CSPS sponsors several types of events including a speaker series, crisis simulations, staff rides, and research forums. Additional information about each of these types of events can be found below.
Through its Distinguished Speaker Series, CSPS highlights the ideas of distinguished scholars and practitioners in the fields of security, defense, and diplomacy. The speaker series aims to draw engaged audiences composed of Schar and Mason students and faculty and their colleagues from across the consortium as well as scholars and practitioners from think tanks, government, and the public. Every speaker series event provides an opportunity for the speaker and the audience to hold a dialogue on topics including fundamental, timeless principles of security studies as well as highly topical examinations of current international security issues.
Past Distinguished Speaker Series presenters and topics include:
Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (Americas), presenting “North Korea and the Nuclear Future”
Stephen Rosen, Beton Michael Kaneb Professor of National Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University, presenting “Nuclear Crises in Current and Future Environments”
Stephen Biddle, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University, presenting “Small Footprint, Small Payoff: Measuring the Effectiveness of Security Force Assistance”
Jonathan Caverley, Professor of Strategy at the Naval War College, presenting “When Peacekeepers Come Home: The Domestic Effects of Transferring Money and Military Experience to Troop Contributing Countries”
T.X. Hammes, Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University Center for Strategic Research, presenting “New Technologies and the Future of Military Power”
Key to CSPS’ mission is its commitment to facilitate exploration of security studies by students at the Schar School of Policy and Government regardless of their specific degree program. Simulations add unique depth to that exploration by allowing students a chance to take the underpinning security studies and public policy concepts from their coursework and research and apply them to confront detailed topical scenarios.
CSPS hosts one simulation per academic semester. These simulations are day-long exercises that place participants in individual country roles or use team organizations to simulate military, executive, and diplomatic bureaucracies. CSPS draws on expert practitioners and professional simulation designers from government and the military to construct and conduct realistic, stressful, and beneficial exercises.
Staff Rides and Tours
Taking advantage of the Schar School location’s ready access to battlefields of the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, CSPS offers free-of-charge guided excursions to students and faculty of George Mason University and their guests.
Battlefield leadership tours offer a guided tour format in-depth look at the events, tactics, and strategic considerations of battles of the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. Experienced guides and military historians detail the circumstances and context of events both legendary and overlooked to provide a fascinating look at historical security case studies.
Staff rides require graduate students to conduct in-depth research into the perspective of a single leader in a given battle. The students then offer a detailed presentation under rigorous faculty questioning of the factors that went into that individual’s decisions as well as the consequences thereof.
The Center for Security Policy Studies Research Forum serves two purposes. First, it provides the primary platform for presentation of completed original CSPS fellow and faculty research in conjunction with its publication. Second, it provides Schar students and faculty conducting ongoing research in the research areas of security, conflict, and defense to present preliminary products to their colleagues.
Publication presentations formally introduce original CSPS research to the public and feature expert panel discussions as well as audience question and answer. Ongoing research preliminary presentations allow students and faculty to obtain constructive feedback in-stride as well as to provide inspiration for divergent and/or related research. In 2018 CSPS released two new reports on the implications of the Italian successes against domestic terrorists, and Taiwan security challenges. Reports can be found here.