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“The contemporary world is characterized by global upheaval resulting from differences in culture, values, history, and evolution. International studies need to focus on the confluence of these trends, permitting the development of a grand strategy. The Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS will develop a multi-disciplinary approach to world order with special emphasis on historical and cultural evolution." Henry A. Kissinger

Learn more about the people, programs, and publications at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

Generate new ideas

Generate new ideas

Through the research and writing of our distinguished faculty, fellows, and scholars

Train tomorrow’s leaders

Train tomorrow’s leaders

Through innovative classes and curricula, the center seeks to revitalize the practice of diplomatic and military history and to examine the global order

Convene academics and practitioners

Convene academics and practitioners

Through public and private programming which engages current leaders and new voices in their fields

OUR PEOPLE

We bring together distinguished scholars and practitioners in foreign policy and international security

Francis Gavin

Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor, Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

Hal Brands

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor

Mary Sarotte

Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professor of Historical Studies, Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

Sergey Radchenko

Wilson E. Schmidt Distinguished Professor

Featured News

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May 30, 2024

To Run the World: The Kremlin's Cold War Bid for Global Power

What would it feel like To Run the World? The Soviet rulers spent the Cold War trying desperately to find out. In this panoramic new history of the conflict that defined the postwar era, Sergey Radchenko provides an unprecedented deep dive into the psychology of the Kremlin's decision-making. He reveals how the Soviet struggle with the United States and China reflected its irreconcilable ambitions as a self-proclaimed superpower and the leader of global revolution. This tension drove Soviet policies from Stalin's postwar scramble for territory to Khrushchev's reckless overseas adventurism and nuclear brinksmanship, Brezhnev's jockeying for influence in the third world, and Gorbachev's failed attempts to reinvent Moscow's claims to greatness. Perennial insecurities, delusions of grandeur, and desire for recognition propelled Moscow on a headlong quest for global power, with dire consequences and painful legacies that continue to shape our world.

Obtain your copy of the book here

Upcoming Conference - Disunity in Diversity? Europe and Grand Strategy in a Time of Global Upheaval

Disunity in diversity? Europe and Grand Strategy in a Time of Global Upheaval

May 29 to 31, 2024

Hertie School, Berlin, Germany

This three-day conference sponsored by the DAAD and jointly organized by the Henry A. Kissinger Center at Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the Hertie Centre for International Security aims to shed light on these fundamental questions: Why has the EU failed so far to develop a joint strategic vision including the means to implement it? Why is it incapable of protecting Ukraine on its own? Has the EU missed important junctures in its political trajectory that could have led to a joint conception of world order? Or rather did geostrategic, ideological, or domestic obstacles stand in the way of ever reaching this goal? Furthermore, will the EU fail or succeed in the process of resolving these questions? Can the absence of a joint geopolitical vision of the EU tear its economic achievements apart? What will the EU look like in 10-15 years?

For those in the area, the final panel on May 31 at 10:30 AM local time is open to the public. You can find more details and register here.


 

Past event - The Taming of Scarcity and the Problems of Plenty Book Launch at IISS

In this new Adelphi book, Francis J. Gavin argues that the underlying structure, incentives and costs shaping international relations, state behaviour and the nature of power are profoundly different today to how they were in the past, in ways that are scarcely recognised and widely misunderstood. For much of history, world politics was marked by profound scarcity in resources, information and security. A series of historical revolutions has largely tamed this scarcity in ways few could have imagined. These revolutions, however, have generated new, potentially catastrophic challenges for the world – the problems of plenty.

Professor Gavin argues that the institutions, practices, theories and policies that helped explain and largely tamed scarcity by generating massive prosperity, and which were sometimes used to justify punishing conquest, are often unsuitable for addressing the problems of plenty. Successful grand strategy in this new age of abundance requires new thinking. New conceptual lenses, innovative policies and processes, and transformed institutions will be essential for confronting and solving the problems of plenty, without undermining the expanding efforts against scarcity.

At this hybrid launch event, held at the IISS headquarters in London, Professor Gavin described his key arguments and their strategic implications. He was joined by three expert discussants from academia, government and the press.

Click here for the video of the event.

Our Publications

Explore our latest scholarship

May 30, 2024

To Run The World: The Kremlin's Cold War Bid for Global Dominance

What would it feel like To Run the World? The Soviet rulers spent the Cold War trying desperately to find out. In this panoramic new history of the conflict that defined the postwar era, Sergey Radchenko provides an unprecedented deep dive into the psychology of the Kremlin's decision-making. He reveals how the Soviet struggle with the United States and China reflected its irreconcilable ambitions as a self-proclaimed superpower and the leader of global revolution. This tension drove Soviet policies from Stalin's postwar scramble for territory to Khrushchev's reckless overseas adventurism and nuclear brinksmanship, Brezhnev's jockeying for influence in the third world, and Gorbachev's failed attempts to reinvent Moscow's claims to greatness. Perennial insecurities, delusions of grandeur, and desire for recognition propelled Moscow on a headlong quest for global power, with dire consequences and painful legacies that continue to shape our world.

April 2, 2024

War in Ukraine: Conflict, Strategy, and the Return of a Fractured World

In War in Ukraine, Hal Brands brings together an all-star cast of analysts to assess the conflict's origins, course, and implications and to offer their appraisals of one of the most geopolitically consequential crises of the early twenty-first century. Essays cover topics including the twists and turns of the war itself, the successes and failures of US strategy, the impact of sanctions, the future of Russia and its partnership with China, and more.

March 7, 2024

The Taming of Scarcity and the Problems of Plenty: Rethinking International Relations and American Grand Strategy in a New Era

In this Adelphi book, Francis J. Gavin argues that the institutions, practices, theories and policies that helped explain and largely tamed scarcity by generating massive prosperity, and which were sometimes used to justify punishing conquest, are often unsuitable for addressing the problems of plenty. Successful grand strategy in this new age of abundance requires new thinking. New conceptual lenses, innovative policies and processes, and transformed institutions will be essential for confronting and solving the problems of plenty, without undermining the expanding efforts against scarcity.

May 2, 2023

The New Makers of Modern Strategy

Professor Hal Brands edited The New Makers of Modern Strategy, is the next generation of the definitive work on strategy and the key figures who have shaped the theory and practice of war and statecraft throughout the centuries. Featuring new entries by world-class scholars, this new edition provides global, comparative perspectives on strategic thought from antiquity to today, surveying both classical and current themes of strategy while devoting greater attention to the Cold War and post-9/11 eras.

BrandsDangerZone

October 20, 2022

Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China

Professor Brands is joined by Professor Beckley of Tufts University in a "provocative and urgent" analysis of the U.S - China relationship and rivalry.

Sarotte Not One Inch

November 1, 2021

Featured Title: Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate

In her newest book, Professor Mary Elise Sarotte explores the profound impact of NATO expansion on US-Russia relations since the Cold War, revealing missed opportunities and drawing on newly declassified documents and over 100 interviews.

January 25, 2022

The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Teaches Us about Great-Power Rivalry Today

America is entering an era of long-term great power competition with China and Russia. In this innovative and illuminating book, Hal Brands, a leading historian and former Pentagon adviser, argues that America should look to the history of the Cold War for lessons on how to succeed in great-power rivalry today.

Our Programs

Our programs and projects examine crucial topics in history, strategy, and statecraft

Founding Donors

The Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs was made possible by the extraordinary leadership of Johns Hopkins University alumnus and former board chair Michael R. Bloomberg and by generous gifts from individual donors, corporations, and private foundations.

Founding Donors