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Will there always be, as the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, “a time for peace and a time for
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. In nearly the entirety of the first two
decades of the twenty-first century the United States has been at war in the Middle East and
involved in a global war on terrorism in several African and Asian states. The generation
that right now comprises our USC student body has never known the US not to be at war.
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 economic, social, psychological, and moral effects of living in such a continuous
state of armed conflict and, whether real or perceived, a constant state of insecurity.
Steven Lamy, Professor of International Relations
Steven Lamy is a Professor of International Relations and the inaugural Director of the Dornsife Task Force on Global and Political Studies; he served as USC Dornsife’s Vice Dean for Academic Programs from July 2007 to August 2017. Lamy earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and he has served as a consultant to the National Security Education Program, U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Education. His 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. Lamy has published more than 40 articles and book chapters in these areas. His textbook, Introduction to Global Politics is in its fifth edition with Oxford University Press. He is currently working on a book that explores how theoretical narratives shape the choices made by foreign policy decision-makers. Most recently, he has published two book chapters dealing with US Arctic policy and the narratives shaping the policies of the Arctic Council. Professor Lamy’s teaching is focused on Active Learning. His Foreign Policy Analysis course is case-based, and his Humanitarian Intervention course is focused on Problem-Based Learning. Lamy also teaches a Problem-Based research course each summer in three Arctic Council states: Iceland, Finland, and Norway.