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Global Issues

Understanding Global Security


“The rise of China, simmering tensions between India and Pakistan, and a burgeoning nuclear rivalry between Israel and Iran give geopolitics a new edge,” notes Pitt professor Phil Williams.

Williams directs Pitt’s Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies, which investigates such security problems as counterinsurgencies and the rise of multinational organized crime. The center is dedicated to educating the next generation of security analysts and producing scholarship and impartial analysis that informs the options available to policymakers dealing with international and human security on a global scale.

The center is named for U.S. Army General Matthew B. Ridgway, who is credited with salvaging the United Nations' cause during the Korean War. After retiring as Chief of Staff of the Army in 1955, Ridgway chaired the board of The Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh.



As its name implies, Pitt’s Ford Institute for Human Security, directed by professor Louis Picard, promotes effective responses to threats faced by individuals and their communities as a result of conflict and deprivation. To that end, the institute conducts research on the causes and consequences of political violence and economic underdevelopment and works to advance the idea that governments have a sovereign responsibility to protect their people. Recent activities have included a lecture and film series dedicated to humanitarian issues in Sudan, Congo, and Chad.