Monday, January 6, 2014

Call for Papers: Governing Intelligence: Transnational Threats and the National Security State

The Stanford Journal of International Law has issued call for papers for a symposium on "Governing Intelligence: Transnational Threats and the National Security State," to take place May 2, 2014. Here's the call:

Governing Intelligence

Transnational Threats and the National Security State

May 2, 2014 at Stanford Law School


As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Commission Report approaches, the recurring dispute over the boundaries of the post-9/11 national security state is once again in full swing. In the United States, legislators, academics, and commentators have put forward various proposals to rein in intelligence gathering ranging from increased transparency in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to enhanced oversight of the Intelligence Community. As a result, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has pledged to conduct a “total review” of all intelligence programs.

The goal of Governing Intelligence is to move beyond the rather narrow focus of today's debate -- largely about surveillance -- to have a much broader conversation about the power and limits of intelligence agencies. We will convene academics, policymakers, business leaders, and civil society groups to analyze the challenges of intelligence governance from a comparative and international perspective. The premise behind the symposium is that the debate to rein in intelligence gathering should occur along with an examination of the power and limits of intelligence agencies in the face of transnational threats such as terrorism, cyber-warfare, drug trafficking, and weapons proliferation. Only then will we appreciate the imperatives of freedom and security in their proper context.

Call for Papers

The Stanford Journal of International Law seeks contributions by academics, practitioners, and policymakers in the form of approx. 10-15,000-word scholarly essays or 5,000-word white papers on either of the following topics: (a) national intelligence and transnational threats; or, (b) individual rights and intelligence gathering. The following is a non-exhaustive list of sub-topics and questions meant to provide guidance on the kinds of submissions we are looking for. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary submissions and submissions that combine descriptive and normative analyses.

National Intelligence and Transnational Threats:

1. Domestic Legal Mandates and Organizational Design: What is the relationship between organizational design and an intelligence system’s ability to counter transnational threats? To what extent should the legal mandates of particular intelligence agencies be reworked in the face of transnational threats? How do states compare in this regard? Can best practices be identified?

2. Intelligence Sharing and Transnational Threats: What role does intelligence sharing play in countering transnational threats? What are the strengths and weaknesses of bilateral or multilateral intelligence sharing agreements? To what extent should international organizations engage in intelligence gathering and sharing to counter transnational threats?

Individual Rights and Intelligence Gathering:

1. Domestic Safeguards and Oversight Mechanisms: How do oversight and accountability systems compare in ensuring the protection of individual rights vis-à-vis intelligence gathering? Do technology-enabled enhancements in intelligence gathering and law enforcement such as data mining and biometrics call for the strengthening of safeguards to protect individual rights? Can best practices be identified?

2. Extraterritorial Intelligence Gathering and Human Rights: What is the scope of a right to privacy, if any, under international law? Who is bound by such international law norms? Is there a need for the development of additional international law rules or instruments to address the changing intelligence gathering capabilities of states?

Submissions Mechanics and Timeline

Please send a 1-2 page abstract of your essay or white paper in Word format, a C.V. of the author(s), and point of contact information to by 5:00PM PST on February 1, 2014.

Decisions will be made on a rolling basis and released no later than by February 15, 2014. Shortlisted authors will be invited to make a panel presentation based on their working paper at the journal’s Symposium on May 2, 2014. Although acceptance of the invitation is not required to receive an offer of publication, priority will be given to shortlisted authors who accept the invitation to present at the Symposium. In the case of presenters, a draft presentation paper will be due by April 25, 2014.

Final drafts of approx. 10-15,000-word scholarly essays or 5,000-word white papers must be submitted for publication by August 15, 2014. Subject to customary editorial standards, the selected contributions will be published in Issue 51.1 of the Stanford Journal of International Law, which is scheduled for publication in January 2015.

Please address any questions you may have about the Call for Papers to José Alemán, Editor-in-Chief, at

Travel and Accommodation Expenses

We anticipate paying reasonable round-trip domestic coach airfare and providing hotel accommodation for presenters.