William C. Wohlforth

Professor of Government
Daniel Webster Professor

A member of the Government Department’s faculty since 2000, I teach and conduct research on international relations, with an emphasis on international security and foreign policy. Before coming here, I taught at Princeton and Georgetown. I graduated with a degree in international relations from Beloit College, worked as a legislative aid in the U.S. House of Representatives and did my graduate work at Yale University, earning an MA in interntional relations and PhD in Political Science. My personal website has all the details on current research and teaching.

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6-3460
Silsby 214
HB 6108
Department(s): 
Government
Russian
Center(s): 
The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding
Education: 
B.A. Beloit College
M.A. Yale University
M.Phil. Yale University
Ph.D. Yale University

Selected Publications

Status in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2014) edited with T.V. Paul and Deborah Larson)

“Lean Forward: In Defense of American Engagement,” Foreign Affairs Jan-Feb 2013, pp. 130-142.  With S.G. Brooks and G. J. Ikenberry.

“Don’t Come Home, America: The Case Against Retrenchment,” International Security 37/3 (Winter 2012-13): 7-51.  With S.G. Brooks and G. J. Ikenberry.

International Relations Theory and the Consequences of Unipolarity (editor, with G. John Ikenberry and Michael M. Mastanduno) Cambridge University Press, 2011.

“Assessing the Diffusion of Power: How Not to Evaluate Theories.” International Studies Quarterly (March 2012)

“Unipolarity, Status Competition and Great Power War,” World Politics , 61:1 (2009) 28-57.

"Assessing the Balance," Cambridge Review of International Affairs 20, No. 2 (June 2011), 201-219. With Stephen G. Brooks.

 “Gilpinian Realism and International Relations,International Relations 25/4(December 2011): 499-511

"Testing Balance-of-Power Theory in World History," in European Journal of International Relations, with Richard Little, Stuart J. Kaufman, David Kang, Charles A. Jones, Victoria Tin-Bor Hui, Arthur Eckstein, Daniel Deudney, and William J. Brenner, 2007, Vol. 13, No. 2 PDF

"Heartland Dreams: Russian Geopolitics and Foreign Policy," in Perspectives on the Russian State in Transition, Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, ed., The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University, 2006. PDF

"International Relations Theory and the Case Against Unilateralism," with Stephen G. Brooks, Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 3, No. 3, September 2005. PDF

"Hard Times for Soft Balancing," with Stephen G. Brooks, International Security, Vol. 30, No. 1, Summer 2005. PDF

"Ideas and the End of the Cold War," co-edited with Nina Tannenwald, Special Issue of the Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2, Spring 2005. PDF

"The End of the Cold War as a Hard Case for Ideas," in Ideas and the End of the Cold War, Nina Tannenwald and William C. Wohlforth, eds., Special Issue of the Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2, Spring 2005. PDF

"Revisiting Balance of Power Theory in Central Eurasia," in Balance of Power Theory and practice in the 21st Century, T.V. Paul and James J. Wirtz, eds., Stanford University Press, 2004. PDF

"Economic Constraints and the Turn Towards Superpower Cooperation in the 1980s," with Stephen G. Brooks, in From Conflict Escalation to Conflict Transformation: The Cold War in the 1980's, Olav Njølstad, ed., Frank Cass, 2004. PDF

"German Unification" with James Davis, Ending the Cold War: Interpretations, Causation, and the Study of International Relations, in Richard K. Herrmann and Richard Ned Lebow, eds., New York: Palgrave, 2004. PDF

"The Transatlantic Dimension," European Union Foreign and Security policy: Towards a Neighborhood Strategy, Roland Danreuther, ed., London: Routledge, 2004. PDF

"Economic Constraints and the End of the Cold War," with Stephen G. Brooks, in Cold War Endgame: Oral History, Analysis, Debates, Penn State University Press, 2003. PDF

"Russia's Soft Balancing Act," in Strategic Asia, 2003-4: Fragility and Crisis, Richard Ellings and Aaron Fridberg, with Michael Wills, eds., Seattle, Washington: National Bureau of Asia Research, 2003. PDF

"Central Asia: Defying 'Great Game' Expectations,'" with Kathleen Collins, in Strategic Asia, 2003-4: Fragility and Crisis, Richard Ellings and Michael Wills, eds., Seattle, Washington: National Bureau of Asia Research, 2003. PDF

"U.S. Strategy in a Unipolar World," in America Unrivaled: The Future of the Balance of Power, G. John Ikenberry, ed., Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002. PDF

"American Primacy in Perspective," with Stephen G. Brooks, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 81, No. 4: 20-33, July/August 2002. PDF

"From Old Thinking to New Thinking in Qualitative Research," with Stephen G. Brooks, International Security, Vol. 26, No.4: 93-111, Spring 2002. PDF

"The Russian-Soviet Empire: A Test of Neorealism," Review of International Studies, December 2001. PDF

"Power, Globalization, and the End of the Cold War: Reevaluating a Landmark Case for Ideas," with Stephen G. Brooks, International Security, Vol. 53, No. 3: 5-53, Winter 2000-01. PDF

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Works in progress

America Abroad:  The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century (Book MS, with Stephen G. Brooks)

“Nation Building Through War,” with Nicholas Sambanis and Stergios Sambanis, under review.

“The US Commitment to Europe” Draft edited book chapter

“The Future of War, as Ultima Ratio” Chapter for Toni Erskine and Ken Booth, eds, International Relations Theory Today