Historian Lewis Mumford, among others, has argued that warfare as an ongoing and necessary expression of the state originated with the rise of urbanism in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley thousands of years before the Common Era. The twentieth century witnessed global, regional, and local war on a near-continuous basis. For ten of the first fourteen years of the twenty-first century the United States has been at war in the Middle East. The threat of terrorism, meanwhile, remains continuous and has altered the social psychology of these United States in ways that we have only barely begun to understand. Under the guidance of Professor Steve Lamy, students will be encouraged to address such questions as: is war a permanent condition in contemporary and future society? If so, then what are the social, psychological, and moral effects of living in such a continuous state of armed conflict and asymmetrical terror?
Steven Lamy is USC Dornsife’s vice dean for academic programs and professor of international relations. His broad and polymathic areas of expertise include international relations theory; foreign policy analysis; the foreign policies of the Western nation-states with an emphasis on Western European states, the U.S. and Canada; human security; and teaching and curriculum development in international relations. Professor Lamy has published more than 40 articles and book chapters in these diverse areas, and he currently co-directs a Luce Foundation-funded project on religion and international relations. Professor Lamy remains the primary faculty adviser and instructor for the Center for Active Learning in International Studies and the Teaching International Relations Project.