Kenneth W. Thompson
(born August 29, 1921 in Des Moines
) is an American academic and author known for his contributions to normative theory
in international relations
. In 1978 he became director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs
at the University of Virginia
. He retired as director in 1998, but continued to head its Forum Program until 2004.
Thompson received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago
(1950) and taught there and at Northwestern University
(1949–55). He resumed teaching at the University of Virginia
in 1975. Between 1955 and 1975, he worked in the area of institutional philanthropy, becoming Vice President for International Programs at the Rockefeller Foundation
He helped to organize eight national commissions
on topics ranging from presidential disability to the selection of federal judges.
Thompson's Principles and Problems of International Politics, a volume of readings co-edited with his mentor, Hans Joachim Morgenthau, provided the intellectual guidelines for his thinking through the succeeding four decades. Primary among these guidelines is a reliance on history. Thompson has seen himself as part of the influential tradition of political realism, the heir of the thought of Morgenthau and Reinhold Niebuhr, and the sustainer of the subsequent generation of scholars. He has organized and co-edited an innovative new edition of Politics Among Nations (seventh edition) released by McGraw Hill.
Thompson's desire to ground international relations... Read More