Colloquium on Law and Security

Professor Stephen Holmes
Professor David Golove

Professor Rachel Goldbrenner


Spring 2021
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, U.S. policy makers no longer see transnational terrorism as the central threat to American national security. Unchallenged American hegemony is increasingly a feature of the past. The nature of how we fight as well as how we cooperate across borders is changing. Phenomena like the COVID pandemic pose both domestic and international challenges. 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 in regions such as the Middle East. And we will also focus on domestic issues in the United States, including white nationalism and systemic racism, strains on our system of democracy, challenges within our national security bureaucracy, and persistent, and growing, 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 specialists, journalists, and human rights advocates—as we explore the defining features and dilemmas of today’s national security law and policy. 



Spring 2021 Schedule of Presenters


Thursday, January 21

Professor Ryan Goodman (NYU School of Law)

 Incitement, Insurrection, and Accountability

Thursday, January 28

Dr. Dafna Rand (Mercy Corps)

The Future of Middle East Policy

Thursday, February 4

Rosa Brooks (Georgetown School of Law)

Policing, War Making, and National Security

Thursday, February 11

Steve Vladeck (University of Texas School of Law)

What Can/Should We Do About Guantanamo?

Thursday, February 18

Rebecca Ingber (Cardozo Law)

National Security by Congress and the Courts

Thursday, February 25

Liza Goitein (Brennan Center for Justice)

Emergency Powers and Domestic Deployment of the Military

Thursday, March 4

Azmat Khan (New York Times Magazine Contributing Writer)

Civilian Casualties and Modern Warfare

Thursday, March 11

Masha Gessen (The New Yorker)


Thursday, March 18

Ganesh Sitaraman (Vanderbilt School of Law)

A Grand Strategy of Resilience

Thursday, April 1

Bob Bauer (NYU School of Law)

The Ethics (and Politics) of Executive Branch Lawyering

Thursday, April 8

Catherine Powell (Fordham Law School) and Mary Dudziak (Emory University School of Law)

Creating a Post-Pandemic Marshall Plan: The Warfare Metaphor and its Discontents

Thursday, April 15

Elizabeth Economy (Council on Foreign Relations)

China's Global Ambitions and U.S. Policy

Thursday, April 22

Professor Samuel Rascoff (NYU School of Law)

Norms and National Security