Stephen Walt (left)
|Born||Stephen Martin Walt
July 2, 1955
|Main interests||International relations theory|
|Notable ideas||Defensive realism, Balance of threat theory|
Stephen Martin Walt (born July 2, 1955) is an American professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Among his most prominent works are Origins of Alliances and Revolution and War. He coauthored The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy with John Mearsheimer.
Education and career
In 1983, he earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. He did his undergraduate studies at Stanford University. Walt developed the 'Balance of Threat' Theory, which defined threats in terms of aggregate power, geographic proximity, offensive power, and aggressive intentions. More recently Walt has attracted attention for co-authoring and publishing with John Mearsheimer an article, which was subsequently published as a book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a New York Times Best Seller. Walt is an influential scholar in international relations, generally associated with defensive realism. Jonathan Chait of The New Republic has called Walt an "ultra-Nixonian realist."
"The Israel Lobby"
In March 2006, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, then academic dean of the Kennedy School of Government, published a working paper entitled "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" and an article entitled "The Israel Lobby" in the London Review of Books on the negative effects of "the unmatched power of the Israel Lobby". They define the Lobby as "the loose coalition of individuals and organisations who actively work to steer US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction". The articles generated considerable media coverage throughout the world.
Prospects for effective American-European relations
Walt argues that NATO must be sustained because of four major areas where close cooperation is beneficial to European and American interest.
- Defeating international terrorism; Walt sees a need for cooperation between Europe and the United States in managing terrorist networks and stopping the flow of money to terror cells.
- Limiting the spread of weapons of mass destruction; Walt argues that anti-proliferation efforts are most successful when Europe and the U.S. work in concert to bring loose nuclear material into responsible custody. He cites the case of Libya's willingness to abandon its nascent fission program after being pressured mulitilaterally as evidence of this.
- Managing the world economy; lowering barriers to trade and investment particularly between the U.S. and the E.U. will accelerates economic growth. Notable differences in trade policy stem mainly in areas of agricultural policy.
- Dealing with failed states; failed states are breeding grounds for anti-western movements. Managing failed states such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Somalia require a multinational response since the U.S. has insufficient wealth to modernise and rebuild these alone. In this area European allies are especially desirable because they have more experience with peacekeeping and "nation-building".
Perceived Obama mistakes
Walt has written that President Barack Obama erred by breaking with the principles in his Cairo speech by allowing continued Israeli settlement activity and by participating in a "well-coordinated assault" against the Goldstone Report. Walt argues against the "safe-haven myth" in Afghanistan and that Obama's justification for escalating the war is flawed. This was in turn criticized by terrorism analyst Peter Bergen.
Offshore balancing of China
Walt posits that offshore balancing is the most desirable strategy when dealing with China. He predicts that China will attempt to bully its weaker neighbours into adopting policies that don't threaten Beijing's interest. In 2011 Walt argued that China will seek to gain regional hegemony and a broad sphere of influence in Asia which was comparable in size to the USA's position in the western hemisphere. If this happens, he predicts that China would be secure enough on the mainland to give added attention to shaping events to its favour in far flung areas. Given that China is resource poor, the nation will likely aim to safeguard vital sea lanes in areas such as the Persian Gulf.
Titles and positions
- 1999–Present — Belfer Professor of International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- 2002–2006 — Academic Dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- January 2000 — Visiting Professor of Strategic Studies, Institute for Defense and Security Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- 1996–1999 — University of Chicago, deputy dean of social sciences
- 1995–1999 — University of Chicago, professor
- 1992–2001 — Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Board of Directors
- 1989–1995 — University of Chicago, associate professor
- 1988 — The Brookings Institution, guest scholar
- 1986–1987 — Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, resident associate
- 1985–1989 — World Politics, Board of Editors
- 1984–1989 — Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School, assistant professor
- 1981–1984 — Harvard University, Center for Science and International Affairs, research fellow
- 1978–1982 — Center for Naval Analyses, staff
- The Origins of Alliances (1987)
- Revolution and War (1996)
- Taming American Power (2005)
- The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2007)
- "Nye, Walt and Ruggie Named Most Influential Faculty in Foreign Affairs". Harvard Kennedy School. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- Chait, Jonathan (2010-12-10) Nixon Disallowed Jewish Advisors From Discussing Israel Policy, The New Republic
- Walt, Stephen (March-April 2004). "The Imbalance of Power". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- Stephen Walt (18 December 2009). "Was Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech really "realist?"". Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- "Stephen Walt Takes on Obama’s Justification for Escalating the Afghanistan War". Democracy Now!. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- "How Realistic is Walt’s Realism?". Foreign Policy. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "More support for offshore balancing - By Stephen M. Walt | Stephen M. Walt". Walt.foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Does the U.S. Face a "Morality Gap" with China? | Stephen M. Walt". Walt.foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Tom Friedman Sees the Light | Stephen M. Walt". Walt.foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "What's the United States Up To in Asia? | Stephen M. Walt". Walt.foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Is IR like music or like sports? | Stephen M. Walt". Walt.foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Rebecca Stone Is Wed to Stephen Walt". The New York Times. 5 May 1991. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- "Stephen Walt's Curriculum Vitae (pdf)". Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Stephen Walt|
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (November 2012)|
- Profile at Harvard University
- Walt's current blog at ForeignPolicy.com
- Prof. Walt's publications - full text
- Kennedy School removes its logo from lobby 'study' Rosner's Blog, Haaretz, March 22, 2006[dead link]
- Conversations with History with Harry Kreisler, November 2005
- Another source of links to critiques on The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
- The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Paper available for download from Harvard website
- What the Israel lobby wants, it too often gets, Mearsheimer and Walt respond to their critics in Foreign Policy
- Video of discussion/debate with Stephen Walt and Anne-Marie Slaughter on Bloggingheads.tv
- Interview with Walt by Theory Talks 'Stephen Walt on the Israel Lobby, the ‘Security’ in Security Studies, and the Structural Nature of Interstate Competition'