Following is a sample of the articles and publications authored by Columbia Law School's faculty, advancing the public and academic discourse on issues of national security law.
For a comprehensive list of faculty publications, please refer to individual faculty profiles or the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).
TERROR AND CONSENT
by Philip Bobbitt
In this book Philip Bobbitt brings together historical, legal, and strategic analyses to understand the idea of a “war on terror.” Does it make sense? What are its historical antecedents? How would such a war be “won”? What are the appropriate doctrines of constitutional and international law for democracies in such a struggle?
He provocatively declares that the United States is the chief cause of global networked terrorism because of overwhelming American strategic dominance. This is not a matter for blame, he insists, but grounds for reflection on basic issues. We need to change our ideas about terrorism, war, and even victory itself.
The New York Times Sunday Book Review of Terror and Consent
The New York Times Book Review of Terror and Consent
STRIKING FIRST: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict
by Michael Doyle
Does the United States have the right to defend itself by striking first, or must it wait until an attack is in progress? Is the Bush Doctrine of aggressive preventive action a justified and legal recourse against threats posed by terrorists and rogue states? Tackling one of the most controversial policy issues of the post-September 11 world, Michael Doyle argues that neither the Bush Doctrine nor customary international law is capable of adequately responding to the pressing security threats of our times.
Doyle shows how the Bush Doctrine has consistently disregarded a vital distinction in international law between acts of preemption in the face of imminent threats and those of prevention in the face of the growing offensive capability of an enemy.
INTERVENTION TO STOP GENOCIDE AND MASS ATROCITIES: International Norms and U.S. Policy
by Matthew C. Waxman
On a stone wall at the memorial of the Dachau concentration camp, a promise is written in five languages: “Never Again.” Yet in the decades since the Holocaust, in places from Cambodia to Rwanda to Darfur, international actors have failed to mount an effective response to mass atrocities.
An important part of this debate concerns the international legal system governing the use of force in situations of actual or potential atrocities. In this Council on Foreign Relations Special Report, Matthew Waxman asks whether this legal regime is effective in preventing and stopping such crimes.
ROMANTICS AT WAR: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism
by George P. Fletcher
America is at war with terrorism. Terrorists must be brought to justice.
We hear these phrases together so often that we rarely pause to reflect on the dramatic differences between the demands of war and the demands of justice, differences so deep that the pursuit of one often comes at the expense of the other. George Fletcher brings much-needed clarity to the still unfolding debates about how to pursue war and justice in the age of terrorism.
Fletcher opens with unsettling questions about the nature of terrorism, war, and justice, showing how dangerously slippery the concepts can be.
DEFENDING HUMANITY: When Force is Justified and Why
by George P. Fletcher and Jens David Ohlin
When is war justified? When a nation is attacked, few would deny that it has the right to respond with force. But what about preemptive and preventive wars, or crossing another state's border to stop genocide? Was Israel justified in initiating the Six Day War, and was NATO's intervention in Kosovo legal? What about the U.S. invasion of Iraq?
The authors argue that much of the confusion on the subject stems from a persistent misunderstanding of the United Nations Charter. They suggest that the answer lies in going back to the domestic criminal law concepts upon which the UN Charter was originally based, in particular, the concept of "legitimate defense," which encompasses not only self-defense but defense of others.
Articles and Essays
"Administrative Detention of Terrorists: Why Detain, and Detain Whom?," Matthew C. Waxman, in The Journal of National Security Law and Policy (2009)
"Police and National Security: American Local Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism after 9/11," Matthew C. Waxman, in The Journal of National Security Law and Policy (2009)
"The Middle Ground in Judicial Review of Enemy Combatant Detentions," Trevor W. Morrison, in Willamette Law Review (2009).
"The Story of United States v. U.S. District Court (Keith): The Surveillance Power," Trevor W. Morrison, Presidential Power Stories(Christopher Schroeder & Curtis Bradley eds., 2008).
"The State Attorney General and Preemption," Trevor W. Morrison, in Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism’s Core Question 81 (William Buzbee ed., 2008).
"Foreign Authority, American Exceptionalism, and the Dred Scott Case," Sarah Cleveland, in The Chicago-Kent Law Review (2007)
"Our International Constitution," Sarah Cleveland, in The Yale Journal of International Law (2006)