Transnational Security, Human Rights, and International Law 

Discussions of how states and the international community address transnational crime, terrorism, and security. Events also examine the mechanisms of international justice, including the response to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Small Wars - Big Data

Thursday, October 11, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.

The way wars are fought has changed starkly over the past sixty years. International military campaigns used to play out between large armies at central fronts. Today’s conflicts find major powers facing rebel insurgencies that deploy elusive methods, from improvised explosives to terrorist attacks. Modern warfare is not about struggles over territory but over people; civilians—and the information they might choose to provide—can turn the tide at critical junctures. Small Wars, Big Data examines this shift, drawing practical lessons from the past two decades of conflict in locations ranging from Latin America and the Middle East to Central and Southeast Asia. Building an information-centric understanding of insurgencies, the authors examine the relationships between rebels, the government, and civilians. Ultimately the authors show how the stronger side can almost always win the villages, but why that does not guarantee winning the war.

Join CGA faculty Mary Beth Altier and Michael Oppenheimer for a discussion with Jacob Shapiro, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, co-director of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, and co-author of Small Wars, Big Data, which presents a transformative understanding of these contemporary confrontations and how they should be fought.

Monday, October 29, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.

Information security is based upon three pillars: confidentiality, availability, and integrity of information. To date, the information security community has focused myopically on the first two, and big breaches of both confidentiality (Equifax) and availability (the Dyn DDOS) come readily to mind. But amidst that focus, the community missed what some may call the real “cyber 9/11,” the large-scale, coordinated disinformation campaigns executed around the 2016 election cycle that continue to this day. We now recognize the so-called #FakeNews problem as the next big crisis in cybersecurity. Join CGA to discuss narrative warfare with panelists who will enumerate the tactics, techniques, and motivations of various threat actors; identify intelligence that can help us predict where the threat will come from next; and discuss interventions with a pragmatic eye toward alleviating the crisis before it’s too late.

Moderator: Danny Rogers, Co-Founder and CTO, The Global Disinformation Index

Friday, November 2, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.

What is the relationship between the military and political authority? Civil-military relations theory proceeds from a central normative premise: the military must not be involved in politics. Samuel Huntington, for instance, claims that militaries should be content with having autonomy over their professional affairs in exchange for non-interference in the political realm—a system that legitimizes both bodies. In Southeast Asia today, there exists a range of civil-military relations along a spectrum. Some countries (such as Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines) operate, at least nominally, under a system in which civilian political leadership is firmly and clearly in control. In others, the military operates explicitly (Vietnam and Lao PDR) or implicitly (Cambodia) as a tool of the ruling political party. Indonesia is a former military dictatorship that has reformed its armed forces; Myanmar, operates what might be called a transitional model. Thailand today remains under military rule, with the possibility of extended military oversight of the political system for some time to come.

This conference explores how these two perspectives (the theoretical and the actual) combine in Southeast Asia today and how issues of legitimacy are managed, conferred, and maintained across the region.

Moderator: Christopher Ankersen, Clinical Associate Professor, NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs

Pre-registration is required for events and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for a complete list of CGA events.