Global Security Program

About Us:

We bring together UT professors, Baker Center fellows, graduate and undergraduate researchers, and other academics to inform and assess policies and challenges on key issues of international security.


To address national and international security threats and solutions through policy relevant research and education with a global perspective.


Well-informed strategies to mitigate national and international security threats.

Global Security Research:

The program's research has been supported by private, state, and federal grants and contracts. These grants and contracts allow for faculty and fellows to engage in interdisciplinary projects that have theoretical, empirical, and practical import for scholars and policymakers on wide-ranging topics, including:

  • War, crises, international and civil conflict resolution
  • Territorial and maritime disputes, piracy and maritime security
  • Terrorism and other political violence
  • Foreign policy
  • Nuclear security and proliferation

Recent research conducted by research fellows in the Global Security Program include a:

  • Two-year Minerva grant (2016-2018) directed at UTK by Dr. Krista Wiegand, with University of North Texas, University of Iowa, and University of Georgia to collect data on identity claims by states on behalf of non-state actors.
  • Two-year Minerva grant (2014-2017), directed by Dr. Brandon Prins, a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Global Security Fellow at the Baker Center, to collect and study data on the incidence of piracy off the coast of Africa. This project looks at ways to improve safety on the seas and policies to address these issues.

The program's faculty and staff also conduct also host educational programs, publish on a range of policy relevant topics, and edit the flagship journal of the International Studies Association, International Studies Quarterly, published by Oxford University Press.

For a list of recent and ongoing research projects, please check here. If you are interested in potential collaboration with any of our fellows, please contact Dr. Krista Wiegand, Director.

Ashe Lectures:

Ashe Lectures are sponsored by former Knoxville mayor and US Ambassador to Poland, Victor Ashe through the East Tennessee Foundation. For the series, ambassadors and mayors are invited to speak on a variety of public matters, including foreign relations, diplomacy, world affairs, and local government.

Previous lectures have been given by individuals such as Richard Lugar, former senator (R-IN) and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Nicholas Burns, former under-secretary of State for US Political Affairs and US ambassador to NATO, and professor at Harvard University; and Margaret Scobey, former US ambassador to Egypt and Syria; and current ambassadors to the US from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. Check for upcoming events here.

Global Security Distinguished Lecture:

The program also supports an annual distinguished lecture. Previous lectures have been given by individuals such as Vice Admiral V. J. Shankar, Indian Navy; Dr. Charles McMillan, Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. Bulent Aliriza from the Center for Strategic & International Studies; Eric Gomez, Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute; and Michael Hanna, Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation.Check for upcoming events here.

Global Security Research Workshop (GSRW):

The Global Security Research Workshop (GSRW) is hosted 5-7 times each semester, with faculty and graduate students from UTK as well as other institutions in Tennessee, including the University of Memphis, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and University of Tennessee Chattanooga. At each workshop, a professor or graduate student presents her/his research at all stage from early to needing revisions and receives feedback. Please contact Dr. Sojeong Lee at for any further inquiries about the GSRW, including a schedule and participation.

Global Security Program Targeted Partnerships:

Global Security Activities:

Additional activities include a lecture series on global security and foreign policy and a biannual conference on the prevention, management, and resolution of international conflicts, civil wars, terrorism and other political violence. Courses on these topics include recent projects with the US State Department’s Diplomacy Lab.