Colloquium on Law and Security

Professor Stephen Holmes
Professor David Golove
Professor Rachel Goldbrenner                                                                                                                                                                      

Spring 2024
Thursdays, 3:20–5:20 p.m.
Room VH202
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.

Some of this year’s speakers will include:

  • Carol Anderson, Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of "White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide"

  • Ashley Deeks, UVA national security law professor and former Deputy Legal Advisor to the National Security Council

  • Kristen Eichensehr, Professor at UVA Law and scholar focusing on cybersecurity, foreign relations, international law and national Security

  • Richard Gowan, UN Director at the International Crisis Group

  • Ryan Hass, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings and a former U.S. diplomat and national security official on China issues

  • Julia Ioffe, Puck journalist and a leading writer on U.S.-Russia relations

  • Ed Luce, columnist and editor at the Financial Times focusing on global insights and major geopolitical challenges

  • Azadeh Moaveni, NYU journalism professor, expert on Iran and the Middle East, and author of “Guesthouse for Widows”

  • Abraham Newman, political scientist at Georgetown writing on economic interdependence and the way it has transformed geopolitics

  • Deborah Pearlstein, director of the Program in Law and Public Policy at Princeton University and an expert in constitutional law and International Law, democracy, and national security

  • Sarang Shidore, director of the Global South Program at the Quincy Institute, focusing on geopolitical risk, grand strategy, and climate security, with a special emphasis on the Global South and Asia