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What is WAIS?

On-line continuously since the pre-Internet days, the World Association of International Studies can legitimately claim to operate the oldest e-journal in the world.

WAIS as an independent, non-profit association traces its roots back to its founding in 1965, as the California Institute of International Studies (CIIS).  Prof. Ronald Hilton (1911-2007) of Stanford University directed CIIS/WAIS for over four decades, during which time he assembled a worldwide network of scholars, historians, business leaders, lawyers, journalists, military officers, diplomats and sundry other experts.  Beginning in 1970, CIIS/WAIS published the paper-and-ink journal World Affairs Report, but in the early 1980s Prof. Hilton saw the possibilities of connecting an international scholarly community in real-time through the wonders of computer technology.  Beginning in 1983 WAR became accessible to 15,000 university terminals through the DIALOG computer system.  The Stanford Campus Report stated in a March 9, 1983 article that WAR was the first journal of any kind to make its entire text available on-line.

Now under the editorship of Prof. Hilton's successor, John Eipper, a Hispanist at Adrian College (Michigan), WAIS carries on daily discussions among its 250+ correspondents in 30 nations on topics far and wide.  The WAIS goals are analysis and insight.  We are not constrained by any single ideology--indeed, "WAISers" represent the entire spectrum of political views, from Left/Marxist to US Democratic to Republican to Right/Libertarian. 

Readers of WAR will meet apologists for US foreign policy, as well as scathing critics of the same.  We have pro-EU internationalists and isolationists of all stripes.  Defenders of the present government in Iran and proponents of its overthrow.  Protectionists and lovers of free trade.  Idealists and Realists in International Relations.  Our only requirement is that correspondents make a good-faith effort to convey an informed Truth ("veritas" is the third part of our motto--Pax, Lux et Veritas), and that they avoid ad hominem attacks on other WAIS members.  Discuss ideas, not people, we say.  Yet given the spectrum of ideas represented by our membership, it is no surprise that WAIS discussions can occasionally get heated.

Prof. Hilton always described himself as a mugwump, someone who accepts no ideological position without a healthy dose of skepticism (now we might term such an attitude "critical thinking").  Now in its 50th year, WAIS/WAR continues to operate fearlessly in the mugwumpish tradition.

The WAISworld.org portal, our virtual home since September 2010, archives over 33,000 postings and essays, representing the collective wisdom of WAR from 1997 to the present.  Postings are fully searchable using the box in the upper right section of the homepage. Thanks to the recent efforts of our IT Team, WAIS postings from 1997 through 2004 (prior to the launch of the current portal) have also been added to the main database, so our members can search, comment and reply to every post ever displayed on the World Wide Web in one place. 

All WAIS postings reflect the views of the individual authors only.  Questions and comments, including inquiries about becoming a Corresponding Fellow, can be directed to the Editor:  waisforums@waisworld.org

A phonological note:  our beloved acronym "WAIS" rhymes with the English words "nice" and "spice"--and WAIS postings contain a bit of both.  It does not rhyme with "mace," "race," "space" or "disgrace."

WAIS is one big international network whose aim is to promote peace across cultural, religious, and political boundaries.  --Ronald Hilton

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