Andrew Berlin Family National Security Research Fund

In 2010, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs received an endowment gift to fund faculty and graduate student research relating to issues of national security. The Andrew Berlin Family National Security Research Fund, established in honor of Professor David H. Bennett, operates through INSCT, a collaboration between SU Maxwell School and the SU College of Law. 

2017 Projects

The Andrew Berlin Family National Security Research Fund Workshop

SU College of Law | March 31, 2017

Moderators: Professor Brian Taylor and Professor Colin Elman, Maxwell School

  • The Curious Case of South Korea: Testing Competing Models of Nuclear Reversal
    Whitney Baillie, Ph.D. student, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School
  • Civilian Coups: Militarized Parties and Politicized Militaries in Post-Colonial Iraq and Syria
    Drew H. Kinney, Ph.D. student, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School
  • Recrafting the Peace Table? Gender and UN Mediation Discourse
    Catriona Standfield, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School
  • Networks of Meaning and Domestic Right-Wing Violence: White Supremacist Responses to Immigration Reform in the US
    Jason Blessing and Elise Roberts, Ph.D. students, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School

“Countering Violent Extremism: An Introduction to the Challenges, Opportunities, and Future of Counterterrorism.”

Cora True-Frost, Associate Professor, SU College of Law

True-Frost_Lecture
On March 29, 2017, as part of the Andrew Berlin Family National Security Fund, SU Law Professor Cora True-Frost lectured on “Countering Violent Extremism: An Introduction to the Challenges, Opportunities, and Future of Counterterrorism.” True-Frost discussed the pros and cons of FBI, DHS, and other domestic CVE and “resiliency” initiatives—especially those that engage civic institutions such as schools and non-profit refugee groups—and how these efforts fit with international programs, such as UNSC Res. 2178.

“Countering Violent Extremism: The Challenges and Opportunities the Initiatives Present”

Cora True-Frost, Associate Professor, SU College of Law

A work-in-progress by INSCT Faculty Member Cora True-Frost was the subject of an SU College of Law Faculty Workshop on Jan. 26, 2017. Professor True-Frost's colleagues provided feedback and discussion on “Conditions Conducive to Terrorism”: The Role of Civil Society in International Security."
A work-in-progress by INSCT Faculty Member Cora True-Frost (second from right) was the subject of an SU College of Law Faculty Workshop on Jan. 26, 2017. Professor True-Frost’s colleagues provided feedback and discussion on “Conditions Conducive to Terrorism”: The Role of Civil Society in International Security.” In February 2016, True-Frost received a Berlin Fund grant to continue her research as “Countering Violent Extremism: The Challenges and Opportunities the Initiatives Present.”

2016 Projects

American Exceptionalism & the Construction of the War on Terror: An Analysis of Counterterrorism Policies Under Clinton, Bush, & Obama

Marc Barnett, MAIR and MPP Candidate, SU Maxwell School & Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany

American Exceptionalism and the Construction of the War on Terror: An Analysis of Counterterrorism Policies Under Clinton, Bush, and Obama (INSCT Working Paper 2016).
American Exceptionalism and the Construction of the War on Terror: An Analysis of Counterterrorism Policies Under Clinton, Bush, and Obama (INSCT Working Paper 2016).

ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to explain both the origins and the continuity of dominant counterterrorism (CT) policies that emerged under the George W. Bush Administration in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (9/11). The paper, firstly, examines the notion of American Exceptionalism as a defining political myth that affects foreign policy. Next, the post-Cold War security environment under President William J. Clinton is examined as a foundation and precursor to the Bush Administration policies. The paper then details the Bush Administration’s response both in policy and rhetoric to 9/11, a moment in which actors were less constrained due to the rising crisis.

After looking at the Bush Administration, the paper analyzes the endurance of certain CT policies under President Barack Obama and his administration. Next, the paper turns to the notion of American Exceptionalism to explain both the emergence and the endurance of the CT policies. The paper then turns to the next administration—that of Donald J. Trump—assessing the security environment and offering several recommendations. Finally, a brief conclusion is offered.

Funding allowed for archival research at the US Library of Congress.

The Origins of American Counterterrorism

Michael Newell, Ph.D. Candidate, SU Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Newell_Origins_of_American_Counterterrorism-mwedit031516_Page_01
The Origins of American Counterterrorism, by Michael Newell, SU Maxwell School (INSCT Working Paper 2016).

While much attention has been paid to the American state’s reaction to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the origins of institutions and ideas deployed in the War on Terror in historical conceptions of terrorism and political violence have been overlooked.

I analyze these historical origins through the American state’s response to Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Irish-American Fenian, and anarchist political violence from the end of the Civil War in 1865 until the 1920 bombing of Wall Street, the last alleged significant act of anarchist violence. I argue that this history is demonstrative of a process of threat construction and changes in institutions, laws and policies.

These changes came about through a mixture of complex social and political factors, but the perception of threat significantly influenced their content and the populations they were directed against. This was particularly the case in the state’s response to European anarchists, where the response could be described as against an ‘inflated’ perception of threat, while the response to the KKK and Irish-American Fenians was more constrained.

Funding allowed for archival research in Washington, DC, specifically at the US National Archives, the New York Public Library, and the American Catholic History Research Center, in order to read correspondence about American responses to anarchism and domestic terrorism by the departments of Justice and State, the White House, and Congress.


Consent & Conquest: How the Western Way of Warfare Spread to the Indo-Pacific

Evan A. Laksmana, Ph.D. Candidate, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

My dissertation examines the spread of Western war fighting systems to the Indo-Pacific. Despite the growing interest among scholars and policymakers in Asian security affairs, few studies account for the variation in how different states effectively adopt and emulate Western military systems—and whether that variation affects their combat effectiveness.

The project argues that the different types of transmission pathways through which military systems travel from one state to another—whether it is coercive, cooperative, or commercial—plays a critical role in shaping the process of organizational emulation.

The project systematically integrates a comparative historical analysis of Meiji Japan, British India, and Cold War Indonesia, with statistical analyses of an original panel data of inter-state Asian warfare involving 15 states since the 1800s. The findings will elucidate key challenges and inform contemporary policymaking in the fields of regional security, defense modernization, local security force development, military assistance and training, as well as security sector reform.

Funding enabled the purchase of research materials, including statistical software (Stata), and archival research at MIT’s Center for International Studies and Harvard University’s Yenching Library (Boston, MA) and the US Library of Congress and National Defense University (Washington, DC).
Evan_Laksmana_Talk_042116_2

2015 Projects

The Historical Origins of Terror, Threat, & the Constitution of Security Practices

Michael Newell, Ph.D. Candidate, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Where do contemporary responses to terrorism come from? Mike Newell explores the history and relationship between the political meaning of “terrorism” and the choice of particular counterterrorism responses. He intends to use his analysis as a lens through which to view modern counterterrorism practices and to argue that the global “post-9/11” world is not necessarily distinct from any other historical periods.

Funding facilitated travel to national archives in Richmond, Surrey, UK.


2014 Projects

SoTechEM_Executive_Report-mwedit111914_Page_01Social Technologies in Emergency Management

INSCT (Keli Perrin) and the Moynihan Institute, Maxwell School (Ines Mergel, Randall Griffin)

SoTechEM examines the use of social media by emergency management and response organizations; collects and analyze data on their uses in order to identify best practices; and offers training to EM organizations on lessons learned.

Funding facilitated research and a training session for local EM practitioners.

Explaining Nuclear Behavior

David Arceneaux, Ph.D. Candidate, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

David Arceneaux’s research fills a gap in political science nuclear studies scholarship, which often examines how and why states pursue and achieve nuclear weapons but not how they behave once they acquire them. Specifically, Arceneaux is interested in how new nuclear states posture in an effort to achieve deterrence, coercion, or other perceived nuclear benefits.

Funding facilitated visits to archives at Texas A&M University and George Washington University and research panels at Texas A&M and Syracuse University.



2013 Projects

Unsettling: Displacement During Civil Wars

Abbey Steele, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Abbey Steele (third from right) at her Maxwell School book project workshop (April 2014)
Abbey Steele (third from right) at her Maxwell School book project workshop (April 2014)

Forty million people have fled their homes during contemporary wars. Yet in spite of its scale, displacement is poorly understood. Abbey Steele’s research argues that displacement depends on the form of violence, not the level, and shows how armed groups employ different forms depending on their goals and constraints.

Funding facilitated travel to Colombia to collect qualitative data to test the hypothesis, including interviews with key informants in order to gather more details related to armed groups’ strategies of displacing civilians.
Contact Contact
Keli Perrin
300 Dineen Hall | 950 Irving Avenue
SU College of Law, Syracuse NY 13244
kaperrin@law.syr.edu | 315.443.2284