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Book Talk: Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump

February 5, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents

Book Talk: Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020)

Benjamin Miller, Author
Full Professor of International Relations and Head of the National Security Center
University of Haifa

Moderated by Keren Yarhi-Milo
Director, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies and International Affairs
Columbia University

Advance registration required. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link prior to the event. 


American foreign policy is the subject of extensive debate. Many look to domestic factors as the driving forces of bad policies. Benjamin Miller instead seeks to account for changes in US international strategy by developing a theory of grand strategy that captures the key security approaches available to US decision-makers in times of war and peace. Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of competing grand strategies that accounts for objectives and means of security policy. Miller puts forward a model that is widely applicable, based on empirical evidence from post-WWII to today, and shows that external factors—rather than internal concerns—are the most determinative.



Benjamin Miller is Professor of International Relations at the School of Political Sciences, and the Head of the National Security Center, The University of Haifa. Miller’s current book project, Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, October 2020) focuses on explaining changes in US grand strategy. His other book project focuses on explaining war and peace in the 21st century (under contract with Oxford University Press). Among his other publications: When Opponents Cooperate: Great Power Conflict and Collaboration in World Politics (Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 2nd ed., 2002); States, Nations and Great Powers: The Sources of Regional War and Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Regional Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution (Routledge, 2015; co-edited with Carmela Lutmar; the volume is based on Miller’s theory); and International and Regional Security: The Sources of War and Peace – a collection of Miller’s essays over the years and also new research (Routledge, 2017). He received a Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley and has held Research Fellowships at Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University (Center for International Studies), McGill University and at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). He has taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Duke University, the University of Colorado, Boulder, Princeton University and Dartmouth College. He also served for many years as the President of the Israeli Association for International Studies (IAIS).

Keren Yarhi-Milo is the Director of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. Her research and teaching focus on international relations and foreign policy, with a particular specialization in international security, including foreign policy decision-making, interstate communication and crisis bargaining, intelligence, and US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Yarhi-Milo’s first book (Princeton University Press, 2014) titled, Knowing The Adversary: Leaders, Intelligence Organizations, and Assessments of Intentions in International Relations, received the 2016 Furnnis Award for best book in the field of international security. Also, it is Co-Winner of the 2016 DPLST Book Prize, Diplomatic Studies Section of the International Studies Association. This book explores how and why civilian leaders and intelligence organizations select and interpret an adversary’s signals of intentions differently. Her new book, titled, Who Fights for Reputation? The Psychology of Leaders in International Conflict,  came out with Princeton University Press (2018) and received the 2019 Best Book Award on Foreign Policy from the American Political Science Association. It also won the Biennial Best Foreign Policy Book Award from the International Studies Association, which will be presented at the 2021 ISA Annual Convention. The ISA committee stated that Yarhi-Milo’s book “considers a long-debated question in international relations — whether reputation matters,” and “impressively showcases how to integrate different theories and methods from multiple disciplines in understanding leaders’ decision making in Foreign Policy Analysis.”

Yarhi-Milo’s articles have been published or are forthcoming in International Studies Quarterly, International Organization, International Security, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Foreign Affairs, and Security Studies.

Before joining the faculty at Columbia University, she was an Associate Professor (with tenure) of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Politics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. She was previously a post-doc fellow at the Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a pre-doc fellow at

Event Contact Information:
James Paisley


February 5
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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https://zoom.us/ NY United States
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Columbia University
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