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A podcast of this seminar is now available. 


Professor Greenhill will examine an understudied, yet relatively common, bargaining tool and method of persuasion: namely, the use of migration and refugee crises as non-military instruments of state-level coercion. Who employs this unconventional weapon, how often it succeeds and fails, how and why this kind of coercion ever works, and how targets may combat this unorthodox brand of coercion will be explored. Contemporary cases, including Libya, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Kosovo, will be discussed as will the sometimes devastating humanitarian implications of engineered migration crises. The talk will be drawn in part from Professor Greenhill's book of the same name, which received the International Studies Association's Best Book of the Year Award.

about the speaker 

Kelly M. Greenhill is Associate Professor at Tufts University and Research Associate and Chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center (BCSIA). Shel also serves as Associate Editor of the journal Security Studies. Much of her research focuses on the use of military force and what are frequently called 'new security challenges', including civil wars; the use of forced migration as a weapon; military intervention and (counter-) insurgency; foreign and defence policy; and international crime as a challenge to domestic governance. 

She is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs), co-author and co-editor of Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell) and The Use of Force, 8th edition. Her research has also appeared in a variety of other venues, including in the journals International SecuritySecurity StudiesCivil Wars, and International Migration, in media outlets such as the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the British Broadcasting Company, and in briefs prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court and other organs of the U.S. government. She is currently completing a new monograph, a cross-national study that explores why, when and under what conditions contested sources of political information–such as rumours, conspiracy theories and myths–materially influence the development and conduct of states’ foreign and defence policy. 

Outside of academia, Professor Greenhill has served as a consultant to the US government as well as to the Ford Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Bank. 

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