Public Service & Policy Analysis

INSCT’s national security and counterterrorism experts have extensive practical experience engaging complex and evolving security issues. They have worked at the highest levels of government, law enforcement, and the military. They are regularly called upon to testify before Congress, the UN, and world governments; to appear in local, national, and international news forums; and to write reports for think tanks, law organizations, federal agencies, private sector firms, and non-profits.

  • Thanks to strategic growth and interdisciplinary understanding of the field, INSCT remains on the leading edge of security and counterterrorism research and policy analysis.
  • Our interdisciplinary approach leverages expertise in military planning, political science, public affairs, public management, diplomacy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, law, communications, economics, and more.
  • INSCT Distinguished Fellows are drawn from the upper echelons of the national security and intelligence communities. They assist the Institute’s mission with a variety of assignments that directly benefit students and expand INSCT’s portfolio of research and policy projects.
  • Our scholars and practitioners take into account the changing patterns of global conflict and structural changes in world order to provide the most appropriate legal and policy advice to solve complex challenges.
  • Our evolving mission follows the contours of the changing threat landscape, from terrorism and rogue states to climate security, energy security, cybersecurity, and asymmetric warfare.
  • We study the balance between robust and soft power responses to security and counterterrorism threats and strongly emphasize the role of peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and rule-of-law-based post-conflict reconstruction.

Student Projects

INSCT guides graduate student capstone and similar projects that are developed for real-world clients, including federal committees, non-profit organizations, and private contractors.

2019
IDA_MPA_Workshop_Team_May_2019
May 2019: Maxwell School MPA students working on a Capstone Project for the Institute for Defense Analyses pose with IDA’s Paul Lowell and Ned Snead. Professor Murrett is also supervising a Capstone Project for RAND Corp.

RAND and IDA MPA Workshop Groups
RAND Corp. and Institute for Defense Analyses MPA Capstone students together in Washington, DC, June 2019.
2018

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported two capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses and RAND Corporation. The student teams are pictured below, outside the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, in June 2018.

MPA Workshop 2018

2017

Under the guidance of INSCT Director William C. Banks and Director of Research Corri Zoli, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, worked on the following Countering Violent Extremist (CVE) projects:

  1. A multi-institutional partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to create recommendations for the DHS Secretary for Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities and the K-12 Community with relation to CVE-related academic programs and research.
  2. A continuation of the collaboration with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) examining member states’ implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014) to examine the domestic implementation of UNSCR 2178 and challenges among member states; to explore and compare emerging CVE laws and policies; and to track Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) flows and returnees.

On April 28, 2017, students in INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center presented research findings in the workshop “Understanding Interdisciplinary Responses to International Terrorism & Violent Extremisms” at SU College of Law. The students’ work was the culmination of a semester-long partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities.

Workshop topics included the role of the UN in crafting international counterterrorism policy; women’s leadership roles in terrorist organizations; the importance of anti-extremist K-12 educational programs; cross-cultural perspectives on CVE programs that work in other countries; the experience of vulnerable communities with CVE in the US; the challenge of implementing counterterrorist and counter-extremist laws and statutes; and the role of “hard” and “soft” power CVE mechanisms, including drones.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three PAI 752 capstone projects for the Institute for Defense Analyses and RAND Corporation, as well as for the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Center (report prepared by students Chris Davis, Jason Mehta, Kristiana Nelsen, Kevin O’Brien, and Devon Seymour). The photo below shows students in Washington, DC, preparing to visit clients IDA and RAND.

2016

Below, INSCT alumna Jane Yoona Chung (MPA/MAIR ’16) leads a presentation by students in INSCT’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center to their clients, representatives of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)—including David Scharia, Senior Legal Officer, CTED (seated at right)—on May 2, 2016.

The students presented research on how UN member states from various regions are complying with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), which calls on member states to prevent the “recruiting, organizing, transporting, or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts.”

UNCTED_Presentation_050216

Below, under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses, RAND Corporation, and Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

2015

Under the guidance of Professor William C. Banks, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, created three interrelated reports that addressed criminal, administrative, and prosecutorial strategies to halt the international flow of terrorism, as well as countries’ compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014). The client was the UN CounterTerrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). In March 2015, 18 students representing SU Maxwell School and the College of Law presented their reports to the CTED at the UN headquarters in New York City.

UN_Presentation

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses, RAND Corporation, and Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

RAND_IDA_Capstone_Students_061015

Under the guidance of INSCT Faculty Member Ines Mergel, Maxwell School MPA students Alys Alley, Mariko Mori, Amanda Vitullo, and Janelle Wallace worked with the New York State Office of Emergency Management to produce a report called Social Media Monitoring for Emergency Managersconducting interviews with emergency management professionals throughout the US to extract current SM monitoring practices. In Spring 2015, students presented their findings to a meeting of emergency managers at the SU College of Law.

SOTECHEM_Students_Capstone_0615

2014

Under the guidance of Assistant Director Keli Perrin, INSCT supported two projects:

  • Managing Cybersecurity Threats to the Smart Grid” for Iberdrola USA.
  • “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Regulatory Landscape (A State-by-State Comparison)” for the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three projects:

  • A report and briefing on the impact of 2012 and 2013 defense budget decisions (for the Institute for Defense Analysis).
  • A report and briefing on non-military support for security operations (for the RAND Corporation).
  • Data collection and analysis of Central New York veterans’ medical needs (in partnership with the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center).
2012-2013

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three projects:

  • A report and briefing on the impact of 2012 and 2013 defense budget decisions (for the Institute for Defense Analysis).
  • A report and briefing on non-military support for security operations (for the RAND Corporation).
  • Data collection and analysis of Central New York veterans’ medical needs (in partnership with the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center).
2011

Building Police Capacity in Indonesia & The Philippines: An Analysis of Military and Civilian Models

Six MPA students (Amy Bonilla, Chris DeMure, Marineth Riano-Domingo, Pat Manley, Cesar Sevilla, and Quinn Warner)—advised by Professor William C. Banks, in collaboration with Dana Abro at the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICTAP), US Department of Justice, and the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI)—analyzed military and civilian policing models, developed a gap analysis for current police assistance programs in Indonesia and the Philippines, and drew from police reform efforts in both countries to recommend a list of best practices.

2010

Assessing the Terrorist Threat

In this report of the New America Foundation’s National Security Preparedness Group by Peter Bergen of CNN and Bruce Hoffman, the authors note that although the threat of another attack by al-Qaeda is less severe than the catastrophic proportions of a 9/11-like attack, it is more complex and more diverse than at any time over the past nine years. Maxwell School M.P.A. students contributed to the research in this report.

“Post-9/11 Jihadist Terrorism Cases Involving US Citizens & Residents.”

Students worked with the New America Foundation and Peter Bergen of CNN to prepare this report and database.

2009

Integrating USAID and DOS: The Future of Development and Diplomacy

A report for the Project on National Security Reform Issue Team examining how the foreign assistance function can be consolidated within the US Department of State, making it more effective.

2008

Securing America’s Passenger Rails: Analyzing Current Challenges and Future Solutions

This report is included in the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Homeland Security Digital Library, which is a targeted collection of documents that are expected to influence homeland security policy and strategy development.

2007

Chemical Security in New Jersey: An Overview of Planning, Information Sharing, and Response.”

This study was submitted to the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security to provide its members with an overview of New Jersey’s current state of preparedness for responding to a chemical catastrophe.

  • Appendices
  • The US House of Representatives passed HR1680 on Oct. 23, 2007, regulating sales of ammonium nitrate. The INSCT/MPA Workshop “Legal Controls on Explosive Materials” (see below) also contributed to this effort.
2006

Are We Ready: A Practical Examination of the Strategic National Stockpile in Response to Public Health Crises“Report prepared for US House of Representatives House Committee on Homeland Security, used in the drafting H.R. 3197, the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act of 2006.

Other Projects

  • “National Security Leaks”
  • “Whistleblower Protection Act”
  • “Triage During Mass Casualty Events”
  • “Amending the HIPAA to Mandate Disclosure For the Creation of a National Health Alert Network
2005

Legal Controls on Explosive Materials“A report prepared for US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Democratic Staff.

Other Projects:

  • “Northern Border Security”
  • “US National Security Strategy”
  • “Terrorist Financing”
  • “Outsourcing War”
  • “National Security, Technology, and Expectations of Privacy”
  • “Responding to Disasters in the Homeland: The Role of the Military and Federal, State, and Local Government Actors”
2004
  • “The USA PATRIOT Act: How Can We Prevent Terrorism and Protect Civil Liberties”
  • “Securing the US Homeland”
  • “Securing the US Border”
  • “The Treatment of Detainees in the War on Terrorism”
2003
  • “Background Papers on the Information Sharing and Homeland Security Conference”
  • “Commentary on Enemy Combatant Cases”
Misc.
  • “Commentary on Enemy Combatant Cases”
  • Conflict Behavior in Muslim States” (2013). By Carolyn Abdenour, Emily Schneider, and Courtney Schuster (all LAW ’13), with the assistance of INSCT Research Assistant Professor Corri Zoli.
  • Libya in Conflict: Mapping the Libyan Conflict” (2012). By René Moya (LAW ’12) and Mikala Steenholdt (LAW ’12), with the assistance of professors David M. Crane and Corri Zoli.
Contact Contact

Keli Perrin
INSCT Assistant Director
kaperrin@law.syr.edu | 315.443.2284

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