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Introducing: Lukas Milevski

Lukas Milevski is a lecturer in International Studies at the Institute for History. He introduces himself.

When people ask me where I am from, especially at conferences, I tend to laugh. Are they asking where I was born, what nationality I am, or what institution I represent? It is not an easy question to answer as I am a Latvian-American dual citizen, born in the United States. Yet I finished high school in Latvia and then studied in Britain, where I lived for nearly ten years. And now of course I live in the Netherlands and academically represent a Dutch higher education institution—Leiden University, where I have now taught for two years, primarily military strategy and international security.

All my studies have been in war and strategy, from a BA in War & Security Studies to an MA in Strategic Studies, and a PhD in strategy—specifically on the evolution of modern grand strategic thought—completed in 2014 and published by Oxford University Press as The Evolution of Grand Strategic Thought in 2016. Prior to joining Leiden in autumn 2016, I spent two years as a visiting researcher at the Changing Character of War program at the University of Oxford, where I was funded to write my second book, The West’s East: Contemporary Baltic Defense in Strategic Perspective, published by Oxford University Press in 2018.

My research interests are in one sense quite narrow as I am interested only in the field of strategic studies and only think about other fields inasmuch as they can be related to military strategy. Yet my research interests are also quite broad, as I am interested in the entire field of strategic studies, and have already written on topics ranging from strategic theory to grand strategy, strategic culture, nuclear strategy, cyber power, military operations, defense policy, and Baltic defense. At the moment I am particularly interested in the effect caused by the introduction of military force into a pre-existing political relationship and how that affects the utility of other instruments of political power. I have a short monograph forthcoming in 2019 relating to this topic, to be published by the US Army War College Press.

I always have numerous projects on-going simultaneously. One major career goal suffuses all my work, whether in research and publication or in teaching: to leave the field better and stronger than I found it, with more robust ideas and understanding of the history, theory, and practice of strategy, along with a vigorous new generation of scholars to follow me.

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