The Tower Center is actively engaged in a number of research projects involving faculty and experts from SMU, as well as other universities and institutes in the United States and abroad.

The purpose of this research is to provide a deeper understanding of the complexity of the issues in international affairs with the expectation that a more sophisticated understanding will lead to comprehensive, sustainable policies.  The research conducted within the Center is part of its mission to bridge the gap between the worlds of policy and academia, and help move policy debate from Capitol Hill into the heartland of America.  The Tower Center’s multi-disciplinary approach to research brings expertise and tools from political science, history, economics, business, cultural studies and other fields to bear on the most important issues of the day.  Students are part of the Tower Center research teams and participate in all aspects of the intellectual life of the Center.  The core mission of the Tower Center is to engage students in public service as well as provide them with the tools for success.  Scholarship provides students with analytical abilities, intellectual sophistication, and deep knowledge of specific areas necessary for careers in many fields.

US-Mexico Research Project

The Tower Center is dedicated to the premise that the US-Mexico relationship is of vital political and economic significance for the United States and the best way to continue development, growth, and security in both countries is through further economic integration.  The Tower Center is engaged in a research project that investigates the importance of private sector leadership and cross-border relationships among business leaders for the development of deeper and wider North American integration. 

National Security & Defense

The purpose of this research program is analyze how global economic and political trends and developments in particular countries create conflicts and generate instability that threaten U.S. security and economic interests, with special emphasis on conflicts generated by, or affecting, competition for scarce resources such as energy and, increasingly, water; and the  impact of new technologies and changing economic and political conditions on the choice of “soft” and “hard power” strategies and instruments for managing the conflicts with discussion of possible ethical solutions to the conflicts.

East Asia Research Project

A number of Tower Center affiliated faculty are studying the domestic political and economic affairs of Asian countries, relations among those countries, and the interaction of Asian nations with countries in other regions.  The synergy of faculty from different disciplines coming together to focus on their common interest in Asia has resulted in several major research projects and publications that investigate the critical aspects of economic, national defense policies, culture in the region.

Jno. E. Owens Memorial Foundation Research Project

The Jno. E. Owens Memorial Foundation was established in 1953 by Mrs. Owens in memory of her husband, a prominent Texas banker. During his lifetime, Mr. Owens was intensely interested in international economics, and it was his wish to establish a foundation that would memorialize his lifelong interest in international relations. The broad objective of the Jno. E. Owens Memorial Lectureship Series is to enlarge public understanding of international economic forces in the philosophical context of free trade.