Welcome Message from Acting Director Erez Manela

August 23, 2022

Erez ManelaWelcome to the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University! Our community of scholars researches complex international, transnational, global, and comparative topics at the frontier of the social sciences. We aim to support research on the most important questions facing societies across the globe. 

We are a large Center: our community spans twelve of Harvard’s fourteen schools and our affiliates include more than 200 Harvard faculty and over 150 graduate and undergraduate students, visiting scholars, fellows, and postdoctoral researchers. We offer our affiliates numerous opportunities to exchange ideas about their research as we maintain our tradition of theoretical and methodological pluralism. 

Our Weatherhead Research Clusters bring together numerous scholars around broad areas of shared study. Current clusters focus on international security; the reconfiguration of regions in a multipolar world; global transformations; and comparative inequality and inclusion. New research clusters that will launch this year focus on climate; migration; and government-business relations. We are excited to support data collection, sharing, and publication in these areas, and in the diverse areas of inquiry of our affiliates. 

This will be the sixth year of the Weatherhead Scholars Program. This program invites more than two dozen visiting faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and experienced practitioners to spend up to one academic year at Harvard. Participating scholars have the opportunity to get involved in the research clusters and engage with the Center community.

We have two regular events held throughout the year that we encourage the WCFIA community to attend: the Weatherhead Spotlight, where we host in-house research presentations that highlight different programs or research clusters. These presentations promote ongoing exchanges and inspire a robust intellectual community within the Center. Our Weatherhead Forum, open to the public, hosts special sessions that tackle big issues and current events—examples from last year include US foreign policy in the wake of 9/11 or the new global order for the US and China. 

Numerous programs, projects, and conferences complete the range of research activities underway at the Weatherhead Center. Our regular seminars, organized by many intellectual partners on a wide range of topics, will continue. These are the core elements of our activity and I encourage all of you to take part in any that pique your interest. 

I hope you enjoy and benefit from your association with the Weatherhead Center this coming 2022–2023 academic year. I warmly invite you to get involved in our events and activities and to explore our publications, including our research hub, Epicenter, where you will find original blog posts, podcast episodes, and multimedia projects featuring the work of Center affiliates. Stay connected to Center events and news by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

For over sixty years, the Weatherhead Center has shaped the agenda of the social sciences in the United States and the world, and we aspire to continue to shape the future of scholarship. We are thrilled to have you here to contribute to that mission. 

Erez Manela
Acting Director, Weatherhead Center
Professor of History