Howard J. Wiarda is the Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations and Founding Head of the Department of International Affairs at the University of Georgia.  He is also a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.  In the spring of 2011 Professor Wiarda taught in the UGA Washington Semester Program and was in residence at his CSIS and Wilson Center positions.

With three or four prominent new hires each year since 2003, Dr. Wiarda has been building a world-renowned department of international relations, comparative politics, and foreign and strategic policy at the University of Georgia.  The department already ranks among the best international relations programs in the country.  After two terms, six years, as department head building this new program, Prof. Wiarda recently stepped down to resume full-time research, teaching, and writing.

Much of Dr. Wiarda’s earlier career was spent as Professor of Political Science and Comparative Labor Relations, and the Leonard J. Horwitz Professor of Iberian and Latin American Studies, at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.  He also worked for some thirty years in the Washington think tank and foreign policy worlds.  He retains his position as Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts and, at CSIS and the Wilson Center, carries out a vigorous agenda of research, writing, consulting, and advising on foreign policy, comparative politics, and international relations.

During 2001-2002 Professor Wiarda was Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs in Vienna and Visiting Fulbright Research Professor at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary.  In 2002 he was appointed Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.  Recently he has been touring Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa lecturing and conducting research on U.S. foreign policy.  He joined the University of Georgia faculty and was appointed department head and Dean Rusk Chair in 2003.  He also serves as an adjunct professor of security policy at the National Defense University, as consultant on research and publications at NDU’s Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, and managing editor of the Security and Defense Studies Review.

Professor Wiarda began his career as a scholar of Latin American politics, and his writings on Latin America, Spain, Portugal, comparative politics, corporatism, political culture, and the developing nations are well known in the field. While continuing these research and writing interests, over the last twenty-five years his scholarly interests have broadened to include Russia, East/Central Europe, Asia, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Persian Gulf, comparative democratization, civil society and general comparative politics and American foreign policy.  He has traveled and done extensive research in all these areas, and his textbooks on foreign policy, comparative politics, and the developing nations, as well as his more scholarly writings, are extensively read, quoted, and cited.  In several surveys he was ranked among the five “most influential” scholars of Latin America in the United States and among the top twenty in the field of Comparative Politics.

Alternating for many years between Amherst, Cambridge, and Washington, and between the university, research institute, and policy worlds, Professor Wiarda was a Visiting Scholar/Research Associate at the Center for International Affairs (now the Weatherhead Center) at Harvard University (1979-81, 1984-86, 1988-91) where he also directed the Faculty Comparative Politics Seminar.  From 1981-87 he was Resident Scholar and Founding Director of the Center for  Hemispheric Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington.  Professor Wiarda has been visiting professor at MIT, Georgetown, and George Washington universities and a visiting scholar at Harvard (1979-81).  He was Course Chairperson (1982-84) at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State, Lead Consultant (1983-84) to the National Bipartisan (Kissinger) Commission on Central America, and Thorton D. Hooper Fellow in International Security Affairs (1987-88) at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI).  At the National War College/National Defense University in Washington, DC, 1991-96, he was Professor of National Security Affairs and directed the Program on Redefining U.S. Security Interests in the Post-Cold War Era, from which several major publications have appeared.  He joined CSIS in 1992; in 2000 he was appointed Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  He now divides his time between the University of Georgia and his Washington think tank positions.

Professor Wiarda was the editor of the journal Polity and served previously as the Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Massachusetts; he was also Chairman of the University’s Council for International Studies.  He served on the editorial boards of World Affairs, Portuguese Studies, and Integration; he is also on the board of directors of Anthology of Comparative Politics (Paris), and of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida.  He has edited various anthologies and occasional papers series, and is presently co-editor of a new University of Georgia Press series on “International Challenges in the Age of Globalization.”  He is a member of the Council of Academic Advisers of the Inter-American Foundation and is the United States representative on the Board of the Institute for Latin American Integration.  He served by appointment of the President of the United States on the Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice.  He has been a consultant and adviser to four presidents and a variety of private foundations, business firms, and agencies of the United States government.  He has served on the Fulbright advisory panel for choosing Latin American grant recipients and chaired the Department of Education’s Title VI review committee to select the university Latin American centers that would receive language and area studies grants.

Professor Wiarda is a member of national History and Political Science honoraries and has held grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Institute of Peace, American Council of Learned Societies, Mershon Center, Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, American Philosophical Society, Tinker Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, Pew Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, the Twentieth Century Fund, Oriente Foundation, Earhart Foundation, and the Aspen Institute.  He has been the recipient of Fulbright awards on four occasions.  He was honored with a distinguished teaching award from the University of Massachusetts, three Distinguished Service Awards from the National Defense University, and two Distinguished Lecturer Awards from the Foreign Service Institute.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York; in 1988 he served on Vice President George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy advisory team.

Dr. Wiarda has published extensively on Latin America, International Relations, Development Policy, Southern Europe, the Third World, Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe, and United States Foreign Policy.  He edited a six-volume set for Routledge Publishers of London and Oxford covering all areas of Comparative Politics, and a four volume set for Rowman and Littlefield on foreign policy, international affairs, and comparative politics.  More recently his writing has concentrated on more personal as well as academic and policy themes, including a four-volume set of travel books entitled “Adventures in Research,” another five-volume series on past institutional affiliations (AEI, Harvard, FPRI, U-Mass, National War College), and a book, reflecting his family history, on “The Dutch Diaspora.”

A prolific writer, Professor Wiarda has published or edited over one hundred books and is the author of over three hundred scholarly articles, book chapters, op eds, and congressional testimony.  Some of his best-known books include Broken Government, Globalization, American Foreign Policy, Development on the Periphery, An Introduction to Comparative Politics, European Politics, Latin American Politics and Development, Grand Theory, Civil Society, Political Development in Emerging Nations, Policy Passages, Comparative Democracy and Democratization, The Soul of Latin America, Politics in Iberia, and Corporatism and Development.  Many of these books have appeared in translation in French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

Professor Wiarda has lectured extensively at leading universities and research institutes in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Israel, and Europe.  His writings have stimulated some fundamental reexaminations of American foreign policy, the way we approach comparative politics, the developing nations and how we interpret Latin American politics and development.  His work is known nationally and internationally and is frequently the subject of discussion, critique, and review by scholars and policy-makers.  From 1990 to 2005 he served as general editor for a widely praised series of books in Comparative Politics and Foreign Policy for the Harcourt/Brace/Thomson publishing company.

Dr. Wiarda was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, grew up in Grand Rapids, and was in the honors program at the University of Michigan where he received his BA degree.  His M.A. and Ph.D. degrees were earned at the University of Florida.  He has been a post-graduate scholar at Harvard University and Ohio State University; he also holds an M.S. degree in International Security from the National Defense University.  He was the recipient of an honorary doctorate and holds the position of Honorary Professor at Nizhny Novgorod State University, Russia. He is married to Dr. Iêda Siqueria Wiarda, herself a professional political scientist whose current positions are those of Research Specialist at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia.  They have three grown children.


Latin America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia; American Foreign Policy and Comparative Politics

Project Summary

I'm writing a book on American foreign policy, organized around the theme of broken government. I've just finished a series of four books entitled "Adventures in Research": Latin America, Europe, The Wider World, and Return Visits. I'm presently planning a series on the changing relations and balance of influence among universities, think tanks, and war colleges.

Major Publications

  • An Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • The Crisis of American Foreign Policy
  • Development on the Periphery: Democracy in Southern and Eastern Europe

Previous Terms

October 1, 2002 - August 31, 2008