Civil Military Relations: At the Heart of Military History

April 11, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm

Richard H. Kohn, professor of History and Peace, War, and Defense in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill will discuss Civil Military Relations: At the Heart of Military History.

Military historians of the modern era have often neglected the relationship between the armed forces and the state, particularly its effect on outcomes in war and military policy and activity during peacetime. Yet some of the more famous writing on military theory have emphasized the importance of the topic. Military historians of the United States, as the literature reveals, have only now begun to address the subject systematically and in depth.

Richard H. Kohn is a specialist in United States military history and civil-military relations, currently serving as professor of History and Peace, War, and Defense in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Kohn is the author of nine volumes on American military history, including The United States Military under the Constitution of the United States, 1789-1989 and The Exclusion of Black Soldiers from the Medal of Honor in World War II which resulted in the award of seven medals of honor to black soldiers of that conflict. Among his most recent publications are How Democracies Control the Military and An Officer Corps for the Next Century. Currently Kohn is working on a book about presidential war leadership in American history, and co-directing a project investigating the gap between military and civilian attitudes and culture in the United States today.

Formerly, Kohn has served as executive secretary of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies, a consortium of faculty at Duke, Carolina and North Carolina State interested in national and international security. Kohn has taught at the City University of New York, Rutgers University, and the National and Army War Colleges. From 1981 to 1991 he was chief of Air Force history and chief historian of the United States Air Force. Kohn holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Event Speakers List: 
  • Professor of History and Peace, War, and Defense, Department of History, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center
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