PETER J. WOOLLEY
Professor of Political Science
Executive Director, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind
College at Florham
Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship
The popular astronomer Carl Sagan once wrote, “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” A superlative scholar, you have continually posed the boldest questions and unveiled illuminating answers.
The principal focus of your scrutiny has been Japanese military and diplomatic policies. In addition to numerous articles, reviews, book chapters and presentations, you’ve written two highly commended books on the topic, Geography and Japan’s Strategic Choices: From Seclusion to Internationalization, and Japan’s Navy: Politics and Paradox, 1971-2001, which provided a penetrating analysis of the expansion of the Japanese maritime defense forces.
But your passions extend far beyond the Pacific power. You were an advanced research scholar at the U.S. Naval War College. In 1997, your provocative piece examining the role of strategy in the decline of great powers earned you the prestigious Edward S. Miller Prize for the best historical article in the Naval War College Review. That groundbreaking article is now required reading for the U.S. Army War College’s Defense Strategy course.
You have long been an editorial board member and book review editor of the distinguished Journal of Conflict Studies, which is the first journal to focus exclusively on low-intensity conflicts.
You also are the co-editor of the widely used text, American Politics: Core Argument and Current Controversy. The book, now in its second edition, features a fascinating collection of classic and contemporary readings that reveal the essence of the American political process.
In 2002, you were named the executive director of the University’s fledgling survey research center known as PublicMind. Infused with your political savvy and guided by your spirited direction, PublicMind has become an impact player, with polls on elections, the economy, the war in Iraq and cultural topics from the Sopranos to the Super Bowl. Providing expert commentary to outlets as influential as The New York Times, the Associated Press and CBS, you have brought clarity to the news of the day. While you of course enjoy a good quote in the Times, your highlight was having the Sopranos actually refer on-air to one especially relevant Fairleigh Dickinson survey. Nothing like wise guys recognizing the brilliance of a real wise guy.
Our best research and mass polling indicates that your approval ratings have gone through the roof and, as such, you are a winner of the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.