Chinese language is not required to apply, but almost all of the internship positions require some knowledge of oral and written Chinese. Students must be able to commit to the entire 10-week program.

Potential Host Cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Cost: All students will be responsible for the $2,500 program fee. Housing and airfare will be covered by funding from the host company, Harvard China Fund, or other sources of funding on campus. All interns will receive a small, variable stipend. Funding is available and all eligible students will be automatically considered for a grant from the Office of Career Services or other sources of funding after applying to HCSIP.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Apply via CARAT

 

Davis Center

Davis Center Research Internships at Central Bank of Armenia

Since 2014, Harvard students have pursued 8-week research internships at the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) research center in the scenic mountain town of Dilijan, outside the capital of Yerevan. Interns pursue research on a variety of macroeconomic and policy questions appropriate to their level of prior study and interests.

The director of the Dilijan Research Center oversees the internships and ensures a good match between interns' background and interests and CBA projects. More advanced students stand to gain the most from this opportunity, since they are best positioned to understand and contribute the sophisticated data science and economic analysis that informs CBA policy. Students at earlier stages of their academic career pursue more general topics; completion of Ec 10 or the equivalent is sufficient preparation for some topics. The CBA especially welcomes applications from students with strong quantitative skills for data analysis projects. The working language at the CBA is English; knowledge of Armenian or Russian is helpful outside the work week.

All interns receive generous in-kind support from the CBA: lodging in well-equipped hotel suites with internet access and sports facilities (tennis, swimming, health club), meals during the work week, airport transfers, weekend transportation to Yerevan, cultural outings, and optional language instruction.

The Davis Center will award Goldman Internship Grants for up to 3 CBA interns to cover roundtrip airfare and a modest stipend (do not submit a separate Goldman application for CBA internships; simply complete the budget portion of this application and include cost of round-trip economy airfare to Yerevan, Armenia arriving on a weekday in late May / early June and departing early August.

Eligibility: Harvard students and alumni who have the relevant background. Best suited for students of economics, statistics, applied math, computer science. Students who have completed Ec 10 or the equivalent and have a strong interest in fiscal policy are also encouraged to apply. Some data science (quantitative analysis) positions are also available.

Application Deadline: February 12, 2020. Apply via CARAT

 

DRCLAS

Government Department Chair's Traveling Fund for Brazil

The Department of Government at Harvard University and the Brazil Studies Program & Brazil Office of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies are partnering to offer an enriching internship experience in Brazil during summer 2020. Two highly qualified Government concentrators will receive financial and logistical support to take up one of the specified internship opportunities below.

Internships will take place in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's cultural and financial powerhouses. The Harvard-DRCLAS Brazil Office is located in São Paulo, and will provide logistical and on-the-ground support for students participating in this program. Together with host organizations, the Brazil Office will help students find the accommodations of their preference (homestay family or Airbnb).

For students interning in Rio, the internship supervisor from your host organization will be your main point of contact for general help and advice in navigating the city. Though, in case of an emergency, Brazil Office staff would be readily available to fly to Rio and provide necessary support.

Students will spend 8 weeks interning between June 6/7 and August 1. These dates include a 2-day orientation organized by the Harvard DRCLAS Brazil Office, which students interning in Rio de Janeiro are also expected to attend. Participants will also be invited to join a partially funded trip to another state in Brazil with students participating in the Brazil Office's Summer Internship Program.

 Host Organizations

 1) Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Institute for Applied Economic Research) - Ipea

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Portuguese Level: No Portuguese Necessary

The Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) is a public research institution that provides technical support to the federal government with regard to public policies: fiscal, social and economic. The division offering the position is responsible for studying Science, technology and innovation as well as several public policies on this matter.

 
2) CEPESP/FGV

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Portuguese Level: No Portuguese necessary

The Center of Politics and Economics of the Public Sector, CEPESP, was created in 2006. CEPESP gathers professors, students, and researchers from both the Business and the Economics Schools at FGV. The primary research question is the role performed by political and economic variables on explaining public policies. In other words, the researches aim at appraising the influence exerted by institutions (in a broad sense) on public policies’ decision-making. The work carried out by CEPESP is structured along four research lines: Political Institutions, Public Finance, Regulation of Public Policies, and Regional and Urban Economics.

 
3) Inova Lab – MPRJ

Location: Rio de Janeiro - Southeastern Brazil

Portuguese Level: No Portuguese necessary

Inova MPRJ is the government innovation lab of the Rio de Janeiro's Public Prosecutor's Office. Our purpose is to explore daring ideas and experiment with new practices to build an organization ahead of its time. To address sustainable public solutions, we work mixing different and complementary tools, such as data science, design thinking, storytelling and evidence-based public policies.
 

4) Centro de Liderança Pública (Center for Public Leadership) – CLP

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Portuguese Level: Intermediate Portuguese preferred

CLP is a nonprofit dedicated to the improvement of public leadership and advocacy for strategic issues in Brazil. By preparing and empowering public leaders to promote change of behavior and to implement effective and ethical public policies, CLP aims to contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions and the demise of populism in Brazil. We want to build the next generation of transformational leaders in Brazil by supporting the efforts of the Centro de Liderança Publica, a Brazilian social organization that has trained over 5,000 public leaders in the past eight years.

·       Transformation Management Department:

CLP’s Transformation Management department is the consultancy branch of the organization. The team is responsible for implementing projects alongside other consultancy firms to foster leadership and management capabilities for betterment of Brazil’s public policies and institutions.

·       Education Department:

CLP´s Education department focuses in offering education programs (master’s, executive education, customized programs, and online education) that seek to foster leadership and management capabilities for the betterment of Brazil’s public policies and institutions.

·       Mobilization Department:

The Mobilization area aims to help leaders who work in the public sphere to prioritize and address important issues in the country, and to develop independent research around strategic themes to influence public policy. The area works with innovative strategies to engage public leaders effectively and to advocate for the improvement of Competitiveness, Education, Innovation, Infrastructure and Public Security in Brazil.
 

5) Instituto Igarapé

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Portuguese Level: Basic Portuguese preferred

 The Igarapé Institute is an independent think and do tank devoted to evidence-based policy and action on complex security, justice and development challenges in Brazil, Latin America, and Africa. The Institute’s goal is to stimulate debate, foster connections and trigger action. Based in the South, the Igarapé Institute undertakes diagnostics, generates awareness, and co-designs solutions with public and private partners, often with the use of new technologies.

Key areas of focus include (i) Weather and Safety (focus Amazon Forest), (ii) gun violence and (iii) safer cities.

 
6) Folha de S. Paulo

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Portuguese Level: Basic Portuguese preferred

Founded in 1921, Folha has been, since the 80's, the best-selling newspaper in the country among national dailies of general interest. The growth was based on the editorial principles of the Folha Project: pluralism, non-partisanship, critical journalism and independence. Organized in daily thematic sections and supplements, it has national circulation. It was the first communications vehicle in Brazil to adopt the role of ombudsman and to offer online content to its readers.

Folha de São Paulo is very interested in hosting an intern who believes in data journalism´s capacity to have a positive and profound impact on society. We are looking for a talented student capable of managing large databases and interested in working on a project in any of the fields covered by our newspaper (such as politics, economics, international affairs, sports, education, health etc).
 

7) Republica.org

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Portuguese Level: Basic Portuguese preferred

República.org is a non-profit, nonpartisan, and non-corporate association that relies on data and analysis to invest in qualification, recognition, and network-building for excellent people working within the Brazilian public sector. Our goal is to build capacity and increase the effectiveness of public services in Brazil.


APPLICATION & DEADLINE

Interested students should use this link to submit their applications by Monday, February 2 at 11:59pm EST. In-person interviews will be conducted on the week of Monday, February 18. Selected students will receive decision notifications by early March.

 

Government Department

ZOiS Internship, Berlin, Germany

The Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) can offer research internships over the summer months. Thanks to the internship, young students can become involved in one of the capital’s key research institutes on Central and Eastern Europe and acquire a deeper understanding of the political and public dynamics of Germany.

The intern will be part of one of the Institute’s main research clusters (Youth in Eastern Europe, Societies between Stability and Change, Conflict Dynamics and Border Regions, Migration and Diversity, and the Political Economy of Eastern Europe). Therein, the person will contribute to one specific research project and will also have the opportunity to pursue work on an independent research paper in consultation with the supervisor. The academic leader of the chosen research cluster is also going to act as the personal supervisor of the intern.

The tasks of the intern may include, but are not limited to:

- Assistance in research projects: literature research, data analysis, visualisation and presentation of data and research findings, and support in conceiving new projects

- Background research for project- and event-related publications or lectures by ZOiS staff or for media requests

The precise content of the internship is going to be agreed on between the academic mentor and the intern.

Qualifications: Excellent Microsoft Office skills are required; knowledge of a statistical programming language such as R is an advantage but not a requirement. Knowledge of Russian or another East European language is desirable.

Administrative staff at ZOiS can point to relevant sources of information for finding housing in Berlin.

Application deadline: February 7, 2020. Apply via CARAT

 

 

 

Gov 92r

Gov 92r allows you to conduct research in the Government department for academic credit. It is graded SAT/UNSAT. If you are interested in any of these projects, please contact the supervisors directly. You will need to submit the Gov 92r form (available in CGIS K151 and here) to the Government Undergraduate Office in CGIS K151 before you can register for the course on my.harvard.

Spring 2020

Alexander Gard-Murray
Environmental Policy Research
This course provides students with an opportunity to do policy research.  The core of the class is a semester-long collaborative policy analysis project on behalf of a non-profit client.  This semester's project will evaluate how clean, distributed energy generation and storage can make our electricity grid robust to natural disasters.  Students will also learn about policy analysis methods and theory, along with the politics of policymaking.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills):  None
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: gard-murray@fas.harvard.edu
 

Jennifer Hochschild
Politics and Ideology of Genomic Science

Literature reviews, hand-coding of open-ended answers in surveys, and other research to help complete a book on the politics of genomic science.  The book is organized around a simple framework, and examines several arenas of genomics to show how and why conflicts occur (hint: it is not partisan politics!).  ALSO, I am planning a workshop at Radcliffe that will examine politics around 3 genomics technologies, comparing US, Great Britain, and China with surveys, interviews, and analyses of documents.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills):  No specific courses. Interest in intersection of science (especially biology/genomics) and politics or public policy is most important.  Any experience with coding or lit reviews would be great, but not essential.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: hochschild@gov.harvard.edu

 

Alisha Holland
Can Planning Institutions Reduce Corruption?
 
I am looking for research assistants to collaborate on a project on corruption in large-scale infrastructure projects in Latin America.  More specifically, the research examines whether planning authorities, which often have the power to veto or delay infrastructure projects before they are built, can reduce corruption and under what circumstances. Research assistants will be in charge of reviewing relevant literature on planning institutions, as well as reports by international organizations (World Bank, OECD, IDB) analyzing the planning institutions of several Latin American countries. The goal is to theorize the most important differences across planning institutions. The research assistants also will use data gathered from the Colombian and Peruvian planning institutions, as well as audit reports of infrastructure projects, to analyze the effects of planning institutions on project costs, complaints, and time to completion.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills):  Spanish and some background in quantitative methods are advantages, but not required.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: aholland@fas.harvard.edu
 

David Kane
Tools for Data Science Education

I teach two courses: Gov 1005: Data and Gov 1006: Models. Together, they will enroll hundreds of students in 2019-2020. The purpose of this project is to create tools and resources --- using R, Git, GitHub, and DataCamp --- which make these courses more effective.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Gov 1005 or the equivalent.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: dkane@fas.harvard.edu
 

Joshua Kertzer
Group Decision-Making in the US National Security Council

How do elite groups make decisions on national security policy? This project seeks to answer this question through a newly collected set of meeting records and briefing materials produced by the the US National Security Council during the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): N/A
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: jkertzer@gov.harvard.edu
 

Horacio Larreguy
When do Media Stations Support Electoral Accountability? A Field Experiment in Mexico

Between 2016 and 2019 we partnered with a local NGO to randomly disseminate information about mayoral incumbent corruption to media outlets in Mexico. Our goal is to understand whether media outlets published the information, whether there are spillovers to other markets, and how these spillovers vary with the extent of the local media market structure. We are looking for several research assistants to help us with the coding of data collected from media outlets in Mexico. We are now doing supervised text analysis for which we need the RAs to go through news articles and code them along various dimensions.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Knowledge of Spanish.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: hlarreguy@fas.harvard.edu  
 

Horacio Larreguy
Education and Political Participation: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

The student will contribute to this book project exploring the relationship between education and political engagement in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe by researching the politics of each country, with a particular focus on how voter mobilization work and how that might differ with their level of education. The student will reflect this work in two or three essays between 20 and 30 pages.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): None.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: hlarreguy@fas.harvard.edu  
 

Horacio Larreguy
Campaign promises and non-electoral accountability in Mexican municipalities

This project studies the campaign promises made during municipal elections and the implementation of such promises by winning candidates in Mexico, which is a context where accountability–especially among municipal governments–remains weak. The student will help to collect, organize and (potentially) analyze data on candidate campaign promises and whether the winning candidates fulfilled such promises.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Knowledge of Spanish. (Knowledge of Stata is desirable.)
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: hlarreguy@fas.harvard.edu


 

Raffler, Pia
Does Debate Participation Matter?

We are interested in exploring whether debate participation hurts or promotes electoral success. A growing number of countries hold Presidential debates, including in the developing world. Whether candidates participate is a strategic decision, of which we do not yet understand the ramifications. Organizations promoting debates, such as NDI, wonder about this as well. We are in the process of constructing a dataset with presidential elections, whether a debate took place, and if so, who participated in it for Africa and Latin America. In addition, we are collecting time-series polling data of each case where a debate took place, before and after the debate, as well as Twitter data. This data will allow us to estimate the effect of debate participation on voter sentiment through a difference-in-difference analysis. We are recruiting RAs to help with the finalization of the data set construction and data analysis. In the process, students will learn about politics in Africa and Latin America and a host of data sources and will build their skills manipulating and analyzing data.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills: Statistics background and experience coding in R or Stata a plus.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: Pia Raffler (praffler@gov.harvard.edu), Horacio Larreguy (hlarreguy@fas.harvard.edu)  
 

 

Thomas Remington
Competition, monopoly rents and economic inequality in the United Kingdom

As part of a larger research project comparing the political determinants of wage and income inequality across countries, I wish to analyze the effect of market concentration on the distribution of profits realized from market domination. A growing literature focused on the United States has found that market power enables corporations to distribute above-competitive profits to top managers, owners, and political allies. I would like an RA to search for articles dealing with these issues in the context of the United Kingdom. Specifically, I would like to investigate the enforcement of the Competition Act of 1998 and the Enterprise Act of 2002 with respect to the degree of industrial concentration and competition in the UK.
Description of RA duties: RA will search for articles relevant to the topic.  For each relevant article, the RA will provide a summary, indicating the data sources used by the author, and a link to the original publication. 
I will meet with the RA once a week to review the data collection process and findings.  We will discuss similarities and differences between the UK and the United States with respect to the findings. 
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Basic research skills: using scholarly databases; screening articles for relevance; reading and summarizing scholarly articles.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: Thomas F. Remington (tremington@fas.harvard.edu)


Daniel M. Smith
Candidates, Elections, and (Gender) Representation in Comparative Perspective

This project involves the collection of candidate-level and legislator-level biographical and electoral data from several democracies. The RA will be involved in collecting and cleaning the data, as well as analysis of the data. Qualified applicants also have the opportunity to work on analysis of data from conjoint survey experiments. In the process, the RA will also learn about the electoral systems, candidate selection methods within parties, and patterns of representation in each of the countries included in the study. A particular focus is gender representation, but we will also be collecting data on other attributes of candidates. In Spring 2020, one likely task will be to collect data (e.g., via web-scraping) on candidates and electoral results in Ireland’s national elections.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): None. Japanese, Norwegian, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Swedish language skills would be especially helpful and welcome, but not required. The student should be familiar with Excel, and will be encouraged to learn how to use either Stata or R over the course of the semester. Other data management skills are helpful, but not necessary.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: Professor Daniel M. Smith: danielmsmith@fas.harvard.edu


Daniel M. Smith
Digitization of Historical Japanese Political Documents

This project involves the digitization of a large number of historical text records (legislative debates) from the Imperial Japanese Diet (1890-1946). The RA will be involved in using OCR software to convert PDF text records into machine-encoded text, and cleaning the resultant files. In the process, the RA will also learn about the historical development and decay of democracy in pre-World War II Japan.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): The ideal RA will have skills in working with OCR software and/or text analysis; Japanese language skills would be especially helpful and welcome, but not required. Exceptionally qualified applicants may be invited to continue working on the project as a paid RA.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: Professor Daniel M. Smith: danielmsmith@fas.harvard.edu  
 

George Soroka
Assessing Status-Seeking Behavior: Are China and Russia Revisionist Powers?

This is a project I am collaborating on with a scholar from Wheaton College. We are interested in the extent to which contemporary China and Russia may be considered revisionist powers, meaning whether or not they seek to challenge the international system as it now exists in their quest for great-power status. The two case studies we will be focusing on are the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on the Chinese side and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on the Russian side. The position will consist of data gathering and assistance with content analysis of documents and speeches.  
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Native or near-native proficiency in Russian and/or Chinese is required. Familiarity with computer-based content analysis techniques and web-scrapping preferable but not required.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV, the names of two academic references, and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: soroka@fas.harvard.edu


George Soroka
Social Media Depictions of the Katyn Massacre: Poland and Russia Compared

This project will look at recent YouTube content posted in Polish and Russian to examine how the 1940 Katyn massacre has been depicted on social media and the extent to which its interpretation has been politicized among ordinary citizens. The goal will be to produce an article-length manuscript by the end of the spring term (there is the possibility for co-authorship credit for an especially motivated research assistant).
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Native-level knowledge of Polish and/ or Russian (please note: much of the content being examined will consist of slang or informal language usage, so this is critical). 
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV, the names of two academic references, and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: soroka@fas.harvard.edu

 

Allison Stanger
Consumers vs. Citizens: Social Inequality and Democracy’s Public Sphere in a Big Data World

From Russian manipulation of free elections to the rise of the American surveillance state, the Internet has transformed the relationship between the public and private sectors, especially democracy’s public sphere. What has too often gone unacknowledged is that the same revolution has produced a series of conflicts between our desires as consumers and our duties as citizens. Left unaddressed, the consequence is a moral vacuum that increases social inequality and threatens liberal democracy. How might we best meet these challenges and rescue freedom and equality? What role should citizens, Silicon Valley, and government rightfully play? 
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Strong analytical skills and technological fluency a plus.  The ideal candidate will have background in both computer science and government, a commitment to social justice and free inquiry, awareness of competing narrative strategies, and interest in translating complex ideas for a general audience. 
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: astanger@fas.harvard.edu  
 

Benjamin Zyla
NATO Under Trump: Is the Transatlantic Alliance Coming to an End?

This is an opportunity to do cutting edge research on a very contemporary topic: the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) under President Trump – the end of the West?
NATO has been in the spotlight since President Trump took office. It has been called ‘obsolete’, antiquated, outdated, etc., by members of the administration, which calls into question the sheer essence of the transatlantic relationship. More so, Trump himself has pressured the Europeans to share more of NATO’s collective burden and close to states’ 2% of their GDP– otherwise the US would leave the alliance. More recently, French President Macron has found that NATO is “braindead” and urgently needs a new raison d’être. Does this suggest the end for the Alliance?
Against this backdrop, this project takes a closer look at the future of NATO and examines how allies share the collective burden of NATO (public good). We focus on quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure member states’ contributions. If interested, students could also to apply their knowledge on IR theories (e.g. realism, institutionalism etc.) to studying NATO, and develop concrete policy options for policy makers how to handle the current NATO crisis.
Prerequisites (courses and/or methodological skills): Interest in transatlantic relationship, international institutions, and US foreign policy, etc.
Contact: If you're interested, send a CV and a short paragraph on why this project interests you to: Benjamin Zyla, benjaminzyla@fas.harvard.edu