Tag Archives: international relations

Prof. Margaret MacMillan to offer Cooper Series Lecture: “Friend or foe? War and Society” – September 7, 2022

We are excited to be a co-sponsor of this Cooper Series event featuring Professor Margaret MacMillan, emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. Read more about the event below, and we hope to see you there.

“Friend or Foe? War and Society”
Wednesday 7th September 2022
7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Science Center’s Chang Hou Auditorium 101
Swarthmore College (map)
Reception to follow

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War is one of the most fundamental driving forces of human civilization. Today, prominent voices claim that we live in the most peaceful era in human history, but contemporary technologies such as artificial intelligence and cyberwar pose potentially existential threats. We should not turn away from the subject of war, however abhorrent we may find it. Rather, we must understand war to mitigate its effects, but also, vitally, because it is integral to understanding who we are.

Professor Margaret MacMillan is one of the world’s preeminent scholars of international relations. A best-selling author and frequent commentator in the media, she is known for her unparalleled grasp of her subject – war and peace – as well as her gift for vivid and powerful storytelling.  Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001) is widely regarded as a masterpiece and was awarded the Duff Cooper Prize, Hessell-Tiltman Prize, and Samuel Johnson Prize. Other works include: Women of the Raj (1988); Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World (2006); The Uses and Abuses of History (2008); The War that Ended Peace (2014); History’s People (2015) and War: How Conflict Shaped Us (2020).   She is emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford, former Warden of St Antony’s College (University of Oxford) and visiting distinguished historian at the Council on Foreign Relations (2020-21).  In 2021, MacMillan won the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. 

This event is co-sponsored by the departments of History, Political Science, and Peace and Conflict Studies.

Dr. Jeffrey Murer and Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St. Andrews

By Lee Smithey

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland at the invitation of a former and dear Peace and Conflict Studies faculty member at Swarthmore, Dr. Jeffrey Murer. Jeffrey sends his greetings to everyone at Swarthmore, and I made sure to let him know that we miss his contributions to our program. However, we are, of course, pleased to have him as a professional colleague at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St. Andrews.

When he left Swarthmore, Jeffrey joined the School of International Relations at the Univeristy of St. Andrews where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate students and advises Ph.D. students. He has also been conducting extensive research on radical youth in Central and Nordic Europe. See The European Study of Youth Mobilisation. (Also see the full pdf report)

School of International Relations

As part of my visit, I had the opportunity to participate in a master class with Jeffrey’s students on research methodology in conflict and post-conflict situations.  I felt right at home. Given what I knew about Jeffrey’s reputation for teaching at Swarthmore, I was not surprised to find that his students are smart, engaged, and very thoughtful.  We had a difficult time ending our two-hour class because the conversation was so good! I learned a lot.

Many thanks to Jeffrey Murer and all of the faculty and students in the School of International Relations.