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UT News

Her Majesty The Queen Awards Honorary Knighthood to Professor Philip Bobbitt

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NEW YORK — The British Consulate-General in New York is pleased to announce that Professor Philip Chase Bobbitt has been made an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE). The honorary knighthood was awarded in recognition of Bobbitt’s “services to UK/US relations and public life.”

Bobbitt is a Distinguished Senior Lecturer at The University of Texas in Austin, the Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence at Columbia University in New York and director of the Center on National Security at the Columbia Law School. He is most widely known in the U.K. for his work on international security and constitutional law, and he has published 10 books, mostly written from his home in London, including “The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History” and “Terror and Consent: The Wars for the 20th Century.” In 2004, Prospect magazine named him one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in Britain.

Besides a rich academic career, Bobbitt has been a devoted public servant and has served the U.S. government during seven administrations, Democratic and Republican. He earned a D. Phil. in modern history from the University of Oxford, where he was the Anderson senior research fellow at Nuffield College and a member of the Oxford modern history faculty. In 2011, he was elected to membership in the Common Room at All Souls College. He also has been the Marsh Christian fellow in War Studies at Kings College, the University of London; the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor at the Harvard Law School; and the Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor at the Yale Law School. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a former trustee of Princeton University. Bobbitt has served on the board of Wilton Park (a conference center of the Foreign Office) and the executive committee of the Anglo-US Pilgrims Society. He has also been a long-time friend to Kings College, Ditchley, and other British institutions.

After announcing the award, Antony Phillipson, the British consul general in New York and trade commissioner for North America, said: “I congratulate Professor Bobbitt on this well-deserved honor. For 40 years, his scholarship and influential writing have made significant contributions to international security to the benefit of all nations including the U.K. Through his many decades of study and teaching at leading U.K. and U.S. institutions, he has championed U.K.-U.S. cooperation.”

Upon accepting the title, Bobbitt said: “I’m greatly moved by this honor, which I take as a recognition and reaffirmation of certain bonds that link the United States and the United Kingdom — commitment to the rule of law, collective security, and the preservation of the values of liberal democracy—to which my work has been devoted. Our many friends in America and Britain I imagine will be deeply pleased. They all know, however, that I am only a placeholder for the countless persons who have long nurtured a tradition of mutual affection, esteem and reliance between our two countries.”

The U.K. honors system recognizes exceptional achievement and service to the nation and includes non- British nationals who receive honorary awards for their important contribution to British interests. All British honors are awarded on merit, and honorary awards are conferred by HM The Queen on the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917. Bobbitt may forthwith use “KBE” after his name should he wish to do so.