Liberty and Security in the Age of Terrorism (CSSL 2010)

Venue: Lexington

Location: Lexington, Kentucky, United States

Event Date/Time: Oct 22, 2010 End Date/Time: Oct 24, 2010
Registration Date: Oct 22, 2010
Early Registration Date: Aug 01, 2010
Abstract Submission Date: Mar 30, 2010
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They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
--Benjamin Franklin

National security is not an end in itself, but the precondition of an end more valuable: Americans’ common enjoyment of the “Blessings of Liberty.” The appropriateness of measures designed to defeat enemies abroad and ensure domestic tranquility must, therefore, be evaluated in light of the end for the sake of which they are deployed lest our ardor for security erode the liberties our constitutional regime exists above all to protect. At what point is one further increment of security not worth its cost—in terms of resources expended, privacy surrendered, rights infringed upon, and principles betrayed? Calibrating security policy in the age of international terrorism is a difficult task. A theoretical understanding of our regime and its purposes, no less than a prudential assessment of the threats that exist to it today, is more important than ever.

The inaugural conference of the Commonwealth Security Studies Laboratory in the College of Business and Public Affairs at Morehead State University is devoted to these themes. The conference committee welcomes the submission of papers addressing the relationship between security and liberty, broadly construed. Anticipated topics include the following:

• The nature of Islamic terrorism and the extent of its threat to the West
• The requirements and limitations of domestic security post-9/11
• The extent to which the war on terror infringes upon (and/or justifies infringing upon) civil rights and citizens’ expectations of privacy
• The treatment of detainees and the appropriateness of coercive interrogation and military commissions
• Religious liberty in the West and home-grown extremists
• Domestic terrorism and anti-Western ideologies
• The appropriateness of a military response to the problem of terrorism
• The appropriateness of a law enforcement response to the problem of terrorism
• Civil-military relations in the age of asymmetric warfare
• Citizens’ rights (and duties) post-9/11
• Aliens’ rights (and duties?) post-9/11
• Political Correctness as an impediment to effective counter-terrorist policies
• The effect of terrorism and counter-terrorism policies on the character of the American regime
• The Reagan administration’s approach to terrorism
• The Clinton administration’s approach to terrorism
• The Bush administration’s approach to terrorism
• The Obama administration’s approach to terrorism

All papers accepted for presentation at the conference will be eligible for inclusion in an edited volume published by the Commonwealth Security Studies Laboratory. Papers will be selected according to a two-part review process: adjudication by a panel of three external reviewers followed by an editorial review. Those selected will have opportunity to revise and expand their submissions prior to publication.

Confirmed speakers for this event include:

Abram N. Shulsky is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. Prior to retirement from federal service, he served as an advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2001 to 2009, dealing primarily with issues related to Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism. In previous positions with the federal government, he has served as a consultant on national security affairs to the Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD); as the Director of Strategic Arms Control Policy in the OSD; acting Representative of the Secretary of Defense to the Nuclear and Space Talks (Defense and Space Group) with the former Soviet Union; Minority Staff Director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as legislative assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan with respect to intelligence issues. Dr. Shulsky is the author of the first edition of a college text book on intelligence, Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence, and the co-editor, with Gary J. Schmitt, of the second and third editions.

Bruce Thornton is a professor of classics and humanities at Fresno State University. He is also a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow at the Hoover Institution and recipient of the Susan Louise Dyer Peace Fellowship. He is the author of eight books, and his numerous essays and reviews have appeared in both scholarly journals and magazines such as The New Criterion, Commentary, National Review, The Weekly Standard, and The Claremont Review of Books. He has lectured at many colleges and universities and at venues such as the Smithsonian Institute, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Army War College, and the Air Force Academy. His latest book, forthcoming in 2010, is The Anatomy of Appeasement. From Ancient Greece to the War on Terror.


Please submit a 250-word abstract by March 30, 2010 to Authors should include pertinent contact and affiliation information. Authors will be notified of acceptance no later than April 15, 2010.

Event Details

All conference attendees are welcome to attend the special program which will take place in Morehead on October 21, 2010. This program will consist of a Morehead State University faculty panel followed by the inaugural CSSL dinner and speaker. Information about this portion of the program soon will be available on the CSSL website,

The conference will run from October 21-24, 2010 and will be held at a location in Lexington, KY. The final day of the Lexington conference schedule will consist of a visit to Kentucky’s historic Keeneland Race Course, which is located directly opposite Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.

From Keeneland’s Mission page:

“Keeneland is unique in that we are both a Thoroughbred racetrack and an auction company. Founded as a model racetrack, we seek to continually improve Thoroughbred racing while at the same time preserve its finest traditions. That philosophy has guided us for more than 70 years. Today, we strive to fulfill our mission in a number of ways. International horsemen gather annually for our spring and fall race meetings, which offer world-class racing in one of sports' most beautiful settings. We are the world's most prestigious Thoroughbred auction company, unmatched in the quality of our horses, the diversity of our clientele, our state-of-the-art facilities and our client amenities. We are a leading industry innovator, pursuing initiatives such as Polytrack and Best Pad Safety Solutions which enhance the safety of our sport. Finally, we continually work to improve our facilities and to offer services that attract new fans to the sport. All of these initiatives support our founders' goal -- that Keeneland be a symbol of the best in Thoroughbred racing.” For more information visit:

About Us

The Commonwealth Security Studies Laboratory (CSSL) is a research center based in the College of Business and Public Affairs at Morehead State University which focuses on foreign and domestic security issues in the contemporary age of terrorism.

Its goals include analyzing the political, ideological, philosophical, and theological motivations and goals of state and non-state actors; assessing the nature and extent of contemporary threats whether intellectual or material; developing the capacities of government agencies to address security issues; and educating students, professionals, and the public.

In pursuit of these goals, the CSSL leverages the resources and capacities of the School of Public Affairs at Morehead State University, including faculty, staff, and graduate students, and works in partnership with other premier regional and research universities.

For more information and to register for this event please go to Additional questions should be sent to the Director of the CSSL, Murray S. Y. Bessette, at


Additional Information

Registration: $150 USD before August 1, 2010 $200 USD from August 1, 2010 until October 21, 2010 $250 USD at the conference Registration includes coffee and refreshment throughout the day, as well as the keynote lunch and dinner.