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Paul B. Stares

General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action

Expertise

U.S. national security policy; early warning issues; contingency planning; conflict prevention strategies; transnational threats; weak/fragile states; Northeast Asia security

Programs

Center for Preventive Action

Bio

Paul B. Stares is the General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Besides overseeing the center's series of Contingency Planning Memoranda and Council Special Reports on potential sources of instability and conflict, he is currently writing a book on how the United States can make preventive action the centerpiece of a new security strategy for the 21st century.

Prior to joining CFR, Dr. Stares was the vice president and director of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace. He worked as an associate director and senior research scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation from 2000 to 2002 and was a senior research fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and then director of studies at the Japan Center for International Exchange from 1996 to 2000. From 1984 to 1996, he was a research associate and later a senior fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution. He has also been a NATO fellow and a scholar-in-residence at the MacArthur Foundation's Moscow office.

Dr. Stares has participated in various high-level studies, including leading the expert working group on preventive diplomacy for the Genocide Prevention Task Force co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and William Cohen as well as the expert working group on the strategic environment for the Iraq Study Group co-chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. He is the author or editor of numerous books, articles, and reports, including most recently the CFR publications Partners in Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 62), Managing Instability on China's Periphery (Asia Security Memoranda), Enhancing U.S. Crisis Preparedness (Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 4), Military Escalation in Korea (Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 10), Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 48), and Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea (Council Special Report No. 42).

In addition to his work for the Council, Dr. Stares is an Adjunct Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Guest Lecturer at the London School of Economics. He has a BA from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and received both his MA and PhD from Lancaster University.

Featured Publications

Other Report

Preventive Priorities Survey: 2014

The Center for Preventive Action's annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and mitigation demands.

View the accompanying online interactive: CPA's Global Conflict Tracker

See more in Global; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

All Publications

Ask CFR Experts

Is the South China Sea, like Taiwan, a core national interest now for China?

Asked by Michael, from University of St. Gallen

Spanning from the Singapore and Malacca straits to the Strait of Taiwan, the South China Sea is one of the world's most hotly disputed bodies of water. China lays claim to nearly the entire sea, overlapping with the maritime claims of Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. With sovereign territory, natural resources, and national pride at stake, this dispute threatens to destabilize the region and even draw the United States into a conflict.

Read full answer

See more in Asia and Pacific; China; Taiwan; Border and Port Security

Council Special Report No. 62

Partners in Preventive Action

Authors: Paul B. Stares and Micah Zenko

In this globalized world, countries will need to cooperate on policies that extend across borders to address issues that affect them all, including conflict prevention and peacemaking. The authors of this report assess the strengths and weaknesses of international institutions and provide a set of practical recommendations for how the United States can strengthen the global architecture for preventive action by partnering with those organizations.

See more in Conflict Prevention; United States; International Organizations and Alliances

Events

Center for Preventive Action Contingency Roundtable Series

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
March 2009—Present

This monthly meeting series seeks to organize focused discussions on plausible short to medium term contingencies that could seriously threaten U.S. interests. Contingency meeting topics will range from specific states or regions of concern to more thematic issues and will draw on the expertise of government and nongovernment experts. The goal of the meeting series is not only to raise awareness of U.S. government officials and the expert community to potential crises but also to generate practical policy options to lessen the likelihood of the contingency and to reduce the negative consequences should it occur. A summary memo of the resulting recommendations will be distributed to participants and important policymakers.

This series is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

 

Potential Conflict Roundtable Series

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
November 2007—Present

This series consists of quarterly events sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, convenes experts from government, private sector, nongovernmental, and civil society to analyze weak or fragile regions and states at risk of conflict in the next two to five years and to devise approaches to work with practitioners to build early policy responses to address those situations.

CFR Events

Roundtable Meeting

Spillover from Syria: Managing the Threat

Speakers:

Douglas A. Ollivant, Mantid International, LLC, Robert Satloff, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mona Yacoubian, Stimson Center

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
May 30, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Countering Criminal Violence in Central America

Speakers:

Michael Shifter, Inter-American Dialogue, Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. Department of State

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, Council on Foreign Relations
May 2, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Conference Call

DC Meetings Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

National Program Meeting

National Program Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Conference Call

NY Meetings Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m. - Conference Call

This meeting is on the record.

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Academic Conference Call

Enhancing Preventive Action

Speaker:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
November 19, 2009

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Conference Panel Session

Center for Preventive Action Symposium on Preventive Priorities for a New Era, Session One: Preventive Priorities for the Next Administration

Introductory Speaker:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker:

Madeleine K. Albright, Principal, The Albright Group

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
December 9, 2008

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Symposium ⁄ New York

Center for Preventive Action Symposium: The Future of Conflict Prevention - Session I

Speaker:

Terje Rød-Larsen, President, International Peace Academy

Introductory Speaker:

Paul B. Stares, Director, Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
December 10, 2007

This meeting is on the record.

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Symposium ⁄ New York

Center for Preventive Action Symposium: The Future of Conflict Prevention - Session III

Speakers:

Nancy E. Soderberg, Senior Advisor, International Crisis Group, Donald K. Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs, International Crisis Group, Stewart M. Patrick, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development, Paul B. Stares, Director, Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 10, 2007

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch