Initiative for the Study of Emerging Threats

The security challenges facing the world are increasingly complex and varied. We help make sense of them.

In an age of cyberattacks and human trafficking, Russia's "little green men" in Crimea, and the black-flag legions of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, it is clear that the security challenges facing the world are increasingly complex and varied. The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Center for Global Affairs (CGA) has long been dedicated to understanding and to predicting non-traditional and new security threats, as well as to exploring responses to these challenges. The Initiative for the Study of Emerging Threats (ISET) both reflects and extends this mission.

ISET is led by Dr. Mary Beth Altier, director of the transnational security concentration within CGA's MS in Global Affairs (MSGA). The Initiative brings together research by faculty members, students, and affiliates of the program who consider what challenges may be lurking just over the horizon, and how we can best prepare for them.

Key themes that ISET addresses include:

  • The changing face of war and its growing overlap with terrorism and insurgency
  • Information warfare and subversion
  • Cybercrime, cyberwar, and cyberterrorism
  • Radicalization, recruitment, and rehabilitation of terrorists and foreign fighters
  • Transnational crime, including the trafficking of drugs, people, and weapons; and financial crime and money laundering
  • Corruption, especially as it impacts aid, development, and governance
  • Energy, climate change, and resource scarcity

ISET publishes peer-reviewed articles and books, which are authored by faculty members, students, and affiliates on these themes; holds and publicizes public events; publishes timely responses and commentaries on breaking security news; and supports CGA's mission in developing and disseminating the knowledge and the skills needed to address the challenges of the future through the practical education provided by the MS in Global Affairs.

Applied Research

Browse links to articles and books published by ISET faculty, affiliates and students.

Practical Education

Whether you are an experienced professional who is interested in increasing your knowledge or developing your skill sets, or you are a recent graduate who wants to pursue a career in the security sector—which, these days, means everything from the intelligence community to risk assessment in financial institutions to field work with an NGO—the NYU Center for Global Affairs (CGA) offers the transnational security concentration within the MS in Global Affairs (MSGA) to meet your needs. 

Director's Message
Mary Beth Altier, MA, PhD
Director and Clinical Associate Professor

Welcome! The world is becoming increasingly interconnected and yet, we are currently witnessing nation-states turning inward rather than outward. Yet, threats like terrorism, climate change, pandemics, cyberattacks, biological and nuclear weapons, refugee flows, and corruption require innovative solutions and international cooperation. How do we anticipate and thwart new and emerging threats in an increasingly complex global order?

The Initiative for the Study of Emerging Threats (ISET) follows the broader mission of the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs in seeking not just to catalog and to describe the world's challenges, but to play an active, imaginative, and positive role in creating practical solutions to them. ISET draws upon an extraordinary and inspiring faculty, the efforts of a diverse and entrepreneurial group of graduate students and alumni, and the resources of New York University, one of the most well respected and globally connected institutions of higher learning in the world.

This is a new and ambitious endeavor and inevitably a work in progress, constantly evolving, forever exploring new risks and new strategies to prevent, minimize, or resolve them. We look forward to working with you in that mission.

Latest Tweets

Connect With Us

Form information
Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
Submit An error has occurred submitting the form