New Security Studies Working Group Focusing on Causes, Conduct and Consequences of Violent Conflict
by Jonathan Caverley, Political Science, and Buffett Center Director Hendrik Spruyt, Political Science
The Buffett Center has launched a new Working Group on Security Studies that seeks to build an interdisciplinary community, at Northwestern and beyond, interested in research on the causes, conduct and consequences of violent conflict—be it civil war, terrorism or interstate competition. Research on the security consequences of international institutions, climate change, religious fundamentalism, and competition for energy is also most welcome.
Members from any intellectual field and research tradition are strongly encouraged to join the Group. Current participants include scholars from the Departments of Political Science, Sociology, and History of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, as well as from the Kellogg School of Management, Medill School of Journalism and the School of Communication.
Meetings are primarily dedicated to encouraging and providing feedback to research in progress presented both by outside speakers as well as working group members. Initial feedback on the research is then delivered by a graduate student discussant, followed by general discussion of the work.
Our inaugural speaker, Michael Desch, Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, kicked off the series with a talk appropriately entitled “If, When, and How Social Science Can Contribute to National Security Policy,” leading to a spirited discussion very much in keeping with the Working Group’s intent. Guy Laron of Northwestern’s Department of History followed with a presentation on the domestic influences on the United States’ approach to Egypt leading up to the Suez Crisis of 1956.
Our upcoming speakers also reflect the working group’s multidisciplinary approach. In January, the Department of Political Science’s Michael Loriaux will contribute a paper on Thucydides’ aesthetics of power, and Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, Israel will deliver a presentation on “The Rise and Demise of the Two-State Paradigm.” Future sessions will be devoted to counterinsurgency and great power coercion.
The Working Group meets biweekly on Wednesdays from 1:30pm to 3:00pm in the Buffett Center. Faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and affiliates who are interested in joining the group, as well as advanced graduate students interested in participating in individual activities aligned with their interests, should contact Hendrik Spruyt
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jonathan Caverley (email@example.com).