Professor Emeritus

Kal Holsti (PhD Stanford, 1961) retired in July 2000, but is now a Research Associate with the Centre for International Relations in the Liu Institute.  His areas of special interest are international relations theory, security studies, and foreign policy analysis.  He is a former editor of the International Studies Quarterly, co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Political Science, and former President of both the Canadian Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.  He has taught as a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii, the International University of Japan, Kyoto University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at McGill University.  He was also a visiting scholar at the Australian National University in 1983.  Between 1984 and 1986 he was an appointee of the Governor General to the Governing Council, Canadian International Institute for Peace and Security

Holsti was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1983, and named University Killam Professor at the University of British Columbia in 1997.  He was the seventh scholar to receive this status in the history of the university.  In 2005, he was elected a foreign member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters.  He is the first Canadian to be so honoured.

He has authored articles in all the major journals of his fields, as well as numerous chapters in edited volumes.  His major books include International Politics: A Framework for Analysis (7 editions), Why Nations Realign: Foreign Policy Restructuring since World War II (1983), The Dividing Discipline: Hegemony and Pluralism in International Theory (1985), Change in the International System (1991), Peace and War: Armed Conflict and International Order (1991), The State, War, and the State of War (1996), and Taming the Sovereigns: Institutional Change in International Politics (2004).  Cambridge University Press published the last three titles.  His most recent publication is a collection of his essays, edited by Adam Jones, Politica Mundial: Cambio y Conflicto, Mexico City: Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, 2005.

Holsti has supervised doctoral dissertations in a number of areas, including De Facto states in the international system, the concept of “barbarians” in international thought, the moral and political foundations of paternalism in international relations, and the practice of recognition as an institution of international relations.  Recent former students include Barry Buzan (London School of Economics), Alexander Moens (Simon Fraser University), Scott Pegg (University of Indiana—Indianapolis), Will Bain (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Mark Salter (University of Ottawa), and Miki Fabry (Smith College post-doctoral award).