Research. Education. Policy.
Generating knowledge to build a safer world
The Center for International Security and Cooperation tackles the most critical security issues in the world today by bringing together leading scholars in the social and natural sciences to collaborate across disciplines and professional backgrounds. Part of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, we conduct innovative research and share our findings with policy makers and the public so everyone can better understand an increasingly complex international environment.
We offer undergraduate and graduate coursework, as well as pre- and postdoctoral fellowships to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders in international security. We host seminars, events, discussions, and other opportunities to encourage collaboration and dialogue on nuclear weapons, emerging technologies, biosecurity and other ideas that have the power to change our world.
Since CISAC’s founding in 1983, we have always been led by two co-directors—one from the natural sciences and one from the social sciences—because we know it takes people from different disciplines with different experiences, ideas, strengths, and interests to solve the most pressing security problems. We also know that we need a community of scholars from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds to make CISAC succeed. We are committed to building that community and encouraging healthy, civil debate where we support each other and each other’s work.
CISAC grew out of the mass teach-ins that took place on campus during the Vietnam War. Since the beginning, one of our key goal has been to reduce nuclear risk and promote a world at peace. Our scholars are involved in issues like nuclear nonproliferation research, the study of international norms and ethics, and Track II talks with China, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia.
While our legacy is marked by this continuity in vision, CISAC has evolved to focus on emerging challenges. When the terrorist attacks on 9/11 shook the U.S. and other nations, CISAC expanded its mission to include the study of terrorism, insurgency and homeland security.
In biosecurity and global health, our scholars are studying ways to anticipate and prevent the misuse of rapidly evolving capabilities in the life sciences, as well as the emergence of infectious diseases in a dynamic world. CISAC faculty also focus on risks associated with our highly interconnected digital age.