William M. Rose

William M. Rose

Professor Emeritus of Government and International Relations

Joined Connecticut College: 1983-2016

B.A., B.S., University of Washington
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley


International politics, especially issues of war and peace

Terrorism and insurgencies: causes, consequences and policy implications

Ethnic conflict, the security dilemma, and prospects for civil war and peace

Post-Cold War and post-9/11 challenges for U.S. foreign policy

William Rose retired from the College in 2016. He taught courses on international relations, terrorism and counter-terrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency, US foreign policy and UN peacekeeping.

He is the recipient of the College's 2012 John S. King Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, established to recognize teacher-scholars with high standards of teaching excellence and concern for students.

His most recent publication is a journal article co-authored with Nick Grenoble, an international relations and economics double major from the Connecticut College class of 2009. The article grew out of a research paper that Nick wrote in a seminar with Professor Rose, Alexander Grenoble and William Rose. See "David Galula's Counterinsurgency: Occam's Razor and Colombia," Civil Wars, Vol. 13, No. 3 (September 2011), pp. 280-311.

Here is the abstract:

This paper explores the extent to which David Galula's theory of counterinsurgency can explain the failures and successes in Colombia's counterinsurgency efforts against las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The research strongly supports the utility of Galula's ideas which, in their parsimony, highlight the most important causal factors for explaining dissimilar outcomes in the Colombian conflict. Colombia's divergent responses to the FARC throughout the history of the insurgency demonstrate both the detriment of improper strategy and the success that can be achieved when Galula's laws are applied.

In 2007, Professor Rose and co-author Rysia Murphy '07 published a 2000-word letter in the summer issue of the journal Internationale Security. This letter features their collaborative research into the March 11, 2004, Madrid train bombings, and is directed toward an article by Max Abrahms in the fall 2006 issue. While agreeing with Abrahms' thesis that terrorism rarely achieves its political objectives, their case study constitutes an exception to Abrahms' claim that terrorist groups targeting primarily civilians never achieve their political aims. Abrahms' original article and his correspondence with Rose and Murphy were reprinted in the book contending with Terrorism: Roots, Strategies, and Responses, ed. Michael Brown et al. This International Security Reader was published in 2010. A second printing is scheduled for 2012.

During the Cold War, Professor Rose specialized in U.S.-Soviet arms control negotiations. He published journal articles and a book, U.S. Unilateral Arms Control Initiatives: When Do They Work?

When the Cold War ended, Rose wanted to help college students understand and come to grips with the foreign policy choices facing the United States. He conceived of and co-authored a college text titled The Role of the United States in a Changing World: Choices for the 21st Century, published by the Center for Foreign Policy Development at Brown University.

His research then turned to ethnic conflict and civil wars. He had published lead articles in the journals Security Studies (Summer 2000) and Civil Wars (Fall 2002).

Interested in effective teaching methods, Rose co-authored "Teaching About the Future of U.S.-Soviet Relations," which appeared international Studies Notes, and "The Professor's Dream: Getting Students to Talk and Read Intelligently," co-authored with Andrew Green, which appeared in PS: Political Science & Politics.

Rose served two three-year terms as chair of the government department and founded and directed the international relations major. He served on various College committees, including the International Commons Steering Committee, the Educational Planning Committee (EPC), the Academic and Administrative Procedures Committee (AAPC), and the Study Away Committee.

Rose is a member of the International Studies Association and the Sudan Studies Association. In the past, he was a consultant to Brown University's Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, a board member of the Southeast Connecticut Committee on Foreign Relations, an adjunct research fellow at Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs, and was on the Board of Directors of OPTIONS, a national organization dedicated to educating the public about security alternatives in the nuclear age.

View the government and international relations department website.

Majoring in Government. 

Majoring in International Relations.

"When the Cold War ended, I wanted to help college students understand and come to grips with the foreign policy choices facing the United States - so I conceived and co-authored a college text." - William M. Rose

"A marvelously conceived approach to drive home the fact that a new era demands new ways for thinking about American foreign policy." - added Ernst Haas, Robson Research Professor of Government at the University of California, Berkeley

This collection provides a splendid introduction to the foreign policy choices of the 21st century. . .

Gary Huffbauer, Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Economics, commenting on The Role of the United States in a Changing World: Choices for the 21st Century, by William M. Rose.

Contact William M. Rose

Mailing Address

William M. Rose
Connecticut College
Box #5468
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320