Politics

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, 1927-2008

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                                                                                                   Francis Fukuyama

 

It is with great sadness that I note the passing on Christmas eve of Samuel Huntington, long-time teacher, friend, and editorial board member of The American Interest.  I knew Huntington from my final year in graduate school at Harvard, when he had just returned from service in the Carter administration to the Government Department.  He kept up with his former students better than most professors through annual meetings at the Wianno Club on Cape Cod every summer, and through seminars and meetings at the Center for International Affairs which he directed for many years at Harvard.


Huntington was easily the greatest political scientist of his generation.  What was remarkable about his scholarship was the range of topics on which he wrote, and the way that each of his books became a major point of reference within each sub-field:  The Soldier and State for civil-military relations; The Common Defense for defense policy; Political Order in Changing Societies and The Third Wave for comparative poitics; The Clash of Civilizations for international relations; American Politics:  The Promise of Disharmony and Who Are We? for American politics.  Through his own scholarship and through his students he virtually created the subfield of strategic studies, an area that was not seriously researched by most universities until he came along.


 

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