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Latest News: Posen Named Kissinger Chair at Kluge Center

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Barry Posen Named Kissinger Chair at the John W. Kluge Center

Political scientist Barry R. Posen has been appointed the next Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center. He will begin on Sept. 6, 2016, and be in residence for six months.

The author of three books, including "Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy" (2014), "Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks" (1991), and the award-winning "The Sources of Military Doctrine" (1984). Posen is currently the Ford International Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and director of the MIT Security Studies Program.

While at the Kluge Center, Posen will use the Library’s collections to study the implications for the United States of a multipolar international order. According to Posen, the National Intelligence Council of the U.S. intelligence community has predicted a diffusion of power and the emergence of a multipolar system—when four or more nation states have nearly equal amounts of military, cultural and economic power—by the middle of this century.

"These are forecasts, and it is possible that they are wrong," Posen says. "Nevertheless, if the distribution of capabilities is indeed moving toward multi-polarity, it will be helpful to have thought through the challenges posed by such a system for the U.S. as well as for other states."

Posen has served on the faculty of MIT since 1987. Prior, he was an assistant professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. An elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Posen has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Ford Foundation, German Marshall Fund and Rockefeller Foundation. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

The Kissinger Chair is a distinguished senior research position; its holder is in residence at the Library for a period of up to 10 months. Using research facilities and services at the Library of Congress, the scholar is expected to engage in research on foreign policy and international affairs that will lead to publication and share his or her expertise, through public lectures and dialogues, with Congress and other policymakers.

The annual appointment of the Kissinger scholar is made by the Librarian of Congress upon the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of representatives from the academic community and foreign-policy experts. The appointment ensures that the subject of foreign affairs, taken broadly, receives reflective and considered treatment each year in Washington, D.C., by distinguished, experienced scholars and practitioners.

The John W. Kluge Center was established at the Library of Congress in 2000 to foster a mutually enriching relationship between the world of ideas and the world of action, between scholars and political leaders. The center attracts distinguished scholars to Washington, D.C., facilitates their access to the Library’s remarkable collections, and helps them engage in conversation with policymakers and the public. Learn more at

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at

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PR 16-109 06/21/16 ISSN 0731-3527

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