NDISC presents lifetime achievement award to Robert Art

Author: Notre Dame International Security Center

Robert Art Headshot

Notre Dame International Security Center presented its second Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert Art, Christian A. Herter Professor of International Relations at Brandeis University, in a ceremony on December 7th, 2023. Below are remarks from the award presentation: 

Anyone who studies International Relations is a child of Bob Art's. And, typical of kids, it's the invisible influences that are the most influential. He has won plenty of awards -- from the Century, Ford, and Guggenheim Foundations among many others -- but we still haven't thanked him enough. His impacts are immense and sometimes unseen.

Bob helped get the field going when it was in the doldrums in the 1970s, and set the standard for what good work is. He edited two readers that educated generations of students on what International Relations is, what it does, and what the best of it looks like. His Use of Force: Military Power and International Politics (with Kenneth Waltz and later Kelly Greenhill) is now in its eighth edition, and his International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues (with Robert Jervis and later Timothy Crawford) is now on its fourteenth. Along with Bob Jervis and Steve Walt, he edited the gold standard book series in international security, Cornell University Press' Series in Security Studies. Bob has tutored our taste.

He published a host of books and articles on International Relations theory and security policy. His work on the fungibility of force became a classic, and his colossal contributions to the grand strategy literature include his development of Selective Engagement in US foreign policy, a defensible defense of the United States and Europe, and thoughtful explorations of the role of nuclear weapons, coercive diplomacy, bureaucratic decision-making, the ends of military power, and sustainable plans for US security competition with China. Bob has schooled our smarts.

He was a leader in the true sense: putting the long-term good over short-term interests, and subordinating himself to the good of others. He advised the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense, served as Dean of Brandeis' Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and was a longtime board member at the top journals in the field. Behind the scenes, he stood up for fair play when others tried to bully junior scholars, advocated for diverse perspectives that didn't match his own, and helped an inordinate number of scholars make their work better. Bob has looked out for us all.

We are grateful to present Bob Art with NDISC's lifetime achievement award for innovative approaches to the study of grand strategy for being a scholar, a leader, and a Mensch.