Glenn Snyder (1924-2013)
A gentle and gracious man who always managed to find time to talk with his students, Professor Glenn Snyder became a political scientist (Ph.D. Columbia 1956) after a childhood in North Dakota and Oregon, service in World War II, a stint leading a jazz band, and two years as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. He joined the political science department at UNC in 1984, where he taught until his retirement. Author of six books and monographs as well as numerous articles, he was an early advocate of developing a more systematic and explicit theory of balance-of-power politics, and of grounding that theory in a deeper understanding of the diplomatic history of the European state system. Among his most influential publications are Conflict among Nations: Bargaining, Decision Making, and System Structure in International Crises (1977) (co-authored with Paul Diesing), which attempted to meld game-theoretic insights with behavioral approaches to analyzing foreign policy decision-making, and his 1984 World Politics article, “The security dilemma in alliance politics,” a staple of graduate student reading lists and still frequently cited. He is survived by his wife Otty and three children.
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