Paul Michael Kennedy CBE FBA (born 1945)
Is a British historian at Yale University specialising in the history of international relations, economic power and grand strategy. He has published prominent books on the history of British foreign policy and Great Powerstruggles. He emphasises the changing economic power base that undergirds military and naval strength, noting how declining economic power leads to reduced military and diplomatic weight.
Kennedy was born in Wallsend, Northumberland, and attended St. Cuthbert's Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne. Subsequently, he graduated with first-class honours in history from Newcastle University and obtained his doctorate from St. Antony's College, Oxford, under the supervision of A. J. P. Taylor and John Andrew Gallagher. He was a member of the History Department at the University of East Anglia between 1970 and 1983. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a former Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. In 2007-8, Kennedy was the Phillipe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.
In 1983 he was named the J. Richardson Dilworth professor of British History at Yale. He is now also the Director of International Security Studies and along with John Lewis Gaddisand Charles Hill, teaches the Studies in Grand Strategy course there. In 2012, Professor Kennedy began teaching a new Yale course, "Military History of the West Since 1500," elaborating on his presentation of military history as inextricably intertwined with economic power and technological progress.
His most famous book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, has been translated into 23 languages and assesses the interaction between economics and strategy over the past five centuries. The book was very well received by fellow historians, with A. J. P. Taylor labelling it "an encyclopaedia in itself" and Sir Michael Howard crediting it as "a deeply humane book in the very best sense of the word."
In his 2006 book The Parliament of Man, Kennedy contemplates the past and future of the United Nations.
He is on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals and writes for The New York Times, The Atlantic, and many foreign-language newspapers and magazines. His monthly column on current global issues is distributed worldwide by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media Services.
In 2010 he delivered the first Lucy Houston Lecture in Cambridge on the subject "Innovation and Industrial Regeneration."