Harvard professor to lecture on United States foreign policy with Iraq on Feb. 20

NEW PALTZ — Stephen M. Walt, professor of International Affairs and Academic Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will give a lecture at SUNY New Paltz at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Coykendall Science Building auditorium.

Professor Walt’s lecture, “The United States vs. Iraq: A Realist View,” will focus on the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, and specifically on the current showdown between the United States and Iraq. Walt will discuss whether Saddam Hussein can be contained without the United States going to war with Iraq.

Walt is a leading figure in the realist school of international relations, which has provided a particularly influential approach for understanding international politics. According to Brian Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at SUNY New Paltz, “One would be hard-pressed to find a more knowledgeable person than Walt to speak about the pending war with Iraq.”

Walt is the author of The Origins of Alliances (Cornell University Press 1987), which received the 1988 Edgar S. Furniss National Security Book Award, and Revolution and War (Cornell University Press 1996). Schmidt describes Walt’s The Origins of Alliances as a major contribution to the field of international relations that has profoundly influenced how scholars understand the concept of the balance of power.

Some of Professor Walt’s most recent publications include: “Rigor or Rigor Mortis?: Rational Choice and Security Studies” (International Security, Spring 1999); “Beyond bin Laden: Reshaping U.S. Foreign Policy” (International Security, Winter 2001-02); and “The Enduring Relevance of the Realist Tradition” (Political Science: State of the Discipline, W.W. Norton, 2002).

“Professor Walt is a most important scholar, recognized in particular for his trenchant and wise analyses of relations among nations,” notes New Paltz’s Interim President Steven Poskanzer. “Our campus community has much to learn from him.”

Walt holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He was previously on the faculties of Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as Deputy Dean of Social Sciences.