Program Descriptions

The Center is engaged in work in a number of different substantive areas of national security law and national security strategy, and undertakes programming that varies based on the subject-matter.  In addition to events in the program areas identified below, the Center frequently hosts leading experts who come to NYU to discuss the most pressing issues of national security law and strategy.  

The Center's core areas of focus include: 

Intelligence Oversight
The Center has launched a project that will focus on the oversight of intelligence agencies, and which will have two main components:  Events and other publicly-oriented discussions of intelligence oversight; and an edited volume that will analyze institutions of intelligence oversight from a comparative perspective.  The project aims to analyze the ways in which external non-parliamentary oversight institutions—bodies like the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) in the United States, the Independent Reviewer of Counterterrorism Legislation and the Interception of Communications Commissioner in the United Kingdom, and the German G10 Commission—are able to serve an effective role in ensuring the democratic accountability of intelligence services.  Learn More

Financial Sanctions & Economic Statecraft

The United States has long relied on its economic power and coercive financial authorities to protect and advance its interests abroad. In an increasingly integrated international system, the U.S. economy and capital markets remain the largest in the world by almost every measure, firmly placing it in a leadership position with the ability to shape foreign policy outcomes with economic tools. Over the past few decades, however, national security threats to the United States have become increasingly dynamic, demanding innovation in the nature, frequency, and methods of the targeted financial authorities that the United States can use to address these threats. Additionally, the deployment of financial measures has changed the international commercial landscape in ways that demand adjustments in the way these tools will be used in the future. The degree to which the United States can adapt the use of its targeted financial tools to match changing threats and a changing financial landscape will be a key test of U.S. power in the 21st century.

In this context, the Center on Law and Security, in partnership with The Center for a New American Security, will study present and future challenges in the use of coercive tools of economic statecraft, including ways in which those tools must adapt in light of evolving security and foreign policy challenges. Through this project, CNAS and CLS will focus on targeted financial measures currently at the disposal of the U.S. government, assessing strengths and weaknesses of the ways in which they have been deployed. We will identify emerging challenges to the use of these tools, considering historical examples and future scenarios, and offer recommendations on how to refine the implements of economic statecraft to advance policy goals. Learn More

Public-Private Partnerships in National Security: Cybersecurity  

The Center’s cybersecurity programming focuses on the ways in which new threats demand new models of partnership and engagement between the public and private sectors.  

A new model of public/private cooperation is needed effectively to address cybersecurity challenges because:  1) Much of the nation’s critical cyber-infrastructure is owned by the private sector, vulnerabilities primarily reside on privately-owned networks, and most safeguards must be implemented by the private sector; 2) Privately-owned and strategically significant intellectual property is the target of cyber-theft, often by actors affiliated with nation-states; and 3) A significant amount of threat information needed by the government to understand and mitigate cybersecurity risks resides with private companies.  These dynamics necessitate a new vocabulary with which to discuss the requirements and parameters for effective collaboration between government and corporations.  Leveraging its position as part of a global research university, the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law is uniquely positioned to develop such a vocabulary by convening leading cybersecurity practitioners and scholars, and generating cutting-edge research aimed at addressing some of the most urgent problems faced by companies and government agencies.  Learn More

Law and Strategy: Navigating Deterrence

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, deterrence, the principle security strategy of the Cold War, lost its salience as a core component of the U.S. Government’s security strategy.  In recent years, however, ideas about the relevance of deterrence have been revised, and the concept is playing an increasingly important role in how scholars and practitioners think about managing new security challenges in a range of contexts.  But important differences have developed in the way deterrence was understood during the Cold War and the way it is being studied and applied today.  Learn More

Security Research Seminar

During the 2013-2014 academic year the Center, in partnership with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications, convened a weekly seminar focused on technology, security, and the law. The seminar was comprised of students, faculty, policy makers, and industry professionals. The seminar analyzed security in a digital age from a range of perspectives, including security of information systems and software, computer networks, and cyberphysical systems and infrastructure. Guest speakers at the seminar also presented on cutting-edge issues in cybersecurity law and policy.

The Center will continue this collaborative effort in the 2014-2015 academic year, during which time the seminar will focus on: The economics of cybersecurity; the law and technology of data analytics; and a comparative approach to surveillance and internet governance.

The affiliated faculty and fellows of the Center teach courses on a wide range of topics relevant to
national security law and strategy. During AY 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, these courses include:

Academic Year 2014-15

  • Spring 2015
    • Legislation and the Regulatory State - Professor Samuel Rascoff
    • Guarini Seminar - Professor Samuel Rascoff

The Center has received the support of The Luce Foundation, The Markle Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, The John Merck Fund, The William C. Bullitt Foundation, The JEHT Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and private individuals, for its various projects.