Hendricks Symposium 2023

Hendricks Symposium

Seeking Enduring Advantage: Deterrence and the Return of Great Power Competition

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The University of Nebraska Political Science Department with Nebraska Law is proud to host the 2023 Hendricks Symposium,
Seeking Enduring Advantage: Deterrence and the Return of Great Power Competition,
June 5th, 2023


This two-day conference focuses on urgent key nuclear policy issues during a time of transition. Day one features three panels open to the public that explore a range of topics from nuclear proliferation and policy to strategic culture. Day two is an invite only track 1.5 like Chatham house rules deterrence dialog discussing the return to great power politics, nuclear proliferation and arms control post New Start, and the role of renewal of Alliances.

Note, day two is considered a closed session and only those who have been expressly invited should register for it. 

Online registration has now closed. Individuals are welcome to join us the day of the event and may create a name tag at the registration table. We ask that those who were not able to register online wait until registered attendees have received lunch before serving themselves.


Unfortunately, this event will not be streamed online or otherwise available remotely. 

The University of Nebraska College of Law is located on the East Campus in McCullom Hall, 1875 N 42nd St, Lincoln, NE 68503. Please note, google maps directions will take drivers to the lot on the backside of the building, but parking will be available in the large student (labeled "C") lot on the south side of the building. The main entrance is facing the parking lot. A parking attendant or other signage will be posted.

Google Map

Agenda and Structure


Day 1 (Monday, 5 June 2023):

0800-0830: Check-in & Light Breakfast/Coffee

0830-0900: Welcome Remarks, Introductions, and Agenda

0900-0930: Introduction

0930-1000: Break and move to first panel.

1000-1130: Panel 1 – ‘Deterrence and Decision Making’

The return of great power politics and the subsequent strategic imperatives are often discussed in aspirational, yet vague phrases aimed at ‘deterring peer or near-peer competitors.’ But in functional terms, what really deters our adversaries? This panel looks at three different aspects of deterrence from nuclear force structure to the importance of psychological and cultural factors.

1200-1330: Lunch Keynote

1330-1500: Panel 2 – ‘Strategic Culture, Allies, and the Future of Extended Deterrence’

American grand strategy focuses heavily on strong alliances and security commitments. Has the rise of new peer and near peer competitors changed the way the US and most importantly, its allies view these strategic relationships? What should the future of cooperation in the nuclear, and other domains look like? What are the key issues that must be addressed?

1500-1515: Coffee & Tea Break

1515-1645: Panel 3 – ‘Beyond Nuclear Weapons: Deterring Multiple Actors Across Multiple Domains’

Great power competition increasingly means competition with multiple actors and across multiple domains. Theorists and practitioners alike have struggled to update deterrence models to address the modern mix of threats states face ranging from nuclear to cyber, bio, economic, and information. How should we think about cross-domain deterrence? What models or theories are available to help craft a new wave of deterrence thinking? 

1630-1700: Day 1 – Closing Remarks 

1700-1800: Reception at Law College: Beer, wine, soda & heavy appetizers

1800: Transport to Hotel

            Attire: Summer Business Casual

Traveling to Lincoln?

There are two airports that serve the Lincoln, Nebraska area. Omaha Epply Airfield (OMA) and the Lincoln Airport (LNK). OMA has more flights and airlines, but is approximately one hour from Lincoln. It can be difficult to find ride shares or taxis that offer service to Lincoln and those flying into OMA are encouraged to arrange transportation in advance. LNK is approximately 10 minutes from downtown Lincoln. The conference hotel offers an airport shuttle.

Uber and Lyft are both popular and available in Lincoln, though given the relative size of the city, please note the immediacy of these services while differ from larger metropolitan areas. The conference hotel will offer a daily shuttle to the College of Law.

Nebraska in June will be warm! Be prepared to dress for warm weather.

Portrait of Elsbeth

Elsbeth Magilton
Conference Organizer for Nebraska Law