Political Science scholar earns top honour

Political Science Prof. Kalevi Holsti has become only the seventh UBC faculty member to be named a University Killam Professor, the highest honour bestowed by the university on its faculty.

The designation recognizes the university's most exceptional faculty members who have distinguished themselves in teaching, scholarly activity and service.

Holsti is considered Canada's most distinguished scholar of international relations and has taught and lectured around the world since joining UBC in 1961.

His textbook International Relations: A Framework for Analysis, has remained in print for nearly 30 years, published in seven editions and translated into several languages. It continues to be the leading textbook in the field, influencing countless students around the world.

Holsti followed the textbook with a major monograph entitled Why Nations Re-Align: Foreign Policy Re-Structuring in the Post-War World. In this work, Holsti explored the dynamics of change in foreign policy, drawing on comparative cases to advance a novel theoretical explanation.

But perhaps his most influential contribution to the development of international relations is the book Peace and War: Armed Contests and International Order. The book was one of five finalists for the 1991 Lionel Gelber Prize for best English language book in international relations. In it, Holsti used historical perspective, scholarly description and theory to explain the cause of war and peace over the last 300 years.

Holsti has continued to produce leading scholarship and his latest book, The State, War, and the State of War was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

Renowned as a teacher, Holsti is popular with undergraduates who nominated him for a Master Teacher Award. He has acted as a mentor and graduate supervisor to many young scholars.

A member of the Royal Society of Canada, Holsti is the only Canadian to have been president of both the Canadian Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. He is also a past National Killam Fellow, the editor of two leading journals and a former member of the board of the Canadian International Institute for Peace and Security in Ottawa.

University Killam Professors continue to teach in their disciplines with reduced duties, are administratively responsible to the president and meet as a group with the president at least annually to discuss plans for advancing the goals of the university.

They are also expected to contribute to the overall intellectual life of the university and to serve as academic ambassadors.

Previously earning the distinction were Michael Smith, Dr. Patricia Baird, Roy Daniells, Charles McDowell, Michael Shaw and Peter Larkin.