Colloquium on Law and Security

Professor Stephen Holmes
Professor David Golove
Professor Rachel Goldbrenner                                                                                                                                                                      

Spring 2023
Thursdays, 3:20–5:20 p.m.
2 credits


The Colloquium will explore a broad array of emerging issues in the rapidly changing field of national security. Today, unchallenged American hegemony is increasingly a feature of the past. U.S. policymakers no longer see transnational terrorism as the central threat to American national security. The nature of how we fight as well as how we cooperate across borders is changing. The aim of the seminar, therefore, is to define and debate the new, complex and evolving threat environment facing the country in the third decade of the twenty-first century.

We will look abroad, including at deteriorating relations with an increasingly powerful China and a belligerent Russia, the threat of cyber warfare and “gray zone” tactics, the weakening of America’s traditional alliances and values, and emerging conflicts that threaten international peace and stability. And we will also focus on domestic issues within the United States, including strains on our system of democracy, challenges within our national security bureaucracy, white nationalism and systemic racism, and persistent questions around executive powers and the adequacy of Congressional oversight.

Each week we will engage with a presentation by an eminent national security expert—including former government officials, legal academics, international relations experts, journalists, and human rights and civil liberties advocates—as we explore the defining features and dilemmas of today’s national security law and policy.


Spring 2023 Schedule of Presenters


Thursday, January 19th

 Course Introduction

Thursday, January 26th

Marty Lederman (Department of Justice)

The Office of Legal Counsel and the National Security State

Thursday, February 2nd

Kristen Eichensehr (University of Virgina School of Law)

National Security Creep in Business Transactions

Thursday, February 9th

Andrew Weissmann (NYU School of Law) 

Legal Issues in the Investigation of a Former President

Thursday, February 16th

Jessica Chen Weiss (Cornell University)

A World Safe for Autocracy?: The Domestic Politics of China's Foreign Policy

Thursday, February 23rd

Amy Zegart (Stanford University)

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms

Thursday, March 2nd

Michael Hanna (International Crisis Group)

Sanctions as a National Security Tool

Thursday, March 9th

Shirin Sinnar (Stanford Law School)

Hate Crimes, Terrorism, and the Framing of White Supremacist Violence

Thursday, March 23rd

Dr. Alina Polyakova (Center for European Policy Analysis)

The West's Policy on Ukraine: What is the Endgame?

Thursday, March 30th

Michael Posner (NYU Stern School of Business)

How Authoritarian Governments Are Weaponizing Social Media, and What to Do About It

Thursday, April 6th

Sherrie Goodman (Wilson Center)

Climate and National Security

Thursday, April 13th

Kori Schake (American Enterprise Institute)

Assessing U.S Grand Strategy

Thursday, April 20th

Kate Shaw (Cardozo School of Law)

Dangers and Inflection Points in the Transfer of Power