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The (evolving) art of war

MIT News

Comment In 1969, the Soviet Union moved troops and military equipment to its border with China, escalating tensions between the communist Cold War powers. In response, China created a new military strategy of “active defense” to repel an invading force near the border. There was just one catch: China did not actually implement its new strategy until 1980. Which raises a question: How could China have taken a full decade before shifting its military posture in the face of an apparent threat to its existence?

Caught between criminals and cops

MIT Political Science

While investigating the impact of gang violence on Lagos, Nigeria, sixth-year political science doctoral candidate, Andrew Miller, came up with an innovative research tool: immersive, virtual reality videos.

Commerce and coercion

MIT Political Science

"Those who study China see nationalism as a sort of narrative that the state actively creates, helping to create legitimacy for the [Communist] party," says Miura. She set out to learn whether all Chinese politics followed the central government's nationalist narrative.

A stage of their own

MIT Political Science

For the approximately 70 political science graduate students, GSWIP serves as a training ground for preparing research, addressing colleagues and learning conference protocol. "It's a really good forum to observe the professional side of political science, including the etiquette of asking questions," says second-year PhD student Rorisang Lekalake, another GSWIP organizer.

Machine Anxiety

SHASS

The study of bureaucracy stands as a reminder not to dismiss human agency too rapidly. For all the fears it evoked about depersonalized rule, bureaucracy never eliminated human judgment. The same might be true for AI. This means that we need to investigate how individual and organizational actors mediate the adoption of new technologies, and how they are in turn transformed by them. This calls for empirical social science.

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