A Short History of Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation
The Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) traces its origins to the Vietnam War and the mass teach-ins that took place on campus during that turbulent era. At one of the gatherings, political scientist John Lewis, a noted China scholar, met physicist Wolfgang (Pief) Panofsky, then director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and Stanford law Professor John Barton. The three men, Lewis recalled, found that the students had little knowledge about war and how security policies are developed. In response, the scholars decided to create a teaching environment in which students from different disciplines could examine international security matters and understand how government policy is formed.
In 1970, their class, "Arms Control and Disarmament," focused on nuclear weapons and efforts to control them through treaties and negotiations. Today, the descendant of that class is still team-taught by CISAC faculty every winter quarter under the name, "International Security in a Changing World." Over time, this course has influenced thousands of Stanford undergraduates.
In 1973, the Ford Foundation awarded Stanford a grant to develop a course on arms control and an accompanying textbook. International Arms Control: Issues and Agreements became the standard textbook on the subject. A year later, the foundation gave the fledgling program a five-year grant for training, research and outreach activities. In 1978, along with three other university-based centers, Stanford's "Arms Control Program" received Ford Foundation endowment funds that Stanford subsequently matched. When the match was finalized in 1983, Stanford's Center for International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) was established. Lewis and SLAC physicist Sidney Drell were the Center's first two co-directors, a structure maintained ever since.
From the beginning, CISAC has emphasized a three-part mission:
To produce policy-relevant research on international security problems;
To teach and train the next generation of security specialists;
To influence policymaking in international security.