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Keohane's Move Understandable


We were sorry to hear last week that Stanfield Professor of International Peace Robert O. Keohane is leaving Harvard to assume a professorship at Duke University, as his presence in the Government Department and the Harvard community will be sorely missed.

Professor Keohane's wife, Nannerl O. Keohane, was president of Wellesley College from 1981 until 1993, when she left to become the president of Duke University; hence Professor Keohane's decision to leave Harvard in order to join his wife of 25 years. The valid reasoning doesn't make his departure any less painful.

Professor Keohane is a leading scholar in international relations and environmental policy. His prominence in his field makes Harvard's loss all that much harder to bear. He refused an offer from Duke in 1993, but he spent the last year as a Kenan Fellow at the National Humanities Center in Durham. Upon his arrival at Duke, he will become the James B. Duke professor of political science and hold a joint appointment at the Nichols School of Environment.

Keohane's work has distinguished him from his colleagues and his legacy speaks for itself. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1961 and began teaching here in 1985. He served as chair of the Government Department from 1988 until 1992. He is the author of such acclaimed works as After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy and International Institutions and State Power, as well as the editor, co-editor or co-author of 11 other books.

Professor Keohane has been commuting back and forth from Durham to Cambridge since his wife has been at Duke. Although we regret his departure, and since Harvard could not have done much to entice Mrs. Keohane to come to Cambridge, we feel that placing marriage ahead of Harvard was a noble and commendable decision. The Government Department will suffer, no doubt, but it will recuperate. We wish the Keohanes tremendous happiness in North Carolina.

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