PubPol 245: Counterterrorism Policy and Law

Before you get started, please read our Welcome Letter!

Course Calendar: see bottom of page

Course Information

This course explores the novel legal and policy issues resulting from the United States’ response to 9/11 attacks and the threat posed by modern terrorist organizations. Topics include preventative/preventive war; detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspect terrorists; domestic surveillance; and government secrecy and public access to information.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Policy memo to government official

For Whom? Lawyers, judges, policy makers, think-tanks, gov’t officials, etc

Where would such writing typically be found? Homeland Security, Congress, other government organizations, NGO dealing with terrorism

Why would someone usually read it? To gain an in-depth understanding of the legal and policital concerns raised by a particular issue, identify possible policy options to address the issue, and receive a recommendation on a proposed course of action.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Giving and receiving feedback in the Reader Project requires special considerations!


  1. Before you look at a draft, please read our guide to giving feedback.
  2. As part of our ongoing assessment program for the project, we would appreciate that any written feedback sent to the student also be sent to our Program Coordinator , who will file it until the end of the term.


It is crucial that you maintain ownership of the any writing you do for this class.  This means that while you should take your reader’s comments seriously, you must decide on (and take responsibility for) all changes to your document.  When in doubt, ask you instructor.


Note to Students: The earlier you submit the drafts the more time you will have to make use of reader feedback before turning in your work to your professor! You can also ask whether your reader will be available to give you less formal input at other points in the process, such as when you are considering options or developing particular ideas or wording.

Note to Readers: While you should provide feedback at the stages outlined above, you may also offer to give feedback  or chat informally with the student about the work in progess at other moments during the student’s work on this paper. At some point, feedback should be given either in person, webcam or phone to allow for discussion.