Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law’s interdisciplinary research projects and areas of interest contribute to a comprehensive national and international security research portfolio.

Ongoing projects engage Islam and international humanitarian law, foreign terrorist fighters, the domestic use of drones, cybersecurity and international law, securing critical infrastructure, civil-military relations, postconflict justice and capacity-building, and the post-service welfare and education of military veterans.

Current & Archived Projects

Law, National Security, & Counterterrorism

SPL’S deep and broad capabilities in Law, National Security, and Counterterrorism are founded on the expertise and experience of academic experts and practitioners from throughout the security and counterterrorism community, most notably SPL Founding Director William C. Banks.

New Frontiers in Science, Cyber, & Technology

SPL’s New Frontiers in Science, Cyber, and Technology initiative explores the current national and international legal and policy challenges of global interconnectivity, novel technologies, cyberwarfare, and the balance of security needs and civil liberties. Interdisciplinary projects leverage a network of experts in cybersecurity law and policy, Internet governance, information security, cryptography, systems assurance, critical infrastructure, smart grid distribution, and the economics of distributed systems.

Collaborators are drawn from several SU colleges and departments—Law, Economics, Information Studies, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science—as well as from government and private entities, including General Electric, Infragard, JPMorgan Chase, and the US Department of Homeland Security.

Security Governance

SPL’s Security Governance projects—supported by David F. Everett (LAW ’76)—provide governments, NGOs, policymakers, and security professionals the guidance needed to reform or reconstruct security institutions in postconflict states such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Drawing on interdisciplinary, multi-institutional analysis, projects cover security sector reform; political transition; capacity building; reconciliation; force assistance; demobilization and reintegration of combatants; and complex contracting.

Security in the Middle East & Islam

SPL’s educational, research, and policy projects on Security in the Middle East and Islam address topics fundamental to the rule of law, conflict resolution, and postconflict reconstruction in this region, including the application of international humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL), and postconflict justice.

These projects convene an impressive array of cross-sector collaborators, including the Brookings’ Saban Center for Middle East Policy; Institute for Counter-Terrorism (Israel); International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (Siracusa, Italy); King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (Saudi Arabia); Konrad Adenauer Institute (Germany/Israel); and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Homeland Security

SPL’s Homeland Security projects examine the law, policy, and operational challenges that have arisen from acts of terrorism and from natural and man-made disasters within the United States.

Archived Projects