Stephen A. Kocs

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On Leave 2023-2024

Ph.D.,   Harvard University

Fields:  International relations; national security policy



Contact Information

Office Phone: 508-793-2464
Office: Fenwick 331
Office Hours: 
Box: 149A

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I received my Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1988, and have taught at Holy Cross since 1989. My teaching and research interests are mainly in the areas of international relations and U.S. national security policy. One focus of my research involves questions about international order: How is international political order created, and how has the character of order changed over time? These questions lie at the heart of my book International Order: A Political History (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2019), which traces the history of Western international order from late medieval times to the present day. The other main focus of my research involves the relationship between political ideology and U.S. national security policy.

As a political science teacher, I seek to help my students become informed and effective citizens. My courses provide political and historical context for understanding current policy debates, with the goal of empowering students to act as conscious, constructive agents in shaping the future. I also aim to nurture students’ interest in political science as an academic discipline. All of my courses highlight interesting political puzzles, and my upper-level courses provide students the opportunity to write a research paper on a question of their choice.



• Political Science 103 – Introduction to International Relations

• Political Science 278 – East Asia in World Politics

• Political Science 288 – Politics of Globalization

• Political Science 290 – National Security Policy


Recent Publications

• "International Relations Textbooks and International Order" (2022).

• “International Order as Threat Management.” International Studies Review 22: 4 (2020), 1006–7.

International Order: A Political History. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2019.