Inaugural Online Lecture Series: Security Matters


International Security in a Changing World is the signature course at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.

Now, anyone can join the class and experience what it’s like to attend Stanford lectures by some of the most knowledgeable experts in the field of global security. This series of 30 classroom and office lectures – broken down into 157 shorter clips – is now on YouTube, at no cost and for curious minds of all ages and professions.

The lecture series, "Security Matters," surveys the most pressing security issues facing the world today. Topics include cybersecurity, nuclear proliferation, insurgency and intervention, terrorism, biosecurity, lessons learned from the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis – as well as the future of U.S. leadership in the world.

Guest lecturers include former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry; former FBI Director Robert Mueller gives us an Inside-the-Beltway look at the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Other lectures are by notable Stanford professors such as plutonium science expert Siegfried Hecker, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, nuclear historians and political scientists David Holloway and Scott Sagan, intelligence expert and CISAC Co-Director Amy Zegart, and terrorism authority Martha Crenshaw. Professor Abbas Milani explains Iran’s nuclear ambitions; Eikenberry lectures on the Afghanistan War and the future of Central Asia; and former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute talks about the importance of cybersecurity. 

Zegart and Crenshaw co-taught the class last winter term at Stanford. Listen to them give an overview of the lecture series here.



The videos have been packaged under these security themes:

Into the Future: Emerging Insecurities

Insurgency, Asymmetrical Conflict and Military Intervention

Terrorism and Counterterrorism

The Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

International Security and State Power


The popular Stanford course, International Security in a Changing World, has had four objectives since its inception in 1970:

  1. To teach students various social science theories and methodologies for understanding contemporary international security issues; 
  2. To provide the basic technical and scientific information needed to understand these issues; 
  3. To explore and assess the policy options that are available to decision-makers in the United States and around the world; and
  4. To give students the intellectual tools and desire to continue to study international security issues after the course concludes.


Here is the Security Matters Outline, which gives you a list of the topics and names of the lecturers.


Follow the Twitter hashtag #SecurityMatters for updates on the @StanfordCISAC Twitter feed as we roll out the lectures. Or dip into the entire lecture series here on our YouTube channel, Security Matters, and then check the playlist for topics.


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