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Robinson, Thomas W. 1935-2006

ROBINSON, Thomas W. 1935-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born February 9, 1935, in Wauwatosa, WI; died of cancer, June 13, 2006, in Arlington, VA. Political scientist, educator, and author. A respected government consultant and university professor, Robinson was considered an authority on communist systems of government, especially regarding China, and on Asian-Pacific countries. He graduated from Carleton College in 1957, then studied international affairs at Columbia University, where he earned a master's in 1959 and a doctorate in 1969. During the mid-1960s, he taught briefly at Columbia and at Dartmouth College, joining the Rand Corporation think tank as a researcher in 1965. While with Rand, he taught at the University of Southern California in 1967, and at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1968 to 1971. He next joined the Council on Foreign Relations in 1971, where he became director of the Asian studies program at the American Enterprise Institute. Except for a brief period in 1972 at Princeton University, Robinson did not return to teaching again until 1981, when he joined the Georgetown University faculty. He remained there until 1995, overlapping teaching assignments at the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute from 1983 to 2004 and George Washington University from 1992 to 1995. Most often associated with his expertise on China, Robinson advised U.S. presidents, lectured widely, testified before congressional committees, and in his later years founded a consulting firm called the American Asian Research Enterprise. He was the author and editor of several books concerning China and East Asia, including The Cultural Revolution in China (1971), Democracy and Development in East Asia: Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines (1991), and the coedited Chinese Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice (1994).



Washington Post, June 23, 2006, p. B7.

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