Philip Quincy Wright (December 28, 1890 – October 17, 1970) was an American political scientist based at the University of Chicago known for his pioneering work and expertise in international law and international relations. Daniel Gorman argues that Wright played a major role in transforming international law "from a set of guidelines by which states governed their interactions to a tool for enacting peaceful change in international relations." He is also a pioneer in the field of security studies.
|Born||28 December 1890|
|Died||17 October 1970 (aged 79)|
|Position held||chairperson (American Political Science Association, 1948–1949)|
Born in Medford, Massachusetts, Wright received his B.A. from Lombard College in 1912. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 1915. He also received an LL.D. He joined the department of social sciences at the University of Chicago in 1923. In 1927, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was one of the co-founders of Chicago's Committee On International Relations in 1928, the first graduate program in international relations established in the United States. In addition to his academic work, Wright was an adviser to Justice Robert H. Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials, and often provided advice to the U.S. State Department. In 1956 he became Professor of International Law in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. He retired in 1961 and became a visiting professor at numerous universities, both within the United States and abroad, including, Tsing Hua University in Beijing, Geneva, Mexico, Cuba, the Hague and Turkey.
Throughout his career Wright served as president of several scholarly bodies, including the American Association of University Professors (1944–1946), the American Political Science Association (1948–1949), the International Political Science Association (1950–1952), and the American Society of International Law (1955–1956). He was a member of the editorial board of the American Association of International Law from 1923 until his death. He was also active in the U.S. United Nations Association. See Eleanor R. Finch, "Quincy Wright, 1890–1970" (obituary), The American Journal of International Law 65 (January 1971): 130–131.
During the 1920s, the horrors of World War I were foremost in the thoughts of many social scientists. Soon after his arrival at Chicago, Wright organized an ongoing interdisciplinary study of wars, which eventually resulted in over 40 dissertations and 10 books. Wright summarized this research in his magnum opus A Study of War (1942).
War, to be abolished, must be understood. To be understood, it must be studied. No one man worked with more sustained care, compassion, and level-headedness on the study of war, its causes, and its possible prevention than Quincy Wright. He did so for nearly half a century, not only as a defender of man's survival, but as a scientist. He valued accuracy, facts, and truth more than any more appealing or preferred conclusions; and in his great book, A Study of War, he gathered, together with his collaborators, a larger body of relevant facts, insights, and far-ranging questions about war than anyone else has done. (Deutsch 1970).
Other than A Study of War, Wright published a further 20 books and nearly 400 journal articles during his career. Several of his books became standard texts, including Mandates Under the League of Nations (1930) and The Study of International Relations (1955).
- The Control of American Foreign Relations. 1922. Macmillan.
- The Palestine Problem, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sept., 1926), pp. 384–412, via JSTOR
- Mandates Under the League of Nations. 1930. University of Chicago Press.
- Research in International Law Since the War. 1930. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- A Study of War. 1942. University of Chicago Press.
- The Study of International Relations. 1955. Appleton-Century-Crofts.
- The Strengthening of International Law. 1960. Academic of International Law.
- International Law and the United States. 1960. Asia Publishing House.
- The Role of International Law in the Elimination of War. 1961. Oceana.
- Gorman, 2017, p 336.
- Baldwin, David A. (1995). "Security Studies and the End of the Cold War". World Politics. 48 (1): 117–141. ISSN 0043-8871.
- Fox, William T. R. (1970). ""The Truth Shall Make You Free": One Student's Appreciation of Quincy Wright". Journal of Conflict Resolution. 14 (4): 449–452. doi:10.1177/002200277001400404. JSTOR 173343. S2CID 145055233.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter W" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Deutsch, Karl W. (December 1970). "Quincy Wright's Contribution to the Study of War". Journal of Conflict Resolution. 14 (4): 473–478. doi:10.1177/002200277001400410. S2CID 154676850.
- "Dr. Quincy Wright, 79, Is Dead; Authority on International Law; Proponent of Understanding". New York Times. October 18, 1970.
- Falk, Richard A. (July 1972). "Quincy Wright: On Legal Tests of Aggressive War". American Journal of International Law. 66 (3): 560–571. doi:10.2307/2198728. JSTOR 2198728.
- Gorman, Daniel. "International Law and the International Thought of Quincy Wright, 1918–1945" Diplomatic History 41#2 (April 2017), pp 336–361, https://doi.org/10.1093/dh/dhw052;
- Thompson, Kenneth (2002). "Quincy Wright". In Utter, Glenn H.; Lockhart, Charles (eds.). American Political Scientists: A Dictionary. ABC-CLIO. pp. 448–449. ISBN 978-0-313-31957-0.
- Whiting, Allen S. (December 1970). "In Memoriam: Quincy Wright, 1890–1970—A Symposium". Journal of Conflict Resolution. 14 (4): 443–448. doi:10.1177/002200277001400403. hdl:2027.42/67868. S2CID 145577257.