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Contemporary Issues in Security and Resilience Series

Each academic year, the Northeastern University’s Center for International Affairs and World Cultures, the Northeastern Humanities Center, and the Department of Political Science host a lecture series focused on “Contemporary Issues in Security and Resilience” (formerly “Controversial Issues in Security and Resilience”).

The 21st century has brought a number of challenges – some new, some old –  to societies around the world, including climate change, terrorism, pandemics, and extreme weather events. No community, organization, or society can prepare for all potential risks and threats. Hardening one public target, for example, can push extremists to a softer one.  Building a seawall to protect against tsunami may trap damaging floodwaters in a neighborhood.  Decision makers have begun to recognize the importance of resilience, that is, the ability to recover from shocks alongside hardening potential targets and infrastructure. Systems which have strong social networks, redundancy, and diversity display higher levels of resilience to all kinds of threats. The speakers in this series are subject matter experts and practitioners in the fields of security and resilience from Northeastern University and beyond.

Our invited speakers explore a number of questions through these invited talks: what policies best protect our country from terror attacks? How can we set up our cities to prepare them for the effects of climate change? Are there best practices in the field of critical infrastructure resilience? Should residents undertake certain policies to mitigate future shocks? We invite students, faculty, and community members to join us in exploring these important topics over the course of the year.

You can learn more about past and present events in the series below.


Spring 2020


Fall 2019


Spring 2019


Fall 2018


Spring 2018


Fall 2017


Spring 2017


Fall 2016