International Security Studies (ISS) celebrated three decades of support for the study of international history, grand strategy, and global security at Yale at a conference on May 12 and 13. The event also honored ISS’s long-time director, Professor Paul Kennedy, by bringing back his former students —many of whom are now professors at leading institutions in their own right—to present papers inspired by his work.
Highlights included reflections on the legacy and influence of Kennedy’s most renowned work, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” by Matthew Connelly (Columbia), Richard Drayton (King’s College, London), and Fredrik Logevall (Harvard). Another panel presented new research in military history, while Mark Lawrence (Texas) and Lucy Chester (University of Colorado-Boulder) explored analogies in historical contexts; Jennifer Siegel (Ohio State) described the role of finance in World War I; and Maya Jasanoff (Harvard) examined the role of the sea in globalization. The conference concluded with a conversation between Will Hitchcock (Virginia) and Kennedy, reflecting on the latter’s career and his approach to historical inquiry. Because each speaker was a former student of Kennedy’s, as well as a former recipient of ISS’s funds, their papers emphasized both the Yale professor’s scholarly renown and ISS’s role in shaping the historical profession.