The Public Lecture of Vincent Woo Distinguished Visiting Scholar Programme 2014/15 was held on 9 October, during which Prof Stathis N Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence, Yale University, spoke on the topic “What We Know and We Don’t Know about Civil Wars”.
Civil wars are the most prevalent form of contemporary war. Currently, civil wars in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Ukraine dominate the news. During the past fifteen years, the comparative study of civil wars has made progress in pinpointing their causes and explaining their dynamics, duration, the ways in which they end, and their long-term impact. At the public lecture, Prof Kalyvas reviewed the most robust findings of this literature and discussed its shortcomings, as well as the future avenues for research.
The public lecture was part of the “Vincent Woo Distinguished Visiting Scholar Programme” established in 1999 with the generous endowment given by Dr Vincent Woo Wing-fai. The Programme provides funding for the University to invite an internationally renowned scholar to stay on campus for a week each year to give a public lecture, hold seminars with staff and students, and give advice to various academic departments.