Tower Center Programs

The Tower Center currently manages three inter-related programs on a foundational theme of Political Economy & Security: National Security & Defense; International Politics & Economics; and U.S. Economy & Politics.


SAS@SMU Program

The Security and Strategy Program at the Tower Center serves to raise student and public awareness of national and international security affairs. Our principal mission is to prepare SMU undergraduates to become leaders in government service, academia, and industry. We offer a rigorous and demanding set of courses on international relations, national security policy, strategy, American foreign policy, and the politics of military force. The Tower Center also gives students the opportunity to interact with policymakers, military officers, intelligence officials, and diplomats.  

The United States has become increasingly active in regional conflicts since the end of the Cold War, and it invests enormous resources into projecting American power abroad. SAS@SMU encourages a vigorous debate on this investment. Along with the annual Tower Center National Security Conference, we organize regular forums and seminars that give the public the chance to converse with leading scholars about cutting edge research in security studies, as well as with government officials and defense industry executives. 

Click here to visit the SAS@SMU Program webpage.


Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program

The Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program aims to increase awareness of the economic, historical, political, and social trends of Japan and East Asia that affect the future of China, Japan, Korea, East Asia, and the world, including the United States.  Through the Sun & Star Symposia and lecture series featuring scholars, practitioners, journalists, and government officials, students and other participants learn about the challenges and opportunities in each country’s domestic politics and economics, the region’s relationship with the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, and the international relations of the globalized world.

Click here to visit the Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program webpage. 


International Politics and Economics Program

This program explores the interconnections between politics and economics by focusing on issues of 1) international trade and finance and its effect on the well-being and security of people in the U.S.; 2) the intensifying competition for resources (particularly energy, water, and human capital); 3) climate change; 4) international migration; and 5) economic and political development in Latin America (especially Mexico), Asia (with a focus on Japan and China), the Middle East, and Africa with emphasis on the ethics of development.


U.S. Economy and Politics Program

This program focuses on the way in which the changing economic and security environments affect America’s institutions and policies; the well-being of its people and traditional American liberties. It also examines the way America’s approaches to its political, economic, and cultural challenges at home affects its ability to promote U.S. interests abroad.