Alumni (National Fellow)

Walter Ladwig

National Fellow
M.P.A. Princeton University
B.A. University of Southern California (1998)
Ph.D. Oxford University (2009)
Professional Sector:
Dream Mentor:
Daniel Byman
Georgetown University
Fields of Interest:
Foreign Policy
International Relations
The Military


Walter Ladwig is lecturer and member of the core faculty for the new B.A. in International Relations at Kings College London. Dr. Ladwig is also a visiting fellow in Asian Security at the Royal United Services Institution. Dr. Ladwig joined the department at Kings College in 2013 from Oxford where he was a lecturer in the M.Phil. program in international relations. Previously Dr. Ladwig held predoctoral fellowships at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C. Ladwig’s academic work is situated in the field of strategic studies, where his research interests include military strategy, counterinsurgency, U.S. foreign policy and defense politics, and the political and military implications of India’s emergence as great power. Ladwig has commented on international affairs for the BBC, Reuters, and the Associated Press and my commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Indian Express, and the Japan Times.

Thesis Description:

Assisting Counterinsurgents: U.S. Security Assistance and Internal War, 1946-1991
Ladwig’s dissertation explored U.S. efforts to assist allied nations in counterinsurgency, with a specific focus on the use of American aid to induce political and economic reform, as part of a broader counterinsurgency strategy. He argued that insurgency is primarily a political phenomenon, and as such, any response to it must be primarily political as well. The cases Ladwig studied in his project suggest that the U.S. must gain sufficient leverage to compel the local ally to adopt the reforms and policy changes necessary to overcome the insurgency. The preliminary hypothesis of his study was that the sequencing of aid is the key factor in successfully encouraging needed reform.

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