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Peace studies, Conflict resolution, oral history


International Relations | Oral History | Political Science


Professor Mel Gurtov was interviewed on May 21, 2020, by Jacob Hutchins in Portland, Oregon.

In this interview, Gurtov discusses his career trajectory and history, detailing his involvement with release of the Pentagon Papers and his work studying the Vietnam War for the government. He explains how he came to teach political science and international studies at Portland State University, and his part in building and implementing the Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution program. He gives his views on the nature and value of political science regarding international conflict, and answers questions about his shifting political position during the war and how it informed his career decisions.


Professor Mel Gurtov was a member of the Portland State University faculty in political science and international studies from1986 until his retirement in 2008. He specializes in China and U.S. foreign policy.


This interview is part of a series of oral histories given by former and current faculty members in the Conflict Resolution program at Portland State University. In spring 2020, public history students at PSU undertook this research as the program celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Portland State University presents these recordings as part of the historical record. They reflect the recollections and opinions of the individual speakers and are not intended to be representative of the views of Portland State University. They may contain language, ideas, or stereotypes that are offensive to others.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of "fair use" as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or screened for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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Interview with Mel Gurtov