Kenneth W. Thompson

International Relations Scholar; Former Trustee, Carnegie Council


Kenneth W. Thompson is best known for his contributions to normative theory in international relations. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago where he studied under Hans J. Morgenthau. Thompson has taught at Chicago University, Northwestern University and the University of Virginia. Between 1955 and 1974 he worked on international education and health initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he became Vice President for International Programs.

He also served as director of higher education for development at the International Council for Educational Development (1974-76). From 1978 to 1998 he headed the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, where he broadened his field of interest to include the American presidency. Kenneth Thompson is a former trustee of the Carnegie Council. He also served on the Board of Editors for the Council's publication Worldview.

Featured Work

MAY 12, 1985 Article

Morgenthau Lectures (1981–2006): Words and Deeds in Foreign Policy

Moral principles become disconnected from political actions in three ways: contextualizing ethics for time and place as well as man, politics, and the nation-state; subjugating ...