National Security Analysis Capstone

Derek Reveron"I can think of nothing more satisfying than helping HES students work on projects that will inform national security thinking. Seeing what they’ve learned over the years is remarkable, but witnessing how they apply their learning to real world problems is inspiring.”

— Derek Reveron, Capstone Instructor

The national security analysis capstone was designed to give candidates in the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) fields of government and international relations the opportunity to produce a policy paper on a national security topic. The capstone requires a presentation of the policy paper to a panel of military experts from US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The capstone is an ideal choice if you want to work for the United States federal government, non-governmental ogranizations as well as security think tanks or research groups, where policy paper analysis is the main form of idea sharing and project greenlighting.

Specifically, the capstone explores the national security system, methods of intelligence analysis, and policy processes that drive and inform decision making. Readings span current affairs and historical cases to illustrate dynamics in motion. Assignments include the development of practical tools and skills most frequently used in national security settings such as memos and one-on-one briefings, but also longer analytical papers and working group presentations. 

To support your research, we recommend that you review the Harvard Kennedy School Library and Knowledge Services' information on National and International Security.

Capstone Faculty

Derek Reveron, Lecturer in Extension and Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, and Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval War College

Capstone Presentations

Capstone presentations are held on campus at the end of April, and are an opportunity to meet and spend time together face to face.

Course Links

Precapstone Course: GOVT E-597 National Security Writing and Analysis Precapstone
Capstone Course: GOVT E-599b National Security Analysis Capstone