Interview

Getting to Know
Professor Hall Gardner

By Jessica Grandhomme / Created 2011-04-04


The AUP community was very proud to learn that Hall Gardner, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of International and Comparative Politics, delivered a keynote address at the NATO School in Germany recently, on the occasion of “NATO’s Partnerships – The Oberammergau Symposium: NATO’s New Strategic Concept: Partnerships for Active Engagement Programme.”  Invited by the Assistant Secretary General of NATO for General Political Affairs and Security Policy, Dirk Brenglemann, Professor Gardner’s presentation concentrated on the subject of “Implications of NATO’s New Strategic Concept for NATO-Russia Relations.”

Professor Gardner’s interest in NATO policies began in 1997 when NATO decided to enlarge, despite the possibility of a Russian backlash due to its exclusion.  In August 2008, the world witnessed the Georgia/Russia conflict and this, in Gardner’s view, was Russia’s way of protesting this earlier decision.  Gardner says,“When NATO began talking about alliances in the mid-90s, it naturally became my interest.  At the time, I was opposed to what NATO was proposing simply because it didn’t include Russia.  There were agreements made with Russia but it never really presented a power sharing arrangement.   I thought that was problematic.”  

Following the Georgia/Russia conflict, Gardner was invited by NATO’s East West Institute to participate in a group of experts spread across Moscow, Brussels, Washington, and Paris.  The group worked together to debate possibilities for bringing Russia and NATO closer.  The report – “Euro-Atlantic Security: One Vision, Three Paths, East West Institute” – presented at the OSCE Conference of Foreign Ministers in Corfu, June 2009, was mentioned by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, as one that helped re-start US-European-Russian talks.  

Origins of conflict – and their regional and global ramifications – have always been of interest to Professor Gardner, as is the argument that conflict can be created by alliance.  Blending a historical and theoretical approach, Gardner is becoming progressively more active, and “unfortunately” has seen many of his thoughts turn into reality.  “The Georgia/Russia war was foreseeable and preventable.”  This argument is one that he clearly debates in his book Averting Global War: Regional challenges, Overextension, and Options for American Strategy (New York: Palgrave, 2007).  

Having received his MA and PhD from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, Gardner started his teaching career in China for The Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.  Working there in the late 80s, Gardner experienced life in a very different political culture.  Invited to speak about the US democratic election process at Beijing University in November 1988, he discovered only afterwards that the students who had invited him had done so without the appropriate communist authority approval, and following his presentation these authorities ‘refined’ his report – including political misquotes and opinions that he had not expressed.  

After China, Professor Gardner taught for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies before moving with his family to Paris in 1990, when he and his wife Isabel joined the AUP faculty ranks.  Looking back on his time at AUP since 1990, Gardner is proud that the University has developed into a strong academic environment – with an impressive engagement in academic events, research and publications.  

Gardner finds the typical AUP classroom unique.  The broad mix of cultures brings with it the possibility for students to learn from each other, and debate is an important part of his method.  As he says, “Classroom exchanges and debates between students from different social and cultural backgrounds are part of the learning process.”  Gardner believes the extent of AUP’s social and cultural make-up can be found in few other universities.  

When it comes to International Politics, Gardner feels that students need to be guided to look at the big picture, to take an impressionist attitude to global history.  “When you look back at global history,” he says, “you will begin to realize why conflicts have taken place, and that you can start debating for the future.  Any time you make a choice, you are engaging in politics.

Frequently asked to speak to the press, Professor Gardner can regularly be found debating current and past politics on such channels as France 24, Russia Today and Al Jazeera, and was recently invited by Mikhail Gorbachev to speak at the International Conferences as a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the New Policy Forum (Gorbachev Forum), presenting on "Security for the Global World: a European Answer".

Writing is also a large part of Gardner’s life.  Although he feels that it is important as a faculty member to publish, research and present, Gardner sees writing and poetry as his vocation.  When does he find the time?  “Late at night,” is his response, with a smile.  

When asked what he hopes he has achieved above all during his time at AUP, Gardner responds, “I hope I have raised the academic level, and given students a broad vision of the world and the inspiration to always look at the big picture.


 

Hall Gardner is Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of International and Comparative Politics 
 

 

 

Find out more
about Hall

For more publications, papers and poems by Professor Gardner, click here for his website

 

  Follow Professor Gardner's keynote presentations around the world through his AUP news and research page by clicking here


Professor Gardner’s publications are also available in the AUP Bookstore



Principle Publications

 

Averting Global War: Regional Challenges, Overextension, and Options for American Strategy
(New York: Palgrave, 2007)
'Averting Global War' is an artful and arresting defense of the need for American policy-makers to adopt meaningful and wise strategies for handling the growing number of regional problems throughout the world. In a comprehensive manner, Hall Gardner demonstrates how violence and perhaps even wars among the major powers may result if the wrong approaches are taken to these growing challenges.” - Robert Jackson, Author of Temptations of Power: the US in Global Politics since 9/11


 

American Global Strategy and the "War on Terrorism"
(Ashgate, 2005)
"A truly remarkable book. Few if any other volumes provide such an encompassing overview of the most troubling issues that the world faces in the wake of the Cold War's end and the 2001 attack on the United States homeland. Neither neo-realist nor neo-con, just straightforward, powerful analysis." - Amitai Etzioni, author of From Empire to Community: A New Approach to International Relations


 

The Wake Up Blast
(Narcissus Press, 2008)
"Hall Gardner's first book of poems, 'The Wake-Up Blast'  captures over 3 decades of poetic protest and dissent, recounted through the lens of personal encounters throughout the world. His  engaged poetry captivates readers through rallying cries against fear and violence, interwoven with the ultimate hope of peace and global understanding. Gardner's poetry and prose, informed by a lifetime of observing political and social cross currents, sings with the beat of our times." - Paris Voice, 2010