Founded in 1960 by Morris Janowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, the IUS provided a much-needed focal point for communication and criticism among those independently engaged in research on the armed forces at widely scattered universities and research centers. In this, our 50th anniversary year (2010), the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society today constitutes an "invisible college" for nearly 600 Fellows in over 35 countries. Fellows who make up the IUS include academics, military officers, students, and researchers in a variety of institutional settings, both private and public. Our Fellows represent various disciplines, including political science, sociology, history, psychology, economics, international relations, social work, anthropology, law, criminology, psychiatry, and human relations, to name just a few.
Strong, visionary, and internationally-oriented leadership has also defined the IUS. The late Sam C. Sarkesian, Loyola University Chicago, followed Morris Janowitz as IUS President and Chairman, serving from 1982 to 1989. The late Charles C. Moskos, Northwestern University, served as Chairman from 1989 to 1997 and as IUS President from 1989 to 1995. David R. Segal, University of Maryland College Park, assumed the Presidency in 1995. In 1997 Segal also became IUS Chairman, laying the groundwork for the first democratically elected IUS Council. John Allen (Jay) Williams, Loyola University Chicago, became the current IUS President and Chair at the Biennial International Conference of the IUS in Chicago in October of 2003.
Former IUS Presidents (left to right), the late Charles Moskos, Northwestern University; Sam Sarkesian, Loyola University Chicago; David R. Segal, University of Maryland College Park; and John Allen Williams, Loyola University Chicago.
The core premise of the IUS is that analysis of military institutions requires intellectual collaboration across university, organizational, disciplinary, theoretical, and national lines. IUS Fellows provide new perspectives on the study of military professionalism, civil-military relations, social composition of the armed forces, changes in force structure, public policy on defense-related issues, peacekeeping, arms control, conflict resolution, and more. The Fellows of the IUS differ widely in their strategic and political outlooks, but they all hold the common view that objective research on military organizations is a most worthy goal for which we should continually strive. They believe that such research, conducted along scholarly lines, makes an invaluable contribution to citizen understanding of armed forces.
That was the founding mission of the IUS in 1960, and it is our reality today.
Presidents of IUS
IUS Founding President and Chair (1960-1982)
Sam C. Sarkesian
IUS President and Chair (1982-1989)
Charles C. Moskos
IUS President (1989-1995) and Chair (1989-1997)
David R. Segal
IUS President (1995-2003) and Chair (1997-2003)
John Allen "Jay" Williams
IUS President and Chair (2003-2013)
Dr. James Burk
IUS President and Chair (2013-present)
Dr. Patricia M. Shields
IUS President and Chair (2020-current)