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Stephen M. Walt

Mailing address

Littauer 367
Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Stephen M. Walt

Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 495-5712
Fax: (617)-495-8963
Email: stephen_walt@harvard.edu

 

Experience

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he served as Academic Dean from 2002 to 2006.  He previously taught at Princeton and at the University of Chicago, where he was Master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division and Deputy Dean of Social Sciences.  He is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, co-chair of the editorial board of International Security, and co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs book series. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005 and received the International Studies Association’s Distinguished Senior Scholar award in 2014.  His books include The Origins of Alliances, which received the 1988 Edgar S. Furniss National Security Book Award, and Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy, which was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber International Affairs Book Award and the Arthur Ross Book Prize.  His most recent book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (co-authored with John J. Mearsheimer) was a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into more than twenty foreign languages.  His weekly FP column is http://www.foreignpolicy.com/voices/walt

 

 

By Date

 

2016

Gary Skidmore/CC

September 25, 2016

"Why Are We So Sure Hillary Will Be a Hawk?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[I]f she can win over some of the people during her first term, her popularity will soar and re-election would be easy. The lesson? Clinton should focus on domestic reforms and not on international crusades. And as former State Department officials Jeremy Shapiro and Richard Sokolsky suggest, that's been her basic inclination all along."

 

 

September 18, 2016

"The Broken Policy Promises of W. Bush, Clinton, and Obama"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[I]n American politics, when a well-positioned minority believes strongly in a particular approach and the public at large is indifferent or only intermittently engaged by the issue, the minority usually wins."

 

 

Creative Commons

August 26, 2016

"The Countries With the Worst Bad Habits"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"All of which reminds us that we must be — yes, my favorite word — realistic about the ability of complex societies to change their spots overnight. That fact can be reassuring in some circumstances, insofar as it helps insulate successful policies from opponents who mistakenly want to overturn them. But it also means that policies that have simply outlived their usefulness can be as hard to eradicate as kudzu. The next time you find yourself thinking some charismatic new leader is going to sweep into office and fix everything: think again."

 

 

August 21, 2016

"Choose Your Own Adventure: The Future of the World"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[P]olitical choices do matter and can easily shift societies off one path and onto another. One obvious implication: What U.S. voters decide to do in November is really, really important."

 

 

August 8, 2016

"Donald Trump: Keep Your Hands Off the Foreign-Policy Ideas I Believe In"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[T]he strategy of offshore balancing that I favor puts a premium on flexibility and on keeping one's options open. To do that successfully requires a cool head and a certain amount of discipline, because you never know when today's adversary becomes tomorrow's ally and you don't want to burn bridges with potential partners unless you absolutely have to. Needless to say, coolness and discipline are qualities in which Trump is conspicuously lacking."

 

 

July 15, 2016

"The Madness of Crowds"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Nothing even remotely like the Chilcot Report was produced here in the United States. Nobody in power wanted an official inquiry into the ways that the Iraq war was conceived and sold to the American people, and the blunders that were made along the way."

 

 

July 8, 2016

"Introducing the Universal, All-Purpose Task Force Title Generator"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[W]hat this (mostly) tongue-in-cheek exercise really tells you is that the whole conversation about U.S. interests, strategies, power, and purpose hasn't seen a lot of new ideas in the past couple of decades, and certainly hasn’t seen much in the way of new rhetoric."

 

 

Creative Commons

June 26, 2016

"The Collapse of the Liberal World Order"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Great Britain has now voted to leave the EU; Poland, Hungary, and Israel are heading in illiberal directions; and one of America's two major political parties is about to nominate a presidential candidate who openly disdains the tolerance that is central to a liberal society, repeatedly expresses racist beliefs and baseless conspiracy theories, and has even questioned the idea of an independent judiciary."

 

 

VOA

June 17, 2016

"The Case Against Peace"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Reducing external dangers turns out to have a downside: The less threatened we are by the outside world, the more prone we are to ugly quarrels at home. Even worse, peace may even contain the seeds of its own destruction. As we are now seeing in the Middle East, the collapse of unity and state authority can easily trigger violent internal conflicts that eventually drag outside powers back in."

 

 

White House

July/August 2016

"The Case for Offshore Balancing: A Superior U.S. Grand Strategy"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Foreign Affairs

By John J. Mearsheimer, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security and Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"For nearly a century, in short, offshore balancing prevented the emergence of dangerous regional hegemons and pre­served a global balance of power that enhanced American security. Tellingly, when U.S. policymakers deviated from that strategy—as they did in Vietnam, where the United States had no vital interests—the result was a costly failure."

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.