New: Harvard’s National Security Journal

New: Harvard’s National Security Journal

I had the good fortune to be invited to lecture to Jack Goldsmith’s class on Cyberwar and Cybercrime at Harvard Law School last week to discuss my arguments for why we need new international law rules for cyberconflicts.  While there, a student flagged for me a new journal–the Harvard National Security Journal–that’s literally and figuratively coming on-line right now.  Here’s how their web-page describes it:  

The Harvard National Security Journal (NSJ) is a newly-established student edited online journal dedicated to improving scholarship and discourse in the field of national security. The field of national security has grown significantly over the past several years, with a corresponding demand for critical scholarly analysis on its legal and policy dimensions. Complicated issues regarding separation of powers, executive authority in the Global War on Terror, the role of the Fourth Amendment in national security surveillance, and the legality of coercive interrogation techniques have challenged our policy makers and lawyers alike in fields from constitutional law to military law and human rights. To date, however, much of the academic literature on national security has been published in journals of related fields such as international law or public policy. Such diffusion of thought impedes the generation of reflective dialogue and productive dialectic. NSJ aims to foster such dialogue with an eye toward effectively influencing policy by bringing together a diversity of perspectives and expertise in one location.

As an online journal, NSJ seeks to provide a unified source for timely ideas and debate in a rapidly changing landscape. NSJ seeks well-researched scholarship from academics and practitioners and encourages responses to previously published pieces. Our online format accommodates primarily short, targeted pieces with practical application as well as theoretical discussions. We believe this model will increase the range of academic perspectives that can be engaged. . .

If the Advisory Board is any guide, this journal has the potential to become a forum for serious discussion among national security law scholars and practitioners.  More information on their submission process is available here.

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Benjamin Davis
Benjamin Davis

The Board does suggest a tilt for it I must say.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

This brings to mind Garry Wills’ recent piece for the NYRB on the structural and institutional constraints (or ‘imperatives’) of the National Security State which present formidable obstacles for even a President like Obama, avowedly committed to changing many of the policies and practices of the previous Administration: [T]he momentum of accumulating powers in the executive is not easily reversed, checked, or even slowed. It was not created by the Bush administration. The whole history of America since World War II caused an inertial transfer of power toward the executive branch. The monopoly on use of nuclear weaponry, the cult of the commander in chief, the worldwide network of military bases to maintain nuclear alert and supremacy, the secret intelligence agencies, the entire national security state, the classification and clearance systems, the expansion of state secrets, the withholding of evidence and information, the permanent emergency that has melded World War II with the cold war and the cold war with the “war on terror”—all these make a vast and intricate structure that may not yield to effort at dismantling it. Sixty-eight straight years of war emergency powers (1941–2009) have made the abnormal normal, and constitutional diminishment the settled order. [….]… Read more »


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