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The Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) conducts research, informs policy debates, and helps current and future leaders find creative solutions to complex global challenges. Three cross-cutting themes connect faculty, researchers, and students working on CISSM’s research agenda:

  • Reducing risks from dual-use technologies: A growing list of increasingly powerful technologies are being used by an expanding number of governments, businesses, and civil society members. To facilitate beneficial uses of nuclear, cyber, and space technologies, for instance, while preventing deliberate or inadvertent misuse that could cost millions of lives or billions of dollars, technological advances must be matched by policy innovations. 
  • Enhancing human security: Far more people are killed by civil violence, terrorism, infectious disease, and natural disasters than by hostile states armed with advanced military technology. Yet policymakers spend far more time and resources preparing to deter or defeat deliberate attack than working proactively to prevent civil violence, mitigate climate change, increase resilience, and rebuild more effectively when disasters cannot be prevented—an imbalance that should be corrected.
  • Improving multi-stakeholder governance: Few twenty-first century security challenges can be handled effectively by national governments alone. States can no longer fulfill the most basic requirements for sovereignty without finding more effective ways to cooperate with each other and with international organizations, transnational civil society groups, and private industry.
CISSM's Current Projects:


The CISSM Community

CISSM is led by Director Nancy Gallagher. It includes full-time faculty and staff, research associates, post doctoral fellows, graduate research assistants, and short-term visitors. CISSM researchers publish their work in academic and policy-oriented outlets, brief policymakers, and participate in conferences and public events to keep CISSM research on the leading edge of policy debates. CISSM also:

  • Publishes Working Papers and Policy Briefs
  • Informs policy debates through briefings, op-eds, professional meetings and dialogues
  • Hosts the CISSM Global Forum, a bi-weekly seminar series, and sponsors special events
  • Develops specialized courses related to its research agenda
  • Conducts exchanges with the Moscow-based Institute for U.S.-Canada Studies (ISKRAN).

CISSM’s multidisciplinary community offers researchers and students opportunities to develop broad perspectives on international security, economic, and development challenges and to engage with practitioners working to solve these problems. 

Support CISSM

Support CISSM research, outreach, and education by contributing to the CISSM Target of Opportunity Fund, the John D. Steinbruner Student Support Fund, and the Catherine Kelleher Fellowship for International Security Studies.