Vanderbilt University Professor Ganesh Sitaraman will discuss his award-winning book The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars (Oxford University Press 2012) at the 2013 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize Lecture at noon on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in the law school’s Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Courtroom. The program is free and open to the public.
In The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars, Sitaraman explores the intersection of law and counterinsurgency strategy. He says counterinsurgency became America’s dominant approach for achieving its national security goals abroad after the 2006 “surge” in Iraq. However, controversy and debate surround counterinsurgency as a strategy—both for its military effectiveness overseas and the unexplored legal path it takes us down here at home. The book outlines how law operates during counterinsurgency and explains that following the laws of war is both morally and strategically beneficial. The book posits that law and counterinsurgency are not only united, they actively reinforce one another.
A member of the Vanderbilt Law School faculty since 2011, Sitaraman focuses on issues in public law ranging from foreign relations and international law to domestic regulation and institutional design.
A magna cum laude graduate from Harvard University with a degree in government, he earned a master’s degree in political thought and intellectual history from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was the Lionel de Jersey Harvard scholar. Sitaraman graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor on the Harvard Law Review.
The IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize was established in 2007 by alumnus Roy C. Palmer ’62 and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to encourage and reward public debate among scholars on current issues affecting the rights of individuals and the responsibilities of governments throughout the world. Winning books are exemplary works of scholarship that explore the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society.