Law, Security, and Technology in the 21st Century

By — on / International Negotiation

With two Harvard Law School graduates potentially running against each other in the 2012 U.S. presidential contest, you do not have to look far to spot the links between Washington, D.C. and the law school. Katie Bacon of the Harvard Law Bulletin discusses such ties in her article “Double Strength” featured here in the Winter 2012 issue.

Beginning in September 2011 these ties were furthered with the launch of the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, a partnership between the law school and the venerable Brookings Institution. This collaboration is being directed by Harvard Law School professor and Program on Negotiation faculty member Gabriella Blum. Blum’s counterpart at the Brookings Institution is Benjamin Wittes, who describes the project as one “designed to combine the focus of two organizations that have very deep capacity in the areas of law and security.”

Harvard Law School has been on the forefront of security and law issues and both Blum and Wittes hope the fusion of each institution’s strengths leads to the “production of non-ideological analytical work.”

The collaboration will assume a holistic approach to the topics examined or, as Katie Bacon explains, “Famine in Somalia ties in with piracy on the high seas and the activities of Al Shabab; new technologies lead to new ways for terrorist groups to finance themselves; weapons proliferate through transnational crime networks.” The utility of the research done through the collaboration will be geared toward policymakers. By clearly defining the links between the theory and policy surrounding emerging security issues, the collaboration seeks to devise systematic approaches to law and security that moves society and nation-states away from the approaches devised in the 20th century.

From “Double Strength,” by Katie Bacon published in the Harvard Law Bulletin – Winter 2012.

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