Scholars Corner is a series of videos and short lesson plans featuring scholars from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. Each video introduces an important contemporary issue and explores recent Stanford scholarship on the topic, while each lesson plan helps build student understanding of the content being discussed.
From Cold War to Hot Peace
When the Cold War ended in 1991, many foresaw a promising future for the United States and Russia—a future of cooperation and peace. Fast forward to today, and U.S.–Russia relations are again in a state of confrontation. What happened? In this video, Professor Michael McFaul describes this new phase of "hot peace" between the two countries and explores its similarities and differences with the Cold War. Read more.
The Iranian Revolution
Professor Abbas Milani, Director of the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies at Stanford University, discusses Iran and the Iranian Revolution, noting their significance and impact regionally and globally—including in the United States. He also emphasizes the fight for democracy throughout Iran’s history. Read more.
Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment
Black Lives Matter. Catalan independence. #MeToo. White nationalism. The Islamic State. Though these movements vary drastically in most respects, they are all based on assertions of identity—a theme that Dr. Francis Fukuyama believes has become increasingly critical in both American and global politics. In this video, Dr. Fukuyama discusses the rise of identity politics and its troubling implications for modern democracies. Read more.
Data breaches. Malware. Hacking of elections. As the world’s information moves more online, so do the world’s crime, terrorists, and clandestine operations. Herbert Lin, Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), explores some fundamental concepts of cybersecurity, including its scope and definition, the challenges of maintaining secure systems, and the identities and motives of those who pose threats to cybersecurity. Read more.
In a world of increasingly sophisticated hackers, continual phishing attacks, and bots created to sabotage civil public discourse, what can individuals, organizations, and nations do to protect themselves? Dr. Herbert Lin outlines six cybersecurity strategies that can be used to avoid, prevent, defend against, and cope with cyberthreats. Read more.
Children in Crisis
Stanford Professor Paul H. Wise discusses "Children in Crisis," a multidisciplinary initiative directed at integrating expertise in political science, security, and health services in areas of civil conflict and unstable governance. Read more.
Doomed to Cooperate: Averting Post Cold-War Nuclear Dangers
At the end of the Cold War, American and Russian scientists came together—overcoming political, cultural, and geographic divides—to work toward a common goal of reducing nuclear threat. In this video, Siegfried S. Hecker, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, provides the historical context for this remarkable partnership known as Lab to Lab. Read more.
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Stanford Professor Martha Crenshaw is a renowned expert in terrorism studies and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. In this video, Professor Crenshaw explores some fundamental issues about terrorism, such as why people resort to terror, the political goals of terrorism, and the importance of understanding the complex web of relationships among terrorist organizations. Read more.
Reforming Myanmar's Health System
Medical doctor and scholar Phyu Phyu Thin Zaw highlights the changes Myanmar has already undertaken and the challenges the country still faces as it works to improve its healthcare system. Read more.
Immigration and Integration: Introduction
Immigration policy has been a very controversial and highly debated topic for decades, both in the United States and in Europe. In this video, Jens Hainmueller, Co-Director of the Immigration and Integration Policy Lab, and Duncan Lawrence, Executive Director, define immigrant integration, explain factors of migration, and discuss the characteristics of immigration in Europe versus the United States. Read more.
Immigration and Integration: Current Research
Jens Hainmueller and Duncan Lawrence of Stanford's Immigration and Integration Policy Lab explain some of the challenges created by current immigration policies, as well as the statistical and experimental research they have undertaken to better understand and inform immigration policy in Europe and the United States. Read more.
China Under Mao
Andrew Walder, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, shares his insight about Mao’s leadership, current party leaders and lessons learned while researching his new book, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed. Read more.
The Use of Lethal Force by Police in Rio
Beatriz Magaloni discusses her ongoing research on police practices in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In describing her findings, she explores the connections between poverty, crime, and police violence—topics just as relevant in the contemporary United States as they are in Brazil. Read more.
Climate Change and Food Security
David Lobell, Deputy Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE), defines what constitutes food security and describes how changes in climate are affecting agricultural productivity and agricultural research. Read more.
Climate Change and Conflict
Marshall Burke discusses his research on the surprisingly strong relationship between climate change and conflict and the possible security implications of this research. Read more.
Governance and Corruption
Francis Fukuyama, FSI Senior Fellow, reflects on issues of governance and corruption in politics. He provides insights to questions such as: What is good governance? What does political decay mean in contemporary U.S. politics? What does corruption look like and how can it be addressed? Read more.
Access More Teaching Materials
View other SPICE teaching resources, or subscribe to our email list.