Poli Sci prof leaving for Yale in fall ’03

By Joel Lanceta

Next fall, Chicago’s political science department will lose some of its expertise in the theory of civil war. Stathis Kalyvas, an associate professor in the department and a renowned specialist in the logic of violence and civil war, will leave after the present school year to take a tenured position as senior professor of political science at Yale University.

The announcement came last week from Ian Shapiro, chair of the political science department at Yale, who indicated he was eagerly anticipating Kalyvas’ arrival to the program.

“We hope and expect that he will be at Yale for a long time,” Shapiro told the Yale Daily News. “I anticipate he’s going to be a big presence around the University.”

Kalyvas, who will continue to teach through summer quarter, said he had no complaints about the U of C and that it was a difficult decision choosing between Yale and Chicago.

“Yale is very much like the University of Chicago,” Kalyvas said. “They are very similar entities and similar institutions in their importance on intellectual capacities.”

Kalyvas particularly emphasized his attraction to Chicago’s academic atmosphere when he compared his position here to a previous one at New York University.

“Comparing the quality of the University of Chicago’s students to students at NYU when I was there, even though the students at NYU eventually got better, I found a big difference,” Kalyvas said. “The culture at U of C is very intellectual and unique compared to other schools.”

Kalyvas, who has been at Chicago for three years, said he will continue to communicate with the University once he is at Yale.

“I still have graduate students here,” Kalyvas said. “I’ll still be working with them, supervising their work and their dissertations; some of them are advanced. I might return here, too. Chicago is very easy to visit; it is in the center of the country, and there are many venues and conventions held here to come to in the future.”

Regarding his replacement, Kalyvas said, “I think the department will attract the very best. They are very selective on their criteria for faculty, very selective in looking through the quality of someone’s research.”

John Brehm, chairman of political science at Chicago, had nothing but praise for Kalyvas.

“He’s been a great colleague, and a very intellectual person,” Brehm said. “Stathis has the prospects of becoming a leader in his field. He has been noted for his work on the causes of ethnic violence and civil wars in countries–in magazines like “The New Yorker” and “The New York Times.” He certainly helped raise visibility in the scholarship of why violence arises in some countries.”

Brehm laments the loss of Kalyvas, who came to Chicago at the same time he did.

“There aren’t many people who do the work he does,” he said, indicating that a replacement will be hard to find. “We’re going to miss Stathis. It’s Yale’s great fortune to get him to go there. We’re always looking for people, and we have a number of candidates to replace Stathis but not exactly in the same field. Comparative politics is a broad science to work from.”

Kalyvas earned his Ph.D. in political science from Chicago in 1993. A native of Greece, he has done research on revolutions in Columbia and Algeria and is the author of “The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe.”

Kalyvas currently teaches an undergraduate class, Violence and Civil Strife, in addition to leading two political science graduate reading courses and a seminar in comparative politics.