In this lecture Professor Ian Morris will bring to bear the insights gained from over 30 years of scholarship investigating the development and organisation of human societies and their interactions with each other, their environment, and the resources available to them to explore the forces that drove the rise of the West to global dominance in the 16th-19th centuries and then those that have propelled China more recently. Professor Morris will also reflect on the resulting changes in the global order in the 21st century and where those might go next.
Ian Morris is a historian and archaeologist and holds Stanford University’s Jean and Rebecca Willard Professorship in Classics. He has been honoured with appointment to the Australian Army’s E G Keogh Chair for 2019.In addition to his Stanford appointment, Professor Morris is a Senior Fellow of the IDEAS think tank at the London School of Economics, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Toulouse, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society for the Arts, a Contributing Editor at the strategic forecasting company Stratfor, and a member of the scientific advisory board of the Max Planck Institute.
Professor Morris has published fourteen books, many of which focus on the evolution of human society and the factors that have driven major transformations. His most recent publications include Why the West Rules – for Now (2010), War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots (2014) and Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve (2015). He is currently writing a new book called Fog in the Channel: Britain, Europe and the Wider World, 6000 BC-AD 2103.
This lecture forms part of the annual Robert O’Neill War Studies Lecture series. Emeritus Professor Robert O’Neill, AO was Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) from 1971 to 1982 and remains an active part of the academic community. One of the world’s leading experts on strategic and security studies, O’Neill previously served as Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London (1982-1987); Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford University (1987-2000); Chairman of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (1995-2001); and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Imperial War Museum (1997-2001).