M. Taylor Fravel

M. Taylor Fravel

Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science

Director of the MIT Security Studies Program

CV

International relations; international security; military strategy; military doctrine; nuclear weapons; nuclear strategy; territorial disputes; maritime disputes; China; East Asia.

Biography

M. Taylor Fravel is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Taylor studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. His books include Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes, (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Active Defense: China's Military Strategy Since 1949 (Princeton University Press, 2019). His other publications have appeared in International Security, Foreign Affairs, Security Studies, International Studies Review, The China Quarterly, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Studies, Armed Forces & Society, Current History, Asian Survey, Asian Security, China Leadership Monitor, and Contemporary Southeast Asia.

Taylor is a graduate of Middlebury College and Stanford University, where he received his PhD. He also has graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2016, he was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation. Taylor has been a member of the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and serves as the Principal Investigator for the Maritime Awareness Project.

Recent Publications

“Shifts in Warfare and Party Unity: Explaining Changes in China’s Military Strategy,” International Security Vol 42, No. 3 (Winter 2017/2018)

“Threading the Needle: The South China Sea Disputes and U.S.-China Relations,” in Robert Ross and Øystein Tsunjo, eds., Strategic Adjustment and the Rise of China:  Power and Politics in East Asia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017)

“Qualitative Investigations of Theoretical Models: The Value of Process Tracing,” Journal of Theoretical Politics Vol. 29, No. 3 (2017) (with Peter Lorentzen and Jack Paine)

“Explaining China’s Escalation in the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands Dispute,” Global Summitry Vol. 2, No. 1 (June 2016)

“Assuring Assured Retaliation: China’s Nuclear Strategy and U.S.-China Strategic Stability,” International Security Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2015) (with Fiona S. Cunningham)

“The PLA and National Security Decisionmaking: Insights from China’s Territorial and Maritime Disputes,” in Phillip Saunders and Andrew Scobell, eds., The PLA’s Role in National Security Policy-Making (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2015)

“Projecting Strategy: The Myth of Chinese Counter-Intervention,” The Washington Quarterly Vol. 37, No. 4 (Winter 2015) (with Christopher P. Twomey)

“Things Fall Apart: Maritime Disputes and China’s Regional Diplomacy,” in Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein, eds., China’s Challenges: The Road Ahead (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)

“Territorial and Maritime Boundary Disputes in Asia,” in Saadia Pekkanen, Rosemary Foot, and John Ravenhill, Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Teaching

17.950 Territorial Conflict
17.407/17.408 Chinese Foreign Policy: International Relations and Strategy (Syllabus)
17.433/17.434 International Relations of East Asia
17.418 Field Seminar in International Relations (Syllabus)
17.THT Thesis Research Design Seminar





 

News

Where Does the China-India Border Dispute Stand? The Diplomat hosts Prof. Fravel and expert panel to discuss

Over the past months, China and India have continued the slow process of disengaging along sections of their disputed border in Ladakh. Yet the two sides continue to disagree about who is responsible for the standoff of 2020-21, which culminated in a deadly clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020. How do things stand along the border today, and what are the implications for the bilateral relationship?

For the first time, NATO is focusing on China

Daniel Ofman The Worlds

Both the Trump and the Biden administrations have described China as an adversary, a rival, even a threat. China has been front and center when it comes to Biden's foreign policy agenda. Now, the NATO alliance is also zeroing in on China with laserlike focus.

Biography

M. Taylor Fravel is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Taylor studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. His books include Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes, (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Active Defense: China's Military Strategy Since 1949 (Princeton University Press, 2019). His other publications have appeared in International Security, Foreign Affairs, Security Studies, International Studies Review, The China Quarterly, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Studies, Armed Forces & Society, Current History, Asian Survey, Asian Security, China Leadership Monitor, and Contemporary Southeast Asia.

Taylor is a graduate of Middlebury College and Stanford University, where he received his PhD. He also has graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2016, he was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation. Taylor has been a member of the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and serves as the Principal Investigator for the Maritime Awareness Project.

Recent Publications

“Shifts in Warfare and Party Unity: Explaining Changes in China’s Military Strategy,” International Security Vol 42, No. 3 (Winter 2017/2018)

“Threading the Needle: The South China Sea Disputes and U.S.-China Relations,” in Robert Ross and Øystein Tsunjo, eds., Strategic Adjustment and the Rise of China:  Power and Politics in East Asia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017)

“Qualitative Investigations of Theoretical Models: The Value of Process Tracing,” Journal of Theoretical Politics Vol. 29, No. 3 (2017) (with Peter Lorentzen and Jack Paine)

“Explaining China’s Escalation in the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands Dispute,” Global Summitry Vol. 2, No. 1 (June 2016)

“Assuring Assured Retaliation: China’s Nuclear Strategy and U.S.-China Strategic Stability,” International Security Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2015) (with Fiona S. Cunningham)

“The PLA and National Security Decisionmaking: Insights from China’s Territorial and Maritime Disputes,” in Phillip Saunders and Andrew Scobell, eds., The PLA’s Role in National Security Policy-Making (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2015)

“Projecting Strategy: The Myth of Chinese Counter-Intervention,” The Washington Quarterly Vol. 37, No. 4 (Winter 2015) (with Christopher P. Twomey)

“Things Fall Apart: Maritime Disputes and China’s Regional Diplomacy,” in Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein, eds., China’s Challenges: The Road Ahead (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)

“Territorial and Maritime Boundary Disputes in Asia,” in Saadia Pekkanen, Rosemary Foot, and John Ravenhill, Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Teaching

17.950 Territorial Conflict
17.407/17.408 Chinese Foreign Policy: International Relations and Strategy (Syllabus)
17.433/17.434 International Relations of East Asia
17.418 Field Seminar in International Relations (Syllabus)
17.THT Thesis Research Design Seminar





 

News

Where Does the China-India Border Dispute Stand? The Diplomat hosts Prof. Fravel and expert panel to discuss

Over the past months, China and India have continued the slow process of disengaging along sections of their disputed border in Ladakh. Yet the two sides continue to disagree about who is responsible for the standoff of 2020-21, which culminated in a deadly clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020. How do things stand along the border today, and what are the implications for the bilateral relationship?

For the first time, NATO is focusing on China

Daniel Ofman The Worlds

Both the Trump and the Biden administrations have described China as an adversary, a rival, even a threat. China has been front and center when it comes to Biden's foreign policy agenda. Now, the NATO alliance is also zeroing in on China with laserlike focus.