Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Christopher Layne

Dr. Christopher Layne Few people discover their passion in life, and even fewer are able to make it their career. One such fortunate individual is Dr. Christopher Layne, University Distinguished Professor, Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security, and professor of International Affairs at the Bush School.

Dr. Layne received both his undergraduate degree in international relations and his JD at the University of Southern California. He also holds a LLM in international law from the University of Virginia. Instead of immediately entering the practice of law, he then attended the University of California at Berkeley to earn his PhD in political science (international politics) and a Diploma in Historical Studies from Cambridge University. After receiving his PhD in June 1981, he clerked for a Federal District Court judge, and then practiced for eight years, specializing in antitrust law and appellate work. While a practicing attorney, he continued to maintain his interest in international relations, writing for publications including Foreign Policy, the National Interest, and Journal of Contemporary Studies. Ultimately, the pull of international relations would prove too strong; only a year away from making partner, Dr. Layne left his law firm to teach at UCLA.

After teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School and the University of Miami, Dr. Layne eventually found his way to the Bush School, where he teaches American foreign policy, grand strategy, and national security policy. His lifelong interest in research enhances his teaching as he brings new ideas and concepts to the classroom.

Since coming to the Bush School, Dr. Layne has written two books: The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the Present (Cornell University Press, 2006), and (with Bradley A. Thayer) and American Empire: A Debate (Routledge, 2006). The Peace of Illusions has been widely reviewed in such publications as: Foreign Affairs, Political Science Quarterly, and other leading scholarly journals. Dr. Layne has published four major articles in International Security, and also has published numerous other articles in scholarly journals and leading magazines and newspapers. For more information about Dr. Layne's publications go to the following link: https://bush.tamu.edu/faculty/clayne/.

When not teaching or doing research, Dr. Layne is an avid— some even say obsessive— baseball fan. His collection of books about the national pastime shares space on his office bookshelves with his professional books and journals. Dr. Layne's favorite teams include— in no particular order— the Dodgers, Angels, Cardinals (his grandfather was a bat boy for the Cardinals), Red Sox, and the Marlins. In addition to baseball, Dr. Layne never misses a USC football game on TV, another way he keeps a balance in his life.