What’s Next? Challenges Ahead for the Biden Administration

A series of essays by MIT SHASS scholars, including: Melissa Nobles, Taylor Fravel, Vipin Narang, Dick Samuels, Elizabeth Wood, Barry Posen, Richard Samuels, and John Tirman.


"If there is anything these four years have shown us, it is that the health and future of American democracy rests on finally contending with the persistence of racism in American society and institutions."

— Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science


In this issue of the digital publication précis, the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) looks towards the future of America during a presidential transition that culminated in a constitutional crisis. President Biden will be flooded with advice as he leads our nation during what many argue is among the darkest chapters in our democracy’s history.

Here MIT faculty in political science, history, security studies, and international studies offer fresh ideas on a range of foreign policy issues, emotion in politics, and our nation’s persistent racism. The advice is offered by scholars affiliated with the MIT CIS and draws on their deep knowledge and experience.

The following essays are featured:

Address racism in our society and institutions
Melissa Nobles

Adopt a grand strategy of restraint
Barry Posen

Adjust the Asia strategy
Eric Heginbotham and Richard Samuels

Six propositions for China
Taylor Fravel

For better rivalry with the Russians, rebalance US economic priorities
Elizabeth Wood

Engage in inventive diplomacy with Iran
John Tirman

Make shifts in nuclear policy
Vipin Narang


Suggested links

Browse more SHASS stories on 21st-Century Citizenship

MIT Center for International Studies

Prior publications from MIT CIS

MIT CIS Associated Programs