Park University’s Hauptmann Lecture to Feature Discussion on American Foreign Policy

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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Dr. Robert JervisRobert Jervis, Ph.D., the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University, will be the keynote speaker at Park University’s 22nd annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series event on Wednesday, March 26. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Helzberg Room of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., starting at 6:30 p.m. A reception will be held prior to the lecture beginning at 6 p.m.

Jervis’ lecture topic will examine “Why Does the U.S. Spend so Much on Security and Still Feel so Insecure? Fear, Interests and Opportunity in Contemporary American Foreign Policy.” According to Jervis, it is almost a truism that the broad contours of American foreign policy should be established by the national interest. But what is the American national interest in today's world?

“Normal international politics is characterized by deep security concerns, especially for the major countries,” said Jervis. “I would argue that the U.S. is now unusually secure, although such security coexists uneasily with the widespread sense among both policy elites and the general public that the world is, in fact, deeply threatening.”

A former president of the American Political Science Association (2000-01), Jervis has received career achievement awards from the International Society of Political Psychology and the International Studies Association’s Security Studies Section. He also received the National Academy of Science’s tri-annual award for behavioral sciences contributions to avoiding nuclear war in 2006. His current research includes the nature of beliefs, international relations theory and the Cold War, and the links between signaling and perception. Jervis authored System Effects: Complexity in Political Life (Princeton University Press, 1997), a co-winner of the APSA Psychology Section Best Book Award, and The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution (Cornell University Press, 1989) won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

The lecture series is named in honor of the late Park University professor emeritus of political science and public administration, Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D. Hauptmann taught at Park for more than 50 years, and he launched the University’s first graduate degree program in 1982. In 2001, Park’s School for Public Affairs was renamed the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs in honor of this remarkable educator. The Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series was established through the generosity of alumni, colleagues and friends of Hauptmann upon his 40th anniversary at Park University. The Lecture Series brings outstanding scholars to the Kansas City area to address topics related to Hauptmann’s three areas of study: international politics, public administration and democracy.

While the lecture is open the public, registration is requested as seating is limited. To register, e-mail or call (816) 584-6420. In addition, attendees can register via the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library’s website.

For more information about the lecture and the lecture series, co-sponsored this year by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the International Relations Council, visit