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August 24, 2010

Benjamin Fordham Named Henry Kissinger Scholar in Kluge Center

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed Benjamin Fordham, professor and chair of Binghamton University’s Political Science Department, as the Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar in Foreign Policy and International Relations in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, beginning in September 2010.

At the Library, Fordham will research ways that domestic, political and economic considerations influence foreign-policy decisions, especially as they relate to the rise of the United States as a world power.

Fordham is the 10th scholar to occupy the Kissinger chair. The position was created in 2000 through the generosity of friends of Kissinger to honor the former secretary of state and to emphasize the importance of foreign affairs.

Prior to his 2004 appointment at Binghamton, part of the State University of New York (SUNY), Fordham held academic positions at the University at Albany (SUNY) and Harvard University. He has held fellowships at the Princeton University Center of International Studies and at the Triangle Institute for Security Studies in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Fordham is the author of "Building the Cold War Consensus: The Political Economy of U.S. National Security Policy, 1949-1951" (1998). He has published numerous articles on the role of domestic economic performance in decisions to use military force abroad, the effect of party differences on policy choices about the use of force and the allocation of the military budget in the United States, and on the influence of economic interests on congressional voting on foreign economic and security policy matters.

The Kissinger Chair program offers outstanding thinkers and practitioners a unique opportunity to pursue advanced research in the largest and most international collection of library materials in the world. Previous chair-holders were Aaron Friedberg, Klaus Larres, Lanxin Xiang, Melvyn Leffler, James Goldgeier, Charles Kupchan and William R. Smyser.

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

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PR 10-184
ISSN 0731-3527

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