Lieber, Robert J. 1941- (Robert James Lieber)

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Lieber, Robert J. 1941- (Robert James Lieber)


Born in Chicago, IL; married June 20, 1964; wife's name Nancy; children: Benjamin Yves, Keir Alexander. Education: University of Wisconsin, B.A., 1963; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1968.


Office—Department of Government, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057-1034; fax: 202-338-1406. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, political scientist, foreign policy expert, lecturer, consultant, and educator. University of California, Davis, assistant professor, 1968-72, associate professor, 1972-77, professor of political science, 1977-81, chair of department, 1975-76 and 1977-80; Georgetown University, Washington, DC, professor of government and international affairs, 1982—, chair of government department, 1990-96; Interim Chair of Psychology, 1997-99; served as IR Field Chair. St. Antony's College, Oxford, visiting fellow, 1969-70; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, fellow, 1980-81; Brookings Institution, guest scholar, 1980-81, and visiting fellow. Harvard University Center for International Affairs, research associate, 1974-75; Atlantic Institute, Paris, research associate, 1978-79, and visiting fellow; Fudan University, Shanghai, China, visiting fellow. Coordinator of Middle East issues in Dukakis presidential campaign, 1987-88. Participant in Washington Institute's presidential study group on U.S. policy in the Middle East, 1987-90. Served as foreign policy advisor to several presidential campaigns; served as foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Department of State and National Intelligence Estimates. Guest on television programs and networks, including NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Good Morning America, Nightline, O'Reilly Factor, and Voice of America, BBC World Service.


International Institute for Strategic Studies, American Political Science Association, Council on Foreign Relations. Phi Beta Kappa.


NDEA Title IV fellowship in political science, University of Chicago, 1963-64; post-doctoral research training fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 1969-70; International Affairs fellowship, Council on Foreign Relations, 1972; Guggenheim fellowship, 1973; Rockefeller International Relations fellowship, 1978-79; Ford Foundation grant, 1981; fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1980-81.


British Politics and European Unity: Parties, Elites, and Pressure Groups, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1970.

Theory and World Politics, Winthrop Publishers (Cambridge, MA), 1972.

(Coauthor) Contemporary Politics: Europe, Winthrop Publishers (Cambridge, MA), 1976.

Oil and the Middle East War, Harvard University Center for International Affairs (Cambridge, MA), 1976.

The Oil Decade: Conflict and Cooperation in the West, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1986.

No Common Power: Understanding International Relations, Foresman, Scott (Glenview, IL)/Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1988, 3rd edition, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995, 4th edition, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 2001.

The American Era: Power and Strategy for the Twenty-first Century, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005, revised and expanded edition, 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including International Security, International Affairs (London, England), American Political Science Review, Politique Etrangere, Harper's, New York Times, Foreign Policy, Chronicle of Higher Education, National Interest, Commentary, Internationale Politik, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Ha'aretz, Ashark-Al-Awsat, and Washington Post.


(Coeditor and contributor) Eagle Entangled: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Complex World, Longman (New York, NY), 1979.

(And contributor) Will Europe Fight for Oil?, Praeger (New York, NY), 1983.

(Coeditor and contributor) Eagle Defiant: U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1980s, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1983.

(Coeditor and contributor) Eagle Resurgent? The Reagan Era in American Foreign Policy, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1987.

(Coeditor and contributor) Eagle in a New World: American Grand Strategy in the Post-Cold War Era, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.

Eagle Adrift: American Foreign Policy at the End of the Century, Longman (New York, NY), 1997.

Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-first Century, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 2002.

Foreign Policy, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2008.


Robert J. Lieber is a writer, educator, and foreign policy expert whose work focuses on American foreign policy and relations with countries in the Middle East and Europe. He is a professor of government and international affairs at Georgetown University. He has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, and has also served as a foreign policy advisor to several presidential candidates.

Lieber is the editor of several volumes on American foreign policy, including Eagle Adrift: American Foreign Policy at the End of the Century. In this work, Lieber offers "an up-to-date and comprehensive tour of the background to contemporary policy," commented David C. Hendrickson in Foreign Affairs. The book is "expertly edited," Hendrickson remarked, and offers "great value for both the general reader and the serious scholar."

In The American Era: Power and Strategy for the Twenty-first Century, Lieber looks at "what has changed in the post-September 11 world and how the United States needs to confront its unique but inherently difficult position," commented Patrice McMahon in Political Science Quarterly. In what Contemporary Review critic Ian Jackson called a "fascinating blend of theoretical insight and policy analysis, Professor Lieber argues that the United States must pursue an activist foreign policy, assume the burdens of global leadership and ensure American primacy in world politics over the coming decades." For Lieber, the profound changes wrought by the events of September 11, 2001, mean that the United States must actively pursue its role as the only viable global superpower. The dangers of Islamic fundamentalism combined with the possible use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) compel the United States to abandon the use of Cold War-era diplomacy and deterrence. Instead, the United States must be willing and able to act militarily and preemptively if necessary. In Lieber's view, the United States cannot rely on international organizations such as the United Nations for its security. Lieber also asserts that it is the responsibility of the United States to act as a sort of global "sheriff" and in that role to eliminate militant Islamic groups and their networks, and to prevent rogue states from acquiring WMDs. Though anti-Americanism has increased within the first years of the twenty-first century, Lieber believes it must be tolerated as the country continues its campaign against terrorism. Though the United States may be hated by some, much of the world will look to America for guidance and decisive action against the most dangerous global threats.

Lieber's book serves to "provide significant evidence for what we as Americans sometimes hate to admit: we are the superpower, and the world regularly looks to us to assist and to lead but also to blame," McMahon observed. Jackson called the book "essential reading for scholars and policy-makers seeking a lucid and thought-provoking guide to the choices confronting the world's only superpower" as the world enters the twenty-first century.

Lieber told CA that his "other credits include faculty and party politics, ‘killer tennis,’ and a walk-on part in the Alfred Hitchcock film classic North by Northwest."



Contemporary Review, autumn, 2006, Ian Jackson, "America's Strategy for the Twenty-first Century," review of The American Era: Power and Strategy for the Twenty-first Century, p. 373.

Foreign Affairs, March 1, 1997, David C. Hendrickson, review of Eagle Adrift: American Foreign Policy at the End of the Century, p. 184.

Political Science Quarterly, fall, 2006, Patrice McMahon, review of The American Era, p. 501.

US Newswire, March 1, 2006, review of The American Era.


Georgetown University Web site, (April 5, 2008), biography of Robert J. Lieber.

U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda Web site, (April 5, 2008), biography of Robert J. Lieber.