233 Items

Sir John Sawers with Sec. Ash Carter and Amb. Nicholas Burns

Benn Craig/ Belfer Center

Analysis & Opinions

Conversations in Diplomacy: Sir John Sawers

| Mar. 01, 2018

In this installment of “Conversations in Diplomacy," the Future of Diplomacy Project's Faculty Director Nicholas Burns is joined by Sir John Sawers, the former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, for a conversation on tackling global security challenges in the digital age and the changing nature of intelligence agencies.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at an interview with the Associated Press in Washington on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. Tillerson says the Trump administration is working on a legislative fix that could clear the path for President Donald Trump to remain in the Iran nuclear deal. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Rewrite Iran Deal? Europeans Offer a Different Solution: A New Chapter

| Feb. 26, 2018

President Trump’s threat to rip up the Iran nuclear deal has touched off an urgent scramble in European capitals to preserve the agreement — not by rewriting it, but by creating a successor deal intended to halt Iran’s ballistic missile program and make permanent the restrictions on its ability to produce nuclear fuel.

Solar panel field and wind turbines

PIXNIO / hpgruesen

Book - Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources

| 2018

This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the latest research from leading scholars on the international political economy of energy and resources. Highlighting the important conceptual and empirical themes, the chapters study all levels of governance, from global to local, and explore the wide range of issues emerging in a changing political and economic environment.

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Analysis & Opinions - Arctic Today

Could an Arctic Agreement Revolutionize Global Trade?

  • Mehek Sethi
| Feb. 09, 2018

While traditional trade agreements tend to neglect environmental regulatory cooperation, an Arctic Free Trade Area, including all eight Arctic Council member countries (Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark — including Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), could set a new and revolutionary precedent.

Symbolic pipes with a sign that reads "Turkmenistan—China" on exhibit at the Bagtyyarlyk natural gas field, Turkmenistan, Aug. 29, 2007.

AP / Alexander Vershinin

Analysis & Opinions - World Politics Review

In the Race for Central Asia’s Gas, China’s Rise Comes at Russia’s Expense

| Jan. 26, 2018

Last week, Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, became the first Central Asian head of state to visit President Donald Trump in the White House, in a likely effort to shore up ties. In an email interview, Morena Skalamera, an associate at the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center, examines the competition over Central Asia’s gas resources and its geopolitical consequences. 

Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing, June 25, 2016.

President of Russia

Journal Article - Taylor and Francis

Explaining the 2014 Sino–Russian Gas Breakthrough: The Primacy of Domestic Politics

| Jan. 22, 2018

On 21 May 2014, during a state visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing, China and Russia signed a $400 billion, 30-year gas deal. Under this agreement, China will import 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom, beginning in 2018. Why, after 15 years of stalemated negotiations, did this breakthrough occur in 2014? Why did a natural, symbiotic gas relationship not develop earlier and more gradually? Most studies explain this by looking at Russia’s international isolation post Ukraine. Based on interviews with both Chinese and Russian officials this article argues the following: domestic incentives, rather than foreign-policy pressures, are the real force behind the timing of Sino–Russian energy breakthroughs in 2014.

Windmills on shore


Journal Article - Oxford Energy Forum

U.S. Energy Diplomacy in an Age of Energy Abundance

| November 2017

For decades, fears of energy scarcity drove American energy diplomacy. The dependence of the global economy on oil, and America’s need to secure ever-growing quantities of this commodity, underpinned complex networks of alliances and intensive diplomatic endeavors. An atmosphere of ever-increasing global competition for resources made these labors all the more urgent and highstakes. Today, in an age of energy abundance, many anticipate that the new US energy prowess will render such efforts obsolete and pave the way for US disengagement in the world. Yet a sober look at reality suggests that this should be far from the case.

Gazprom sign in Moscow.

Martin Griffiths

Journal Article - Post-Soviet Affairs

Understanding Russia’s energy turn to China: domestic narratives and national identity priorities

| Dec. 22, 2017

This study investigates whether, as part of a broader “Asian Energy Pivot,” Russia’s energy giant Gazprom refashioned its export strategy away from Europe, and what impact such a reorientation might have on the EU–Russia gas relationship. It uses four empirical cases to emphasize the domestic movers underlying Russia’s eastward shift in energy trade, developing a constructivist theory rooted in the dynamics of Russia’s dominant public narrative and the contours of domestic politics. It argues that Russia’s national interests changed as a result of how Russian policy-makers interpreted and reacted to the stand-off with Europe, in response to what they perceived as Europe’s attempt to isolate it economically and geopolitically. 

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Analysis & Opinions

Libyan State Media Cites Trump to Discredit CNN Story about Human Trafficking

| Nov. 28, 2017

Nicholas Burns joins Erin Burnett to discuss President Trump's dismissal of CNN as fake news, including CNN's latest report on the UN-backed Libyan government involvement in enslaving and trading people in Libya. "I think he's playing with fire. If America should stand for anything its against a modern slave market."