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Reiss Center on Law and Security

New York, NY, USA
Areas of Focus: 
About Us

Founded in 2003 and renamed in 2018, the Reiss Center on Law and Security is a non-partisan multidisciplinary research institute at NYU School of Law. We are focused on cultivating an informed dialogue, educating the next generation of leaders, and fostering groundbreaking research on the vital legal, policy, and strategic questions that will shape the national security field for years to come.


The Reiss Center on Law and Security is engaged in innovative research and programming, and undertakes activities focused on both recent developments and long-standing issues in national security law and strategy. In all its work, the Reiss Center studies national security law and practice against the backdrop of an era defined by significant change—from geopolitical developments to rapid technological advances—as well as enduring challenges.

The Reiss Center’s Program of Study includes:

National Security at Home: Domestic Law, Policy and Process

The Reiss Center’s work begins at home, studying how the United States orders and engages in the practice of national security. From classic questions of separation of powers and war-making authorities, to current developments in the national security bureaucracy, to systemic vulnerabilities at the intersection of national security and democracy, the Reiss Center works to identify pragmatic and principled solutions to the most salient issues facing practitioners today.

Use of Force and Emerging Security Threats

The Reiss Center examines emerging issues in the use of force, including in the counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and nation-state contexts. We study domestic legal and policy trends, challenges and opportunities stemming from bilateral and multilateral security cooperation, and questions that arise as technological advances change the nature of warfare and adversaries increasingly employ tactics below the threshold of force.

National Security in a Shifting Geopolitical Context

National security law and policy are not created in a vacuum; their substance is shaped by a larger framework of world events, domestic and international law, and evolving norms and behaviors. The Reiss Center leverages the global mission and resources of NYU to promote an understanding of broader trends as they relate to national security law and practice—including increasing strategic competition and strained alliances; innovative and disruptive technologies; rising authoritarianism and nationalism; and challenges to the rules-based order and the nature of rule-making itself.