The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars, by Vanderbilt University Law School professor Ganesh Sitaraman, has won the 2013 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.
The prize was established in 2007 by IIT Chicago-Kent alumnus Roy C. Palmer and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to honor an exemplary work of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. Professor Sitaraman, whose book was published in December 2012 by Oxford University Press, will present his work at IIT Chicago-Kent at a later date.
The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars explores the intersection of law and counterinsurgency strategy. According to Professor Sitaraman, counterinsurgency became America’s dominant approach for achieving its national security goals abroad after the 2006 “surge” in Iraq. However, controversy and debate surround counterinsurgency as a strategy—both for its military effectiveness overseas and the unexplored legal path it takes us down here at home. The book outlines how law operates during counterinsurgency and explains that following the laws of war is both morally and strategically beneficial. The book posits that not only are law and counterinsurgency united, they actively reinforce one another.