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.
- Research includes ground-breaking explorations into New Battlefields/Old Laws, Middle East security, and cybersecurity.
- SPL is a collaboration among several SU colleges and schools: College of Law; Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; LC Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science; and the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications.
- Research and program collaborations beyond SU include those with the American Bar Association; Combating Terrorism Center at West Point; Georgetown Law; Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel; International Committee of the Red Cross; NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence; US Army Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute; and United States Institute of Peace.
- SPL Research and Practice Associates provide additional academic and practical subject matter expertise.
- A joint project of Georgetown Law and SPL, the Journal of National Security Law and Policy is the only peer-reviewed journal of its kind. Its topics include FISA, cybersecurity, laws of war, shadow wars, and more.
- Among SPL’s many conferences, seminars, and panel discussions are the Carol Becker Speaker Series and the David F. Everett Lecture Series in Postconflict Reconstruction.
Current & Archived Projects
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.