Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law

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The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law
Robert S Strauss Center Logo.PNG
Established 2007
Director Robert M. Chesney
Location Austin, Texas, United States
Coordinates: 30°17′08″N 97°43′42″W / 30.285688°N 97.728429°W / 30.285688; -97.728429

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law is a nonpartisan, multidisciplinary global affairs research center at The University of Texas at Austin. The Center is named for renowned lawyer and public servant Ambassador Robert S. Strauss.

Purpose and Activities[edit]

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law integrates expertise from across the The University of Texas, as well as from the private and public sectors, in pursuit of practical solutions to emerging international challenges. Towards that end, the Center sponsors a wide array of research programs and educational initiatives, which are described in detail below.

The Center actively disseminates its work to policymakers, journalists, scholars, students, and other interested citizens in the United States and abroad. It does so in the books, articles, and op-eds written by its fellows; through public events and television, radio, and newspaper interviews; and with written, visual, and audio presentations on the Strauss Center website.


The Strauss Center’s programmatic areas are divided between three research headings and a global engagement and service initiative.[1]

Research Programs[edit]

Destabilizing States[edit]

  • Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS): This program seeks to understand how climate change affects political stability and security on the African continent, with implications for U.S. national and international security. The CCAPS Program at the Strauss Center is funded by a Department of Defense Minerva Initiative grant.
  • Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA): CEPSA is also funded through the Minerva Initiative at DoD, and it examines the drivers of complex emergencies in twelve countries in South and Southeast Asia in order to identify points of intervention and methods of government response.
  • Mexico Security Initiative: This program explores the high-intensity violence and political disruption in Mexico in recent years.
  • Middle East Initiative: Research in the Middle East Initiative examines how water and energy resources affect political stresses and human security in the region.
  • State Fragility: The State Fragility program analyzes the drivers of state fragility and their implications for national and international security.

Security Institutions and Technologies[edit]

  • Intelligence Studies Project: The Intelligence Studies Project is a joint initiative between the Strauss Center and the William P. Clements Center for National Security, also located at UT Austin. The program aims to provide a better understanding of the U.S. Intelligence Community through public events and conferences, in-depth research, and undergraduate and graduate courses.
  • Energy and Security Project: The Center has sponsored two student-led research projects under the Energy and Security program, including one that looks at the national security implications of oil and gas production technologies,[2] and another that examines the strategic implications of a theoretical blockade of the Strait of Hormuz.[3]
  • Special Operations Forces: This program explores the rise of asymmetrical warfare, continuous technological leaps, heightened sensitivity to military casualties, and the professionalization of armed forces.

James Baker Chair Program on Law and Security[edit]

  • Transatlantic Dialogue on International Security and Law: The Strauss Center partners with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict at Oxford to host annual conferences on international law at the University of Oxford.
  • National Security Law Studies: In partnership with the South Texas College of Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Strauss Center co-sponsors the annual National Security Law workshop.

Global Engagement and Service[edit]

  • Crook Fellowships: Crook Fellowship awards are given annually to graduate students with summer internships at organizations that focus on poverty alleviation and/or economic development projects abroad.
  • Brumley Next Generation Fellows: This program provides research training and mentoring opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at UT Austin.
  • Visiting Scholars and Fellows: The Center occasionally hosts scholars from other universities, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, or practitioners on sabbatical.
  • International Security Speaker Series: The Strauss Center brings guest speakers to UT Austin through the International Security Speaker Series. Examples of previous events are provided in detail below.
  • China Speaker Series: This series of panel presentations covers different perspectives assessing the United State's strategy towards China.

For recent research from Strauss Center programs and scholars, visit For other news about the Strauss Center, visit

Strauss Center Events[edit]

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law hosts a variety of events on pressing international issues facing the United States and the rest of the world. These events bring together scholars, students, and practitioners to share expertise and debate ideas. The Strauss Center encourages free and open exchange of ideas and welcomes speakers representing a wide array of views to discuss critical issues impacting international security.[4]

2015 Events[edit]

2014 Events[edit]

2013 Events[edit]


  • Robert M. Chesney, Director
  • Ashley McIlvain Moran, Associate Director
  • Stephen Slick, Intelligence Studies Project Director
  • William Inboden, Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Executive Director of the Clements Center for National Security
  • Catherine Weaver, Associate Professor of Public Affairs
  • Jeremi Suri, The Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs

Distinguished Scholars[edit]

  • David Adelman, Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law
  • Michael Anderson, Lecturer
  • Zoltan Barany, Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor in Government
  • H.W. Brands, Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History
  • Jason Brownlee, Professor of Government
  • Joshua Busby, Associate Professor of Public Affairs
  • Fred Chang, Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security
  • Terrence Chapman, Associate Professor of Government
  • Joshua Eisenman, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
  • Gregory W. Engle
  • Kenneth Flamm, Professor and the Dean Rusk Chair in International Affairs
  • Michael Findley, Associate Professor
  • Francis Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Policy
  • Eugene Gholz, Associate Professor of Public Affairs
  • Kenneth Greene, Associate Professor
  • Celeste Ward Gventer, Senior Advisor to International Ministries of Defense
  • Rana Siu Inboden, Adjunct Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Derek Jinks, Marrs McLean Professor in Law
  • Alan Kuperman, Associate Professor of Public Affairs
  • Mark A. Lawrence, Associate Professor of History
  • Huaiyin Li, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies
  • Vijay Mahajan, John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business
  • Pat McDonald, Associate Professor of Government
  • Michael Mosser, Lecturer
  • Paula Newberg, Clinical Professor and Fellow of Charles N. Wilson Chair in Pakistan Studies
  • Ami Pedahzur, Arnold Chaplik Professor in Israel and Diaspora Studies
  • James "Paul" Pope, CIA Officer-in-Residence, LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., Special Advisor to the Chancellor
  • Michael Webber, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Scott Wolford, Assistant Professor


External links[edit]