NYU takes new approach toward non-traditional security issues

The SPS Center for Global Affairs is launching the Initiative for the Study of Emerging Threats.

In order to better address modern security threats on a global scale, the SPS Center for Global Affairs is launching the Initiative for the Study of Emerging Threats.

Led by Mark Galeotti, a CGA clinical professor at NYU and expert in transnational crime, the ISET is committed to spreading information regarding modern day security threats in order to increase awareness among the national security community. ISET is designed to release practical and solution-centered research produced by the collective work of faculty, students and affiliates of the program, with the goal of considering what challenges our society is susceptible to today and in the near future.

“Faculty, students, alumni and associates of the CGA represent an invaluable source of insight into breaking developments and so the primary focus of ISET is to provide a single platform to leverage this to explore the security implications of today’s and tomorrow’s news,” Galeotti said.

The research presented by the initiative will focus on matters such as transnational crime; corruption; the changing face of war; and new methods terrorism and insurgency. From cyberterrorism to climate change, ISET is committed to undergo a process of research to face all kinds of threats.


“Whether this means a breakthrough in 3D printing technology, further instability in oil prices or shifting political alliances in Russia, the aim is to ensure that through ISET we can identify and explore the potential emerging security impacts and communicate them to our audiences, from policy makers to corporations,” Galeotti said.

ISET will approach this project through a variety of activities such as publishing working papers by faculty members, students and CGA alumni and holding public events in which global security threats will be discussed with speakers from all over the world.

In addition, ISET plans on establishing constant contact with the community by publishing instant responses and commentaries regarding breaking security news through the use of social media. The initiative has set up a Twitter account that provides continuous updates on the research and breaking news affecting the global community.

Mary Beth Altier, a clinical assistant professor at NYU’s CGA, is an active participant in the initiative and said the alternative approach this initiative takes should prove to be a fruitful endeavor.

“Rather than merely describing existing threats to transnational security, this initiative aims to anticipate and explore those factors that threaten our security in an increasingly complex and interdependent world,” Altier said. “Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach and their own creativity, faculty and students will propose and evaluate potential policies to deter and confront developing security challenges.”

As a whole, ISET is committed to fulfill the CGA’s wider goal to spread the skills required to face the diverse and interconnected challenges that threaten us today. Word about ISET is spreading across the NYU campus and students, such as CAS sophomore Simar Deol are enthusiastic about the initiative.

“I find ISET extremely appealing as it looks at both immediate and underlying threats, sketching out a more holistic picture of the security threats we are dealing with today,” Deol said.

Email Ludovica Grieco at [email protected] 



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