SIR News

Green Energy, Green Politics and Change in China

Peggy Liu, co-founder of JUCCCE (Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy) came to speak to students at USC about the broad mandate of the NGO, which is working to combat global warming by targeting policy makers and socio-cultural practices in China.

Peggy's TED talk made the point that China's pollution problems are problems for everyone, problems for the globe.

At USC, she went several steps futher and discussed projects that were making a difference, and the strategies that were working for her NGO.

 In addition, she spent extra time meeting with motivated students and Professor Carol Wise after the main lecture.

Arctic Paradoxes

SIR hosted a lecture by Lassi Heininen Professor, University of Lapland (Finland) Thursday, March 6, 4:00-6:00, VKC 300a. In addition to the University of Lapland, Dr. Heininen also holds an appointment at the University of Oulu (Finland) and lectures at Akueryi University (Iceland), Trent University (Canada) and Petrozavodsk State University (Russia).  He has published over 150 articles and studies, focusing on Arctic security, legal, and environmental issues.  Heininen also chairs the Steering Committee of the Northern Research Forum, is a convener of the Calotte Academy, and a member of the Arctic Centre. This event is sponsored by USC Dornsife College’s School of International Relations and the International Relations Undergraduate Association.

The Asian Century: US - Australia Relations

The Asian Century: US - Australia Relations

The School of International Relations is very pleased to report on a very important event: Partnering with CIS and the Political Student Assembly, SIR hosted a GDAY LA event at USC.

President Nikias welcomed the group, and we began and exciting day pf panels with very important speakers; check out the videos here.

SIR Professor Hymans wins 'World Order' Grawemeyer Award

SIR Professor Hymans wins 'World Order' Grawemeyer Award

Along with two other awards (American Political Science Association's 2013 Don K. Price Award and the National Academy of Public Administration’s 2013 Louis Brownlow Book Award), the 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order makes it clear: Hymans' work is an important contribution. The book analyzed nuclear weapons projects started by repressive regimes and how they were often prone to inefficiency and failure, due in large part to heavy-handed management. Even successful programs have met with considerable delays and challenges.Hymans concludes that overestimating the threat of these programs can allow for serious miscaluclations, including unnecessary military interventions.For more: Foreign Affairs, The Diplomat, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Audio Interview 

A lifetime of leadership

A lifetime of leadership


One of the most distinguished graduates of SIR and a generous benefactor, Robert R. Dockson (1917-2013), has died. He is remembered for his personal warmth, wisdom, dynamic leadership, integrity, and concern for his community and country.USC’s president, Dr. Rufus von KleinSmid  even welcomed him in person To USC, where he got his Masters at SIR. In 1942, he volunteered to join the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific. He completed his Ph.D. in 1946 at USC. After starting at Rutgers, he returned to USC to become a professor of business. In 1959 USC’s president named him, at age 41, Dean of the School of Commerce. He headed  California Federal Savings and Loan from 1969 until 1989. Among many gifts, he made possible a case teaching classroom and a media room for SIR, each named to honor Professor Ross Berkes, his classmate and long-time director of the School. Dockson also met with the School’s leaders and shared advice from his long experience. Robert Dockson is survived by his daughter Kimberlee Dockson Rollo, her husband Robert Rollo, and four grandchildren. Read more here.

Professor Sanjeev Khagram speaks on Transparency and More

The School of International Relations brought Sanjeev Khagram to campus for a lecture on
“Creating & Coordinating the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency” as part of the Director's Speaker Series on Theory in Practice on February 3rd.

Professor Khagram is currently the John Parke Young Professor of Global Political Economy at Occidental College.  Khagram is known world-wide for his interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral leadership on globalization, transnationalism, sustainable development, and human security, and was was recognized as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, wrote the UN Secretary General's Report on the Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis in 2009, was previously also Dean of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, Senior Advisory Policy/Strategy at the World Commission on Dams, Associate Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Wyss Visiting Professor at the Harvard Business School, and Professor of Public Affairs and International Studies/Director of the Lindenberg Center for International Development at the University of Washington. Most recently, Dr. Khagram was the Architect/Producer of the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and Founder/Chair of Innovations for Scaling Impact. See his widely acclaimed volume published by Brookings Press, Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation and Accountability.

Dealing with Climate Change: A Lively Panel Discussion with Experts

UPDATE: Professor Emeritus John Odell has been working with SIR's co-sponsor for this event, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Thanks to the work of POIR candidate Hai-Vu Phan, they have produced a rapporteur report on the panel proceedings. A key point in the conclusion of the report was that efforts to deal with global warming must shift from mitigation efforts alone toward the inclusion of adaptation measures.

Please take a look at the project website here. The report and other materials are at the bottom of the page.

On November 11th, 2014, the School of International Relations put on a new panel in an occasional series on current policy issues. This time, the panel of experts confront the question: What are the options and challenges for dealing with climate change?

SIR with the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada was pleased to present a panel discussion, chaired by Professor Odell. The panel includes Robert Lempert, Director of the Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition, RAND; Daniel Mazmanian, Professor and Director of New Initiatives and the USC Center for Sustainable Cities; Edward Parson, Professor and Co-Director of the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA; Junjie Zhang, Professor UCSD will discuss climate change policy and politics.

Past events include "Iran:Options for US Policy", put together by Professor Emeritus Abe Lowenthal, who also moderated.

General Petraeus Speaks with SIR Students at USC

US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia visits USC with accomplished Trojan alumni



James B. Smith, US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, visited Professor Laurie Brand's international relations class with other USC students this week. It was a packed room of more than 80 students. Along with Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith (former National War College Professor) and Amer Kayani (Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia) who both graduated from USC, the class discussed Business, politics, security, the 'Arab Spring', and women's rights in the Middle East.

Popular topics of conversation included the effects of renewable energy business sectors on the political economy of the middle east in the near future, and the status of women in social and business sectors.

Symposium to Bring together Leading Scholars

On March 27th, the School of International Relations and the Program on Environmental Studies will host Victor Cha (Georgetown University) and other important scholars for a Symposium. Resource Competition in East Asia: Poltical and Environmental Implications will be held in Davidson Conference Center. Download the Invitation

Blaire Murphy DACOR Fellowship recipient

Blair has been selected to receive a DACOR Bacon House Foundation Fellowship in memory of Vadim W Sounitza for the advanced study of international affairs for academic year 2013-2014. Blaire is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Diplomacy, a joint degree from the School of International Relations and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

SIR Alumna and Disaster Preparedness Expert

On March 7th, SIR's Career  Roundtable Series hosted an SIR alumna. Giselle Zimmerman is a Mission Disaster Preparedness Coordinator. Giselle previously worked at  Chemonics International where she worked on the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) project for the last five years. At FEWS NET, she provided field support for technical activities and operations to more than 20 field offices located worldwide. She spoke with SIR undergrads and Masters of Public Diplomacy students about choosing her career path, how she took opportunities as they presented themselves, and how she developed skills and experience in ther field. Special thanks to Dean Steve Lamy for helping to coordinate Giselle's visit.

Counter-Terrorism Expert: Diplomatic Engagement

On February 6, 2013, Dr. Jonathan Fine, a former advisor on arms control and conflict resolution at the IDF strategic division planning branch and current lecturer/advisor at the Lauder Government School at the IDC and The International Institute for Counter Terrorism, participated in a School of International Relations event held in Doheny Memorial Library. Drawing upon his extensive experience within the Israeli intelligence community, most recently participating in Israeli Defense Force training seminars, Dr. Fine presented his research in a talk entitled: “Democracies and Counterterrorism: Challenges and Solutions.” In this lecture, Dr. Fine explored the definitional issues surrounding terrorism; as described in the talk, “one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” The talk concluded with the speaker discussing the geopolitical challenges facing Israel and how the intelligence community landscape is constantly shifting with new technological advances (i.e. unmanned aerial vehicles). Upon completion of Dr. Fine’s talk, School of International Relations Professor Maura Godinez, alongside School of IR Head Robert English, chaired a panel discussion on intelligence issues in Israel and the broader international community before moving to questions from the audience. Following the panel discussion, Dr. Fine independently answered questions from students. (report written by SIR student Reid Lidow)

Leading Feminist IR Scholars at USC

Leading Feminist IR Scholars at USC

On Tuesday the 5th of February, Cynthia Enloe will be visiting USC to give a lecture. Professor Enloe will be exploring the question of "Where are the Women in the Syrian War? And Why it Matters". This event will be chaired by USC Professor Emerita of International Relations J. Ann Tickner.

Mentoring at SIR: Alumni in Public Policy

SIR has a vibrant Washington D.C. alumni community. With experience in the State Department, DOD, Intelligence, Capitol Hill, and think tanks, six Trojans discussed their experience working on the Hill via video-conference with aspiring SIR majors. This was on Wednesday January 23rd

First Dean's Special Lecture

First Dean's Special Lecture

On January 29th, Professor Patrick James, SIR Professor and Directory of the Center for International Studies, gave the very first Dean's Special Lecture at the University Club. Titled, "Democracy, Territory and Conflict", this lecture presented the work that James does on international conflict to a broad audience at USC, and introduced Patrick James officially as the Dean's Professor.

Read the whole story here.

Open House: Panel on Asia

Open House: Panel on Asia

On December 19th, the School of International Relations will be holding an open house, featuring a panel of IR faculty. The discussion will cover current environmental, security and political economy issues in Asia.

This will be a wonderful opportunity for alumni, faculty, staff and students to connect.

Read more

Workshop on Political Economy of China-Latin American Relations

Workshop on Political Economy of China-Latin American Relations

Professor Carol Wise will chair an all-day conference on Friday October 26th, 2012. The conference is sponsored by the School of International Relations, the Center for International Studies, and the Open Society Institute.


Director's Lecture on Theory and Practice: "Caucasian Cauldron: The Geopolitics of Ethnic Conflict"

Director's Lecture on Theory and Practice: "Caucasian Cauldron: The Geopolitics of Ethnic Conflict"

October 18, 2012

At 3:00pm in Leavey Auditorium, veteran journalist, media analyst and author Thomas De Waal will discuss the South Caucasus- including Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. De Waal, currently Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will share his knowledge of this turbulent and important region.


He is author of the authoritative book on the Karabakh conflict, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War (2003), which has been translated into Armenian, Azeri, and Russian, and co-author with Carlotta Gall of Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus (1999). His latest book is The Caucasus: An Introduction  (2010). De Waal has worked extensively as a journalist and writer in the Caucasus and Black Sea region and in Russia. He has twice worked as an analyst and reporter for the BBC World Service in London, from 1991 to 1993 and from 1998 to 1999, and continues to make documentaries for BBC Radio.

New Fellowship Advising Activities

October 3, 2012

Professor Nina Rathbun is heading a new project for the School of International Relations that aims to help undergraduate students prepare for and land prestigious national and international fellowships.

One recent roundtable discussion with guest speaker Professor Hosman focused on her expeience with Fulbright, and her work with nonprofits, tech companies, and government institutions.

Coming up, students will have the opportunity to participate in similar roundtables with visiting speakers about deciding between law school and graduate school, and about working in conflict zones as a journalist.

Information sessions on specific fellowships are also scheduled throughout the academic year.

Inagural Director's Lecture on Theory and Practice: "Technology for Development: Why Training Trumps Technology"

Inagural Director's Lecture on Theory and Practice: "Technology for Development: Why Training Trumps Technology"

September 20, 2012

Laura Hosman, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Illinois Institute of Technology, on her Solar-powered Computer-Lab-in-a-Box project
Technology-for-development projects have skyrocketed in recent years, reflecting extremely high expectations placed on technology’s ability to improve quality of life and educational opportunities, empower populations, enable communications, and assist in economic development. However, on balance, the record reveals more and more failed attempts, stalled pilots, and a general lack of understanding of what is required to achieve long-term success when bringing technology to emerging regions in the name of development.

Professor Hosman draws on her in-the-field experiences, highlighting the importance of meaningful local skill-building and well-designed partnerships as possible ways to move forward with technology-for-development projects. The talk focuses on a recently-completed multi-partnered, education-focused technology project in Micronesia, the PISCES Project that Hosman designed and co-directed (ICT4D Views from the Field). It will also address the outcomes of engaging university-level students in such projects.

Dr. Laura Hosman’s work comprises two main areas: Public-Private Partnerships and ICT-in-education, both with a focus on the developing world. Her current research focuses on the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in developing countries, particularly in terms of its potential effects on socio-cultural factors, human development, and economic growth. She is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, where she recently received two University teaching awards, including for her innovative approach for engaging students in real-world projects. Prior to IIT, Professor Hosman held postdoctoral research fellow positions at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California, where she also received her PhD in Political Economy and Public Policy.

Four New Faculty Appointments

July 13, 2012

We are delighted to announce four new appointments to the School’s faculty. 

Wayne Sandholtz, the John A. McCone Professor of International Relations, effective August 2012.   Professor Sandholtz earned his doctorate at UC Berkeley and is widely respected as a leading expert on European political-economic integration and global governance.  He wrote a definitive study of why the EU created the Eurozone.  Today he is studying why international law and other global norms change as they do, including human rights norms.  He has a joint appointment in the USC Gould School of Law.   UC Irvine, his present institution, has presented him with three awards for excellence in teaching undergraduate students and mentoring them in research.  He has co-authored with ambitious doctoral students.

Joshua Aizenman, the Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of International Relations and Economics, effective January 2013.  Professor Aizenman earned his doctorate in Economics at the University of Chicago, and is one of the top handful of international finance economists in the world.  His research has explored questions such as sovereign default, the effects of macroeconomic instability on developing countries, and how the East Asian emerging market countries managed to come through the 2008-09 financial crisis as well as they did.  The International Monetary Fund and governments consult him frequently.  His students at UC Santa Cruz have given him excellent evaluations.   He too has a substantial record of co-authoring with and placing doctoral candidates, and of university leadership.  He will teach in both IR and Economics.

Benjamin Graham, Assistant Professor of International Relations, effective August 2012.  Professor Graham earned his Ph.D. in political science at UC San Diego, after serving in the Peace Corps in Central Asia.  His specialty is the politics of the world economy, and especially how political risk affects international investment.    He will be teaching in our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Andrew Coe, Assistant Professor of International Relations, effective August 2012.   Professor Coe earned his B.S. at Cal Tech and is completing the Ph.D. in political science at Harvard.   His specialty is the political economy of war and peace, and after being on leave during 2012-13, he will begin teaching in both undergraduate and graduate programs in August 2013. 



Netherlands Ambassador Visits Professor Mai'a Cross' SIR class

May 31, 2012

By Ambrosia Brody


Speaking to undergraduates in the USC Dornsife course “European Foreign Policy and Security Issues,” Netherlands ambassador to the United States Renée Jones-Bos provided students with insight to European politics during her presentation on the Netherlands.

In her role, Jones-Bos helps to foster the understanding of Dutch views while expanding Netherlands-U.S. relations. She oversees several government institutions and departments at the American Embassy in The Hague.

“Public diplomacy aims to present a realistic and favorable image of the Netherlands abroad,” she said. “I see myself as an instrument for many departments at the embassy to engage with Americans on issues that are relevant to us and to you.”

The course, taught by Mai’a Davis Cross, assistant professor of international relations in USC Dornsife, provides students with an understanding of European foreign and security policy operations as well as the relationship between the U.S. and European Union.

“It was a wonderful and unique experience for students to be able to benefit from the Dutch ambassador's vast expertise,” said Cross, who invited Jones-Bos to speak to her class. “I always try to find ways to bring the study of European politics to life in the classroom, and there is no better way to do this than to have a European ambassador speak directly with students.”

During her visit to USC, Jones-Bos helped students see the connections between the Netherlands and the U.S. Despite its small size, the Netherlands is much more than windmills, supermodel Rebecca Romijn (whose parents are Dutch) and master artist Rembrandt, she said.

“Our goal is for the U.S. to see the Netherlands as a country with shared history and values,” Jones-Bos said. “We have an entrepreneurial spirit, believe in tolerance, openness, and aim for sustainability. Economically, the Netherlands is very strong and a relevant partner in investment and trade.”

The Netherlands has a population of 17 million and much of the land is below sea level. The country is susceptible to heavy flooding.

 “Water has always been a threat coming from the seas and the rivers but it has become an opportunity [to help others] as well,” she said.

For example, the Netherlands has brought their knowledge and expertise on water management to New Orleans, La., and the Florida Everglades. Netherland water experts also plan to speak with California authorities about water issues in the California Delta, she said.

The Netherlands has created dams and water draining systems to defend the country from massive flooding. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Netherlands officials worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to strategize how to prevent similar flooding. The country provided aid and brought water pumps to the area, becoming among the first countries to provide relief.

Jones-Bos emphasized the country’s long history with the U.S. As early as the 17th century, Dutch seafaring explorers navigated the Indian Ocean to discover distant countries and traded throughout the world including with the U.S.

In addition, U.S. and the Netherlands share some defense policies, with Dutch soldiers stationed in Afghanistan in the war against terrorism. They are also in the Caribbean to thwart drug trafficking including cocaine. The U.S. and the Netherlands also share views on peace keeping and human rights, she said.

The U.S. benefits from several Dutch trade investments and businesses, she said, such as The Philips Co., Shell Oil Co., Dove and Heineken. Jobs created in the U.S. by investments in Dutch firms and exports total 624,636, according to

These economic ties place the Netherlands as the third largest foreign trade investor in the U.S.

Students asked several questions of Jones-Bos that ran the gamut from what her job entails, if she enjoys her career and why the Netherlands continues to support the U.S. even as its popularity wanes.

“It is very important not to forget old friendships and strong economic relations,” Jones-Bos said.

The second largest agricultural export in the world, the Netherlands strengths include creating innovative sustainable solutions for water management, energy, gaming and nutrition. Jones-Bos has travelled to 46 of the 50 states educating people about the Netherlands and is working to attract American investments in the Netherlands.

“We are very much in favor of looking at new possibilities of free trade agreements between the European Union and the U.S. because that could add to economic growth and create more jobs,” she said.

Priya Gupta, a sophomore majoring in international relations global business in USC Dornsife, said the ambassador provided an excellent lesson.

“The ambassador inspired me to change my mind set about smaller countries,” Gupta said. “The size of the country doesn’t matter as much anymore when you have globalization, exportation and the outsourcing of jobs and technology.”


Dr. Nina Rathbun Promoted

May 14, 2012

Dr. Nina Rathbun has been promoted from Lecturer to Assistant Professor (Teaching).

Thank you to Professors Tickner, Bender and Glass for their Years of Dedication to SIR

May 14, 2012

Professor J. Ann Tickner moves to our Emeritus ranks in 2012.   To honor her remarkable accomplishments the School  is pleased to announce that it has established the J. Ann Tickner Book Prize, to be awarded to authors of creative new books on international relations in the intellectual traditions with which Professor Tickner has been associated.

Associate Professor Jerry Bender moved to Emeritus status in 2010.   This year to honor his remarkable mentorship of countless SIR students over three decades, the School is pleased to announce the creation of the Jerry Bender Africa Award, which will help students travel to Africa for internships, study abroad, or research.

Professor of the Practice Wayne Glass is leaving our School after a decade of exemplary and enthusiastic teaching and mentoring of undergraduate students.    He will continue to teach his popular summer course taking students to Washington to learn how non-proliferation policy is made.  Thank you, Professor Glass!

Congratulations to USC Valedictorian and SIR Alumna Genevieve Hoffman

Congratulations to USC Valedictorian and SIR Alumna Genevieve Hoffman

May 3, 2012

Genevieve Hoffman: Woman of International Mastery

Condi Rice, look out. Here comes Genevieve P. Hoffman.

The Class of 2012 valedictorian has what it takes to make tidal waves in Washington, D.C., according to faculty mentor Wayne Glass.

Glass ought to know. Besides being a Beltway insider with 26 years of top-level policy experience, he was diplomat Condoleezza Rice’s graduate school classmate in the late 1970s at the University of Denver.

“I gotta be honest with you,” said Glass, now a professor of international relations in USC Dornsife. “I think Genevieve has at least as much ability as Condi did in graduate school. I don’t want to go out there and say that she’ll be the secretary of state, but I’m telling you: They are in the same league.”

A double major in international relations and economics in USC Dornsife, with concentrations in security studies and international political economy, Hoffman has superstar qualities that don’t immediately smack you in the face. Glass remembered his first impression: a reserved young woman who “didn’t go on the offensive, kind of kept to herself a little.”

“My classes are filled with simulations and highly interactive exercises,” said Glass, who teaches courses on American foreign policy since 1945 and contemporary international politics. “It’s not unusual for the more aggressive students to jump up and move to the front of the room. Genevieve didn’t really do that. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of her.”

But the first time Hoffman got up to speak, Glass’ jaw dropped. “She’s just … wow!” he said. “I was completely astonished by how confident, how impressive she was. She delivered her well-formulated statements with maturity and a professional aplomb. She was clearly more advanced than any of her classmates. It really was a remarkable epiphany to me. As soon as she did it once, I knew that Genevieve was an all-star.”

Hoffman grew up in the San Francisco Bay area-suburb of Pleasanton, Calif., where she attended public school. Both her parents are certified public accountants: Her father retired a few years ago as a partner in the accounting firm KPMG; her mother stayed home to raise two children.

“Not very exciting, my upbringing,” she said wryly, during a telephone interview from Pleasanton. Hoffman moved back home in December, having finished her degree summa cum laude in just three-and-a-half years.

She leaves USC with a 3.98 GPA. Along the way, she completed the Thematic Options (TO) honors program, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year and published a scholarly journal article on military commissions in the winter 2011 issue of Washington Undergraduate Law Review.

Between the demands of completing two majors in less than four years, she found time to tutor football players in economics for 12 to 15 hours a weekthrough USC’s Student-Athlete Academic Services. She volunteered in the Teaching International Relations Program, which introduces foreign policy curricula to high school classrooms in USC’s neighborhoods. She served on a TO Student Committee to help enhance the life of the honors community. And during one spring break, she traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Stockholm with the USC Marshall School of Business’ International Experiential Corporate Environment Learning program to observe foreign business practices in action.

An avid photographer and musician, she made time to take a couple of piano courses at the USC Thornton School of Music – “just to refresh my music theory skills,” explained Hoffman, who sang in her high school chamber choir for three years. “I’m mostly self-taught in piano, so I might have missed out on basic fundamentals.”

Asked what she does in her spare time, Hoffman responded: “Nothing terribly exciting. I like to bake cookies, brownies — all kinds of things that I then pawn off on everyone I know, so that I don’t eat them! I love to go to the movies. I like to hang out with friends and gab about everything or nothing. I love to shop.”

Lately her shopping has focused on furnishings for her new apartment in Charlottesville, Va. Come September, Hoffman will be starting law school at the University of Virginia – the school founded by Thomas Jefferson.

“I’m a huge geek,” she said, “so I find that really exciting.”

Hoffman has known since she was a child that she would go to law school.

“I just grew up very interested in government, politics and history,” she said.

Her precise career path isn’t clear yet, but she suspects she’ll end up working in Washington, “somehow involved in government, politics or policymaking – and law is very much a part of that, since policy is made in the context of law.”

She has a head start. Hoffman spent the last three summers working as a legal intern for two attorneys in Pleasanton.

Since graduating early, Hoffman hasn’t slowed down a bit. She is taking a couple of courses at the local community college in business law and international business – “just for the hell of it,” she said. She has a part-time job in the women’s shoe department at Macy’s. “It wasn’t exactly my first choice,” she said with a chuckle, “but the mall is 12 minutes from my house, and I needed something that’s flexible and close by. It’s been an interesting exercise in customer service, sharpening my people skills.”

And lately, she’s been fine-tuning her valedictory speech — to be delivered on May 11 before an anticipated crowd of 40,000 people.

“I’m so thrilled for Genevieve, I can hardly stand it,” said Glass, thinking about that once-in-a-lifetime honor. “Couldn’t happen to a more qualified and deserving young lady.”

Congratulations to 2012 CIS Competition Winners

Congratulations to 2012 CIS Competition Winners

April 25, 2012

*CIS Dissertation Fellowship Awards 2012-2013*

MARIANO BERTUCCI, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidate, USC
---Dissertation: "Institutions, Automatic Social Practices, and Policy: Explaining Foreign Policy Stability in South America"

SEANON WONG, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidate, USC
---Dissertation: "The Psychology of Diversionary Conflicts: Identity, Emotions and Leadership Support"

*CIS Essay Competition Winners*

FABIAN BORGES HERRERO and MARIANO BERTUCCI, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidates, USC
---"Toward 'Best Practices' in Scholar-Practitioner Relations: Insights from the field of Inter-American Affairs"

ERIC HAMILTON, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidate, USC
---"Redefining and Rethinking U.S. ‘Grand Strategy’ since World War II: Some Historical-Institutional Insights"

*CIS-CIBER Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Conference Awards*

, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidate, USC
---Research interests: Comparative Politics, Culture and Global Society, Film and Politics, Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy, Soft Power

, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidate, USC
---Research interests: Chinese and Japanese foreign policy and politics, East Asian regional economy

*CIS-CIBER International Business Dissertation Award*

KATHERINE CHU, Political Science and International Relations Phd candidate, USC
---Dissertation: "Carnival in the Birdcage: A Study of the Film and Media Industries’ Reforms in China after 1978 and its Soft Power”

Laurie Brand Selected as Bellagio Center Resident

Laurie Brand Selected as Bellagio Center Resident

April 18, 2012


Laurie Brand, Robert Grandford Wright Professor and professor of international relations, has won a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency award to finish her project, Restor(y)ing the State: National Narratives and Regime Resilience in the Arab World.

The four-week residency that begins Oct. 25, 2012 will give Brand room-and-board and work space at the Bellagio, Italy, center. It will provide her the opportunity to participate in informal presentations of residents' works and engage in discussions within and across disciplines. She will meet a diverse group of residents who are scholars, artists, policymakers and practitioners.

Read more about Professor Brand's work at USC Dornsife News.

SIR Seniors Awarded Fulbright Grants

SIR Seniors Awarded Fulbright Grants

April 3, 2012

Two School of International Relations seniors have been awarded Fulbright Grants for the 2012-13 year. Caitlin Bradbury earned a Fulbright Binational Business Internship to Mexico. Dan Paly was awarded a Fulbright to Brazil. Congratulations!

SIR Student Named a Truman Scholar

SIR Student Named a Truman Scholar

April 2, 2012

School of International Relations Junior, Travis Glynn has been named a Truman Scholar. While at SIR, Travis has participated in the Geneva Summer Progam, studied abroad for a semester in Berlin, and participated in a Critical Language Program in India learning Urdu. Read an article about Travis' work at USC Dornsife News.

New Book about Hayward Alker

New Book about Hayward Alker

February 13, 2012

There is a new book out on the research of SIR Professor Hayward Alker. Essays from scholars who worked with and were influenced by Alker were collected and edited by Renée Marlin-Bennett.

From the publisher:

  • International Relations have rarely been considered a synthesis of humanistic and social sciences approaches to understand the complex connections of a global, and globalizing, world. One of the few scholars to have accomplished this creative blend was Hayward R. Alker.

    Alker and IR
    presents a set of visionary and original essays from scholars who have been profoundly influenced by Alker's approach to global studies. They build on the foundation he laid, demonstrating the practicality and usefulness of ethically grounded, theoretically informed and interdisciplinary research for producing knowledge. They show how substantive boundaries can be crossed and methodological rules rewritten in the search for a deeper, more contextualized approach to global politics.

    This book will be of interest to researchers and students of international relations and global politics.

Update from Professor Emeritus Lowenthal

Update from Professor Emeritus Lowenthal

February 13, 2012


Abraham F. Lowenthal, professor emeritus, is enjoying a very active "retirement." As he says, "thus far I do not feel tired, let alone retired." Dr. Lowenthal is a visiting fellow at Harvard's's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, where he is researching and writing a book on "Rethinking United States-Latin American Relations in an Age of Transformations." He is also a non--resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and an adjunct professor (research) at Brown's's Watson Institute of International Studies.

Dr. Lowenthal is working closely with POIR PhD candidate Mariano Bertucci on a symposium volume they are co-editing on "Narrowing the Gap: Scholars, Practitioners and International affairs." The book includes essays by authors from the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe,most of whom participated in an international workshop Bertucci and Lowenthal organized at USC in April 2011, and a further conference held at Brown University in October.

Most of Dr. Lowenthal's energies this year, however, are focused on a new project, organized by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), based in Stockholm. Professor Lowenthal and former senator and cabinet minister Sergio Bitar of Chile are co-directing an IDEA project on "Lessons Learned from History," involving joint interviews by Bitar and Lowenthal with about 10 of the world's leading architects and executives of transitions from authoritarian rule toward democratic governance over the past 30 years. They have already completed their interview with former Pres. Patricio Aylwin of Chile, will interview former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil in March, and expect to conduct further interviews in Europe, Africa and Asia over the next several months.

On the back burner for Dr. Lowenthal, awaiting completion of at least two of these projects, is a book on “The Craft of Think Tank Institution-Building," for which he has already completed substantial research and some 130 interviews in the United States, Canada, several Latin American countries, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Israel, Kenya,South Africa and India.

"My years of teaching at USC and simultaneously developing first the Inter-American Dialogue and then the Pacific Council on International Policy, time-consuming endeavors, left me with a strong desire to return to research and writing on issues I care about. I feel very fortunate to be able to do this work now," Dr. Lowenthal observes.

New Issue of Southern California International Review

January 12, 2012

Southern California International Review, USC's undergraduate journal of international studies, has just published its latest issue. The issue features articles by Maya Swisa, Philip Meyer, Rebecca Wertman, and Rafael Cano. You can view it at their website.

Students can submit an article for the next issue by February 5. Visit the website for more details.

David Kang Interview on North Korea

December 19, 2011

(Bloomberg) -- David Kang, professor at the University Of Southern California, talks about the outlook for the leadership of North Korea's Kim Jong Un. He speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg via The Washington Post)

SIR Newsletter

SIR Newsletter

November 29, 2011

The latest issue of the SIR Alumni Newsletter is out. Look for it in the mail or read it online.

School of International Relations Staffer Wins Paratriathlon National Championship

School of International Relations Staffer Wins Paratriathlon National Championship

UPDATE: November 23, 2011

Danielle is featured in a USCDornsife news article.

August 18, 2011

Danielle McLaughlin, Assistant to the Directors at the School of International Relations, has won the USA Paratriathlon National Championship in her division. The race was held August 7 in New York City. She is now training for a trip to Beijing to compete in the World Championships.

You can read all about her experiences training for this amazing event at her blog: For more information about the National Championship race visit USA Triathalon.

Congratulations Danielle!

UPDATE 9/12/2011

Danielle has brought home the gold medal from Beijing! An article on the event is available at USA Triathlon.

SIR Alumna and Emerius Faculty Member Featured in New Issue of Dornsife Life

SIR Alumna and Emerius Faculty Member Featured in New Issue of Dornsife Life

November 17, 2011

The School of International Relations has several alumni and faculty featured in the new issue of Dornsife Life Magazine.  The articles include one on SIR alumna Elizabeth Barreras' (2007) collaboration with Professor Steven Lamy on a SURF program. Another article profiles Professor Emeritus Peter Burton.

SCUSA 2011

SCUSA 2011

November 14, 2011

Two students from USC School of International Relations, Amy Herman and Won Lee, attended the Student Conference on US Affairs at West Point on November 2-5.  Their reports are here.

From the SCUSA website:

The Student Conference on US Affairs is an annual four day conference hosted at The United States Military Academy at West Point. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate interaction and constructive discussion between student delegates in order for them better understand the intricacies of the challenges that the United States faces in a global society. SCUSA delegates attend panel discussions, keynotes speakers, and roundtable sessions. Roundtable sessions such as Strategic Asia, and Transnational Crime, and Human Security in the Developing World are designed to produce thought provoking conversations between participants. The result of discussions are policy proposal papers, the best of which are published in the Undergraduate Journal of Social Sciences.

SCUSA is used as a twelve-month leadership development for Cadets at West Point. Their goal is to solidify SCUSA’s standing as the best and oldest conference of its type in the nation. Cadet staff members balance the conference’s extensive planning, coordination, and execution with their normal duty positions and 19+ credit hours a semester. Cadet roundtable delegates are mentored by the West Point faculty to be subject matter experts in their roundtable areas and act as table leaders by facilitating roundtable discussions.

Professor Sarotte among Panelists at CIA Symposium

Professor Sarotte among Panelists at CIA Symposium

October 19, 2011

On November 2 the CIA will release a collection of 200 newly declassified intelligence documents that informed President Reagan’s U.S.-Soviet policy. Never-before-seen video briefings included in the collection mark the first time the Agency used videos on an ongoing basis to deliver intelligence to policymakers.

Scholars, authors, intelligence experts and high-level policymakers will weigh in on the Reagan-era intelligence at Ronald Reagan, Intelligence, and the End of the Cold War, a symposium sponsored by the CIA’s Historical Collections Division and the Center for the Study of Intelligence, in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. 

The public will get to consider the documents for themselves too, via user-friendly, fully text-searchable DVDs and booklets containing the newly declassified materials.  These will be offered free to event attendees. The CIA publications are designed to help scholars, students and the public assess the impact intelligence had on the policy process during a critical period in American history.

Symposium speakersinclude Kenneth Adelman, former Director, U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and Oleg Kalugin, former Major General in the Soviet KGB. Symposium panelists include Peter Clement, CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence for Analytic Programs; Douglas MacEachin, former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence; Admiral Bobby Inman, former CIA Deputy Director; Martin Anderson, former Advisor to President Reagan; Gregory Treverton, Director, RAND Center for Global Risk and Security; David Holloway, Stanford University; Mary Sarotte, University of Southern California; Bruce D. Berkowitz, Author; Dr. Nicholas Dujmovic, CIA Historian; and David Lodge, CIA Analyst.

Ronald Reagan, Intelligence, and the End of the Cold War, November 3, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065, 805-577-4141.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To make reservations and for further information, visit the Reagan Library website at or call 805-522-2977.

Students who can't attend the Nov. 2 event in person can register on the Reagan Library website and will be given access to a live-stream broadcast of the symposium. In addition, on Nov. 2 the documents that are the subject of the event will be posted on the CIA Historical Collections Division page on the CIA website. 

SIR Professor and Alumnus Participate in the USC Global Conference

SIR Professor and Alumnus Participate in the USC Global Conference

October 14, 2011

SIR Professor Dan Lynch and alumus Kosal Path (Ph.D. 2008) are participating in the sold out USC Global Conference in Hong Kong. The conference theme, "Global Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities, reflects our belief that every problem represents an opportunity for positive change. Focusing on 2011’s interrelated shifts in global technology, the economy, environment, and governance, the conference will bring together leading experts in each of these areas to examine the challenges and explore potential opportunities. Formal presentations, panel discussions and multiple networking venues will provide conference participants with a unique opportunity to engage with the leaders in these fields." Find out more at their website.

In Memoriam: James Rosenau, 86

In Memoriam: James Rosenau, 86

by Pamela Johnson

September 28, 2011

(This article is reposted from USC Dornsife News.)

James Rosenau, professor emeritus of international relations in USC Dornsife, a founder of foreign policy as an academic field and pioneer in the study of globalization, died Sept. 9. He was 86.

Arriving at USC Dornsife in 1973, Rosenau served as director of the USC School of International of Relations from 1976 to 1979. He left USC Dornsife in 1992 and was appointed University Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He retired in 2009.

Rosenau died in an assisted-living facility in Louisville, Colo., after suffering a stroke.

“Jim’s capacity as an author and a researcher has made him well-known in the academic world, but his passion was always in the classroom,” said his wife of 17 years Hongying Wang. “In his own mind, he was a teacher first.”

Margaret Rosenau, Rosenau’s daughter from his first marriage, said her father was “always pushing people to think outside their own boxes.”

“He taught for more than 60 years and seldom took a leave of absence,” said Rosenau, of Louisville, Colo. “He was as dedicated as they come.”

Rosenau recalled colorful stories from her father. When James Rosenau was an undergraduate at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., first lady Eleanor Roosevelt hired him to edit the first volume of personal letters President Franklin Roosevelt wrote about his time in the White House. While editing, Rosenau stayed in a cabin near Eleanor Roosevelt’s home.

“When my father arrived, a snowstorm hit the area,” Rosenau said. “Eleanor Roosevelt came charging through the snow to the cabin across the field from her home. She came to check on my father to see if he was alright. He always described her as a very warm and caring person.”

Rosenau was born Nov. 25, 1924 in Philadelphia, Penn., the son of a successful Wall Street broker. His family moved to New York City in 1929 and in 1933 he entered fourth grade at The Lincoln School of Teachers’ College, Columbia University, graduating from high school — where he was football quarterback, basketball center and baseball pitcher — in 1942. 

After his first year as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin, amid World War II, he was drafted into the Army and deployed to England as a cryptographer with the Office of Strategic Services intelligence agency.

In 1946, Rosenau continued his undergraduate studies at Bard College. He earned a master's degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, then a Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University.

Rosenau authored or edited more than 40 books, including Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity (Princeton University Press, 1990), which investigates the new forces shaping world politics beyond the nation-states. After that he wrote several books focusing on the dynamics and consequences of globalization, including the increasing interactions between domestic politics and foreign policy, the rising importance of non-governmental organizations and the empowerment of individuals as actors in world politics.

John Odell, professor and director of the School of International Relations in USC Dornsife, said Rosenau was among the first professors he wanted to meet when Odell arrived in 1982.

“Jim had been a pioneer in the analysis of foreign policy decision-making during the ’60s and ’70s and was prominent on my reading lists,” Odell said. “He worked for many years to improve the theoretical basis of foreign policy analysis and to develop it as a social science.”

Rosenau’s later works were also highly original and wide-ranging, Odell said, focusing on the changes that information technology could introduce into world politics, among other subjects. In the mid-’80s, Rosenau was elected by his peers as president of the International Studies Association.

Steven Lamy, professor of international relations and vice dean for academic programs in USC Dornsife, called Rosenau a leading figure in the field of foreign policy analysis.

“As a graduate student we all read the two Rosenau edited readers,” Lamy said. “He was a prolific scholar and a wonderful teacher and a great mentor to all who came to USC. He took me under his wing because I was asked to teach many of the courses that he had taught.”

Lamy still teaches IR 341 and IR 521, foreign policy courses created by Rosenau, who also wrote a book with his students. Lamy nominated Rosenau for the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research, which Rosenau won in 1986.

“He was so humble yet so deserving.” Lamy said. “By that time he had just finished his book on Turbulence in World Politics. I think that was his 25th book.”

Rosenau lived in the hills of Pacific Palisades, where faculty gathered for a barbeque about once monthly.

“Our discussions about USC, global politics and other topics would last long into the night. Maintaining a strong sense of community was important to him,” Lamy said, adding, “And I could never beat him in tennis.”

Rosenau was director of the USC School of International Relations when Jonathan Aronson, professor of international relations and communication, arrived in 1976.The two were close colleagues until Rosenau’s departure.

Aronson remembered Rosenau’s love of life and scholarship.

“He was all about ideas, but was firmly rooted in the real world, especially after he overcame a fear of flying,” Aronson said. “This liberated him and thereafter he traveled the globe in search of the new.”

Aronson said Rosenau was a “pathbreaking thinker who opened new fields that others followed him into.”

Others, including his former students. Rosenau was Xiaoming Huang’s adviser when Huang was a doctoral student in USC Dornsife from 1987 to 1993.

“Jim does not ‘teach’ you really in the way we usually use the word,” said Huang, now a professor of international relations at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where he is also director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre.

“He stimulates, communicates and picks up things from conversations with you. He does not really tell you whom you should become and what you should do as we too often hear from a professor. Rather he naturally becomes a role model for you, showing you that being a genuine intellectual can be a way of life.”

Kanathi Suphamongkhon was Rosenau’s Ph.D. student at USC Dornsife from 1978 to 1984. Suphamongkhon said Rosenau never stopped being his mentor. When Suphamongkhon was Thailand’s minister of foreign affairs, he often spoke about Rosenau to people throughout the world.

“Among other things, a term he coined — fragmegration — helped me become more mindful of the concurrent interaction of the forces of fragmentation and integration, making it easier to formulate appropriate policy and strategy for Thailand under globalization,” said Suphamongkhon, now an international relations senior fellow at UCLA.

“Jim was my star and his numerous words of wisdom would often return to me and help me structure my thoughts during international negotiations.”

Rosenau is also survived by his two children with Wang, Fan and Patrick. His first wife, Norah McCarthy, died in 1974.

The family is planning a memorial in spring 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Professor Starr Testifies Before the US House

September 19, 2011

Associate Professor (teaching) Pamela Starr testfied before the US House Commitee on Foreign Affairs Subcomitte on the Western Hemisphere and Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight on September 13. Video of the testimony can be viewed below.

Professor Cross Receives Teaching Award

Professor Cross Receives Teaching Award

August 15, 2011


School of International Relations Assistant Professor Mai'a Davis Cross has been awarded a 2011 USC Parents Association Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award. She will be honored with the other recipients at Dr. Nikias' Presidential Address to parents during Trojan Family Weekend on October 28. Congratulations!

SIR Professors Win Mellon-LASA Grant

August 10, 2011




Professor Saori N. Katada, School of International Relations
Professor Carol Wise, School of International Relations
Professor Leslie Elliott Armijo, Portland State University

School of International Relations Professors Saori N. Katada and Carol Wise along with Portland Sate University Professor Leslie Elliott Armijo have won a Mellon-LASA (Latin American Studies Association) Grant for 2011-2012. The project is entitled "Financial Statecraft and Ascendant Powers: Latin America and Asia after the 2008-10 Global Financial Crisis."

The project will comission papers that will be presented in a workshop at the Center for International Studies at USC and then final versions of the best papers will be proposed for a panel at the LASA Congress in San Francisco in March 2012. In addition, they are envisioning an edited book or special journal edition for publication of the resulting papers. You can view their proposal here.

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