October 18, 2013 John Bew Named Kissinger Chair at John W. Kluge Center

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed British scholar John Bew as the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. His tenure begins in October.

Bew is a reader (distinguished senior academic) in history and foreign policy at the War Studies Department at King’s College London and director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. He will spend nine months at the Library writing a history of Anglo-American realpolitik, to be published by Oxford University Press.

“The term realpolitik was first given by the German revolutionary Ludwig August von Rochau in 1853 to describe what he saw as a cynical and coercive form of domestic political statecraft,” Bew said. “My book will be the first on the concept of realpolitik in the English-speaking world: its origins as an idea; its practical application to statecraft; and its relevance to the foreign-policy challenges facing the United States and its allies.”

Bew will work primarily with the Library’s extensive collection of presidential papers, the papers of U.S. secretaries of state, and Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection while a scholar-in-residence.

Bew’s prior monograph, “Castlereagh: A Life,” was named one of the books of the year for 2011 by the Wall Street Journal, Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator, BBC Parliament Booktalk and Total Politics. Bew is also a contributing writer for the New Statesman. Bew was born in Northern Ireland and educated at Cambridge University, where he also became a lecturer in modern history.

The Kissinger Chair is a distinguished senior research position in residence at the Library for a period of up to 10 months. Using research facilities and services at the Library of Congress, the scholar is expected to engage in research on foreign policy and international affairs that will lead to publication. The annual appointment of the Kissinger scholar is made by the Librarian of Congress upon the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of representatives from the academic community and foreign-policy experts. The appointment ensures that the subject of foreign affairs, taken broadly, receives reflective and considered treatment each year in Washington, D.C. by distinguished, experienced scholars and practitioners.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 13-177
ISSN 0731-3527