The Quinlan Lecture 2004: Philip Bobbitt – “Scenarios and the War on Terrorism”

Noted Author and Former Presidential Adviser to Address Strategic Issues in War on Terrorism

Philip Bobbitt, holder of the A.W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas, and former counselor to the president, the state department, and the national security agency, will present the 24th annual Quinlan Lecture hosted by Oklahoma City University School of Law. Bobbitt’s lecture, “Scenarios and the War on Terrorism,” will take place Monday, April 5, at 5:00 p.m., in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom, Sarkeys Law Center, at NW 23rd and Kentucky. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Professor Bobbitt’s fields of expertise include constitutional law, international security, and the history of strategy. Referring to Bobbitt’s writing as “… notably extensive, uncommonly learned, and acutely original,” OCU LAW Professor Arthur LeFrancois observed, “In post-Murrah and 9/11 America, his subject is particularly resonant.” Bobbitt himself notes that the lecture comes at “a fearful time, a time that will call on all our resources, moral as well as intellectual and material.”

OCU LAW dean Lawrence K. Hellman noted, “Part of the mission of OCU LAW is to foster discussion of issues of national and international importance among our students and faculty, and also throughout the community at large. We are especially pleased to have attracted a scholar and policy-maker of Professor Bobbitt’s stature and influence to Oklahoma City. His appearance is certain to stimulate consideration of issues of utmost importance to our nation.”

The author of many articles in law reviews and in the popular press, Professor Bobbitt has published six books, most recently, “The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History.” It is, by any standard, a watershed work. The Times Literary Supplement and The Economist named it one of the best books of 2002. It was the 2003 Grand Prize Winner for the Robert W. Hamilton Awards. Reviewers have referred to the book as “epic,” “magisterial,” “brilliant,” and “masterly.” It is reported to have become “required reading” for state department and military officials around the world.

“The Shield of Achilles” was essentially finished before the events of September 11. In it, Bobbitt examines how the rise of entities such as al Qaeda has transformed the nature of war and produced changes in statecraft as profound as history has seen. Emphasizing the interrelatedness of war and the state, of force and legitimacy, of strategy and law, he argues that methods of terror should be anticipated by strategy rather than merely prosecuted as crime. Bobbitt predicts that from the war against terrorism a new constitution for international order will emerge.

Professor Bobbitt was educated at Princeton, Yale Law School, and Oxford. He is a member of the American Law Institute, The Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He has served as Associate Counsel to the President; the Counselor on International Law at the State Department; Legal Counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra Committee; and Director for Intelligence, Senior Director for Critical Infrastructure, and Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council. He is a former trustee of Princeton University and a former member of the Oxford University Modern History Faculty and the War Studies Department of Kings College, London.

The Quinlan Lecture is named for long-time Oklahoma City University School of Law professor Wayne Quinlan. Born in 1917 in Woods County, OK, Professor Quinlan received his B.A. from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He received his M.A. and LL.B degrees from the University of Oklahoma. His education was interrupted by a 3½ year period of military service during World War II. He had a distinguished private practice and served as a Special Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1966 and 1967. He taught at Oklahoma City University from 1952 until his death in 1981. Professor Quinlan’s love for constitutional law and American history inspired the faculty to name this annual lecture in his honor.

Oklahoma City University School of Law is fully approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It offers full- and part-time degree programs and serves a diverse student body of approximately 600, including many working professionals and other non-traditional students. Approximately half of its students come from outside Oklahoma, and its nearly 5,000 alumni practice in every state and several foreign countries. For more information about the School of Law, visit the Web site at