Michael Doyle, our Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor

photo courtesy of the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Our Department welcomed Michael Doyle as our 2017-2018 Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor. He gave two talks to our community at the end of November, 2017:

Mark Zacher Distinguished Speaker Talk:
The Question of Intervention: John Stuart Mill and the Responsibility to Protect

Wednesday November 29
Location: Buchanan Penthouse

IES/Political Science Department co-hosted talk:
Model International Mobility Treaty

Thursday, November 30
Location: C.K. Choi

Michael Doyle (PhD, Harvard) holds the prestigious designation of University Professor at Columbia University, and he is Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative. His work crosses disciplinary boundaries of international relations and international law, and is focused on humanitarian intervention and the global regime for migration. His early scholarship considered theories of war and peace and the work of Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Kant, the rise and fall of empires, post-Cold War conflict resolution, and the role of the UN.

Dr. Doyle’s writing on international relations theory, international security, and international organizations is further informed by his work within the United Nations. From 2001-2003, he was the assistant secretary-general and special advisor to United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with responsibilities that included strategic planning (Millenium Development Goals), relations with Washington, and outreach to the international corporate sector (Global Compact). He later served as chair of the board of UNDEF (the UN Democracy Fund) from 2006-2013. He is also a former chair of the Academic Council of the United Nations System.

Dr. Doyle previously taught at Princeton and John Hopkins. In 2014, The University of Warwick conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his work on Peace Theory. His scholarship has been recognized by election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and he has received two career awards from the American Political Science Association. He was a senior fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the International Peace Institute, and has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for over twenty years.

Select Publications

The question of when or if a nation should intervene in another country’s affairs is one of the most important concerns in today’s volatile world. Taking John Stuart Mill’s famous 1859 essay “A Few Words on Non-Intervention” as his starting point, international relations scholar Michael W. Doyle addresses the thorny issue of when a state’s sovereignty should be respected and when it should be overridden or disregarded by other states in the name of humanitarian protection, national self-determination, or national security. In this time of complex social and political interplay and increasingly sophisticated and deadly weaponry, Doyle reinvigorates Mill’s principles for a new era while assessing the new United Nations doctrine of responsibility to protect.

In the twenty-first century, intervention can take many forms: military and economic, unilateral and multilateral. Doyle’s thought-provoking argument examines essential moral and legal questions underlying significant American foreign policy dilemmas of recent years, including Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Liberal Peace, Routledge, 2011











Striking First: Preemption And Prevention In International Conflict, with Stephen Macedo, Princeton University Press, 2011


The Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor Program was created by members of the Department of Political Science, with the support of Mark Zacher’s family and many of his former students, to honour his contribution to the teaching, understanding and scholarship of international affairs.

Annually, we invite one prominent scholar, leader, or senior elected official who has made significant contributions to the field of international affairs to give a series of lectures, and to meet with students, faculty, and community members. Read more here.