About The Annual Kenneth N. Waltz Lecture in International Relations

The Saltzman Institute is pleased to honor one of Columbia’s most famous products and one of the most eminent international relations theorists of the past century by establishing the annual Kenneth N. Waltz Lecture in International Relations.”

– Richard K. Betts, Director

September, 2008

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. Past presenters include:

Stephen Van Evera, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “A Farewell to Geopolitics: American Grand Strategy in the New Era” (October 14, 2008)

Robert O. Keohane, Princeton University, “Social Norms and Agency in World Politics” (November 12, 2009)

Stephen Walt, Harvard University, “Realism and American Grand Strategy: The Case for Offshore Balancing” (November 4, 2010)

James Fearon, Stanford University, “Anarchy is a Choice: International Politics and the Problem of World Government” (November 11, 2011)

Robert Powell, University of California at Berkeley, “Nuclear Brinksmanship and Military Power” (April 11, 2013)

Barry Posen, “Why American Restraint Makes Sense in a World Going to Hell” (October  30, 2014)

Etel Solingen, University of California Irvine, “Revisiting Nuclear Logics” (February 4, 2016)

Martha Finnemore,Theorizing Cyber Security and Other 21st Century Problems,” (September 29, 2016)

Scott Sagan, Stanford University,“Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran:  What the Public Really Thinks About Using Nuclear Weapons and Killing Non-Combatants” (April 11, 2018)

John Ruggie, Harvard University, “The Balance of Global Public and Private Power: A Tale of Two Worlds” (October 25, 2018)

Erica Chenoweth, Harvard University, “The Paradox of Civil Resistance in the 21st Century” (October 9, 2019)

Sir Lawrence Freedman, King’s College, London “Nuclear Scripts: Stories of War and Deterrence” (February 12, 2021)

Barbara F. Walter, University of California San Diego, “Is the U.S. Headed Toward a Second Civil War?” (March 3, 2022)

Kenneth N. Waltz

Before completing his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1954, Waltz served in the United States Army during the Second World War and the Korean conflict.  He was a member of the Columbia University faculty (1953-1957), and he subsequently taught at Swarthmore College, Brandeis University, and the University of California, Berkeley (1971-1994), before returning to Columbia and the Institute in 1997. Waltz was a research associate with the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University on several occasions, and with the Department of War Studies, Kings College, University of London.  He taught at the London School of Economics, the Australian National University, Peking University, Fudan University, the United States Air Force Academy, and the University of Bologna.  Waltz was President of the American Political Science Association 1987-1988. He has received honorary doctorates from Copenhagen University, Oberlin College, Nankai University, Aberystwyth University, and from the University of Macedonia in Saloniki, Greece, which he accepted in person in the spring of 2011. Waltz’s books include Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis (Columbia University Press, 1954, 1959, 2001), Theory of International Politics (Addison-Wesley, 1979), and Realism and International Politics (Routledge, 2008).  The third, updated edition of The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate (W.W. Norton, 1995, 2003), which he wrote with Scott Sagan, was published in 2012. Waltz was also the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. His most recent articles included: “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb” in Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2012); “The Great Debate,” an exchange with Scott Sagan on nuclear weapons in The National Interest (Sep-Oct 2010)and with then-Columbia University Ph.D. candidate Mira Rapp-Hooper (now at CNAS), “What Kim JongIl Learned from Qaddafi’s Fall: Never Disarm,” The Atlantic (online, October 24, 2011). Waltz remained active in the life of the Institute as a Senior Research Scholar until his death on May 13, 2013 at the age of 88. At the time of his death he was still advising students, doing research on  nuclear deterrence, and revisiting canonical works of international relations theory. In his later years, Waltz divided his time between homes on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Harborside, Maine.  

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies 

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies was founded in 1951 under the sponsorship of Dwight D. Eisenhower, during his tenure as president of Columbia University, in an effort to promote an understanding of “the disastrous consequences of war upon man’s spiritual, intellectual, and material progress.” Originally named the Institute of War and Peace Studies (IWPS), in March, 2003, the institute was renamed the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies (SIWPS), in honor of the late Arnold A. Saltzman. Under its first director, William T.R. Fox, the Institute became one of the foremost research centers on international relations in the country. From the beginning, the Institute has interpreted its role broadly. Over the years researchers have probed the political, military, historical, legal, economic, moral, psychological and philosophical dimensions of international relations. Although the Institute does not take an official position on any public policy issues, individual members of SIWPS contribute to the general discourse on such topics by authoring articles in journals such as Foreign Affairs, discussing current issues with officials and journalists, serving as consultants to government departments and agencies, and testifying before Congressional committees. The Institute itself has no formal teaching program; rather, its members conduct a wide variety of instructional activities through the Department of Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. Members of the Institute offer courses on American foreign policy, national security, intelligence and cybersecurity, international politics, conflict resolution, political economy, environmental policy, and international organizations.