The Center is engaged in innovative research and programming in several substantive areas of national security law and strategy, and undertakes activities focused on both recent developments and long-standing challenges in national security law and strategy.

The Center’s core work includes:

The Center’s work has focused on the 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.  The Center is currently engaged in a research project on emerging terrorist financing threats, and on ways to manage the illicit finance risks attendant with new payment methods and digital currencies. Our work will help develop legal and policy frameworks for the sustainable use of payment technologies that have the potential to unlock significant economic and commercial potential.

The Center’s most recent project on the oversight of intelligence agencies culminated in the publication of a volume that analyzes institutions of intelligence oversight in democratic countries from a comparative perspective. The book, Global Intelligence Oversight: Governing Security in the Twenty-First Century, demonstrates how the institutions that oversee intelligence agencies participate in the protection of national security while safeguarding civil liberties, balancing among competing national interests, and building public trust in inherently secret activities. It also illuminates a transnational oversight dynamic that is shaping and constraining security services in new ways, by describing how global technology companies and litigation in transnational forums constitute a new form of oversight whose contours are still undefined.

The Center’s work on cybersecurity examines the legal, regulatory, and governance framework for the rapidly changing security environment in cyberspace. Most recently, the Center began a project that will focus on mapping the cyber regulatory landscape that has emerged and expanded dramatically over the past several years with the aim of fostering a streamlined approach to cybersecurity standards. Much of the Center’s cybersecurity work takes place under the auspices of the NYU Center for Cybersecurity, an interdisciplinary research program that began as an initiative of the Center on Law and Security and NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering.  The NYU Center for Cybersecurity integrates technical, legal, financial, and social science scholarship to develop secure, reliable, and practical solutions to complex cybersecurity problems.

The Center is conducting research on a new paradigm for countering violent extremism (CVE) that involves the use of big data analytical techniques to create effective and targeted strategies that target the ways in which terrorists recruit and propagandize.  These strategies involve investigating the circumstances in which online content must and should be taken down, and ways to leverage information about content consumption online to design more effective CVE intervention strategies. This project seeks to ensure society’s interests in preserving fundamental rights including freedom of expression, safeguarding the integrity of Internet platforms, and preventing terrorist groups from making free use of Internet services to engage in destructive activities.

The faculty and fellows of the Center teach courses and mentor students on a wide range of topics relevant to national security law and strategy. During the academic year of 2017-2018, these courses will include:

  • National Security Law and Policy Seminar, taught by Executive Director and Adjunct Professor Zachary K. Goldman and Distinguished Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor Lisa O. Monaco
  • Cybersecurity Law and Technology Seminar, taught by Distinguished Fellow and Adjunct Professor Randal Milch and Professor Nasir Memon