The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents:

The 14th Annual Kenneth N. Waltz Lecture in International Relations: “American Power and the Short Peace” with William C. Wohlforth


Event Details:

Thursday, February 1, 2024


Presidential Room 1, Faculty House (See here for directions to Faculty House)

Introduced by V. Page Fortna, Director, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies; Harold Brown Professor of US Foreign and Security Policy, Department of Political Science, Columbia University

Moderated by Richard K. Betts, Leo A. Shifrin Professor Emeritus of War and Peace Studies; Professor Emeritus of International and Public Affairs; Special Research Scholar, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies

Lecture by William C. Wohlforth, Daniel Webster Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

Event Abstract: 

After 1991 the international system witnessed the greatest reduction in violence in its history, sparking a cottage industry of scholars seeking to understand this welcome sea change. Most of their explanations, Wohlforth argues, are related to US power and the purposes to which it was put. It follows that further US decline, and a potentially dramatic shift in US global aims, have baleful implications for peace.

About the Lecture: 

The Annual Kenneth N. Waltz Lecture in International Relations was established by the Institute in September, 2008, in celebration of Waltz’s many outstanding contributions to the field of international relations. Waltz was forever grateful to the Institute for giving him office space and collegial support while he completed his first book, Man, the State, and War. Read more here.

Speaker Biography:

William C. Wohlforth is the Daniel Webster Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and has been a faculty member in Dartmouth’s Government Department since 2000, where he teaches and conducts research on international relations, with an emphasis on international security and foreign policy. Before Dartmouth, he taught at Princeton and Georgetown.

Wohlforth is the author or editor of nine books and some 60 articles and chapters on topics ranging from the Cold War to contemporary U.S. grand strategy. He teaches courses in international politics, Russian foreign policy, leadership and grand strategy, violence & security and decision-making. At Dartmouth, he has served as chair of the Government Department, on the Committee Advisory to the President, the Committee on Instruction, and on many College level search committees.

Beyond Dartmouth, Wohlforth has held fellowships at the Institute of Strategic Studies at Yale, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and the Hoover Institution. For six years he served as associate editor and then editor-in-chief of the journal Security Studies.

Much of Wohlforth’s work is relevant to policy. He participates in a working group sponsored by the National Intelligence Council that is studying strategic responses to U.S. unipolarity. Their work has figured in several NIC reports, including most recently Global Trends 2030.  He has served as a consultant to the Strategic Assessment Group and the National Bureau of Asian Research.  He routinely lectures and conducts seminars with policy-makers, including, in recent years, the National Defense University, Naval War College, Army War College, George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies, and defense and foreign policy institutes in Germany, Canada, Portugal, Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom.