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CISSM Global Forum | The Desirability and Feasibility of Strategic Trade Controls on Emerging Technologies

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Emerging Technologies

Event Description

As emerging dual-use technologies garner attention amid great power competition rhetoric, policymakers generally agree that steps should be taken to reduce the risks posed by new technologies, but disagree over the specific form these steps should take. The term “dual-use technology” refers to any technology that has both military and civilian applications. Because of this dynamic nature, governing emerging technologies requires careful evaluation of potential risks and benefits that each technology may impose across economic, security, and civilian domains. Many policymakers and practitioners are currently proposing the use of trade controls, such as export controls and sanctions, in order to strategically target the diffusion of certain technologies or components. However, from a historic perspective, such denial-based measures have achieved mixed degrees of success depending on the technology case under consideration and the geopolitical context in which the controls were constructed and applied. Given the varied outcomes across historical cases and the wide number of technologies under consideration, policymakers should recognize key dynamics in the current geopolitical context, as well as evaluate specific socio-technical characteristics of each technology to determine the most appropriate and effective governance mechanisms. This presentation will provide an overview of the history of dual-use technology governance and control approaches, as well as an analysis of the key factors that should guide decision-making on current emerging technologies.

Speaker Bios

Nancy Gallagher is the Director at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and a Research Professor in the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. Her current research includes a book project on Strategic Logics for Arms Control; public opinion surveys about security policy in the United States and Iran; initiatives to improve cybersecurity decision-making; and cooperative strategies to reduce nuclear risks.

Before coming to the University of Maryland, Dr. Gallagher was the Executive Director of the Clinton administration's Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Task Force and worked with the Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State to build bipartisan support for U.S. ratification. She was an arms control specialist in the State Department, a Foster Fellow in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and a faculty member at Wesleyan University. 

Lindsay Rand is a PhD student at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and a graduate research assistant at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM). Rand’s research is focused on the intersection of science and policy in the field of international security. Her doctoral research will examine the specific emerging technology case of quantum sensing, and the impact it will have on nuclear force structure and arms control opportunities. Rand is also researching policy options for engaging different stakeholder communities on issues relating to emerging/disruptive technologies and plans to apply findings from her doctoral research to propose innovative options for future arms control agreements. During her time as a PhD student, Rand has worked as an NSF fellow for the Science and Technology Directorate and a Summer Associate at RAND. Rand received an M.S. in nuclear health physics from Georgetown University, where her technical research included assessments of radiation detectors for the U.S. Navy and FEMA and the development of a lightweight radiation detection robot. Rand has a B.A. in physics and classical history from Carleton College.

Other Details

Registration for this event is not required but is appreciated (for planning purposes). 

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