Carnegie Mellon University

John Chin

John Chin

Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology

  • Posner Hall 376
  • 412-268-3855


John J. Chin is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology (CMIST). He previously held appointments as a research coordinator and postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Politics and Strategy at CMU. His academic interests span international relations and comparative politics. His research focuses on technologies of rebellion (coups d'état, self-coups, mass protest and nonviolent revolution, and assassinations), authoritarian politics, comparative democratization, and forecasting political instability. 

Dr. Chin is the lead author of an Historical Dictionary of Modern Coups D'état (2022), which was named one of the “Best Historical Materials” published in 2022-2023 by the American Library Association. His research has been published in peer-reviewed political science journals such as the British Journal of Political ScienceComparative Political StudiesFrontiers in Political ScienceInternational Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Chinese Political Science, and the Texas National Security Review. He has also written for non-academic audiences in the Brown Journal of World AffairsDuck of Minerva, the Georgetown Journal of International AffairsPolitical Violence at a GlanceThe Monkey Cage, and the Washington Post

John earned a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, M.P.P. from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. Before entering academia, he was an international affairs analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.

He regularly teaches courses in CMIST on International Relations, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Nonviolent Conflict and Revolution, and The Future of Democracy. He also intermittently teaches courses related to International Human Rights, Civil-Military Relations, and Collaborative Research in Political Science. 


Chin, John J.,  Joseph G. Wright, and David B. Carter. Historical Dictionary of Modern Coups D’état. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield (2022).

John J. Chin, Kiron Skinner, and Clay Yoo. “Understanding National Security Strategies through Time.” Texas National Security Review 6, no. 4 (2023): 103-124.
John J. Chin and Jessica Kirkpatrick. “African Coups D’état in the Covid-19 Era: A Current History.” Frontiers in Political Science 5 (2023): 1-20.
Joan C. Timoneda, Abel Escribà-Folch, and John J. Chin. “The Rush To Personalize: How Dictators Concentrate Power after a Failed Coup.” British Journal of Political Science (2023): 1-24.
John J. Chin, Wonjun Song, and Joseph G. Wright. “Personalization of Power and Mass Uprisings in Dictatorships.” British Journal of Political Science 53, no. 1 (2023): 25-44. 
John J. Chin, Abel Escribà-Folch, Wonjun Song, and Joseph G. Wright. “Reshaping the Threat Environment: Personalism, Coups, and Assassinations.” Comparative Political Studies 55, no. 4 (2022): 657-687.
Jonathan Pinckney and John J. Chin. “Activists Against Autocrats: Democratic Diffusion Through Transnational Social Movements.” Frontiers in Political Science 3 (2021): 1-15.
John J. Chin, David B. Carter, and Joseph G. Wright. “The Varieties of Coups d’état: Introducing the Colpus Dataset.” International Studies Quarterly 65, no. 4 (2021): 1040-1051.

John J. Chin. “Nonviolent Revolution in China: Past and Prospects,” Chapter 32 in Routledge Handbook of Chinese Studies. Chris Shei and Weixiao Wei eds. New York: Routledge (2021): 465-478.

John J. Chin. “The Longest March: Why China’s Democratization Is Not Imminent.” Journal of Chinese Political Science 23, no. 1 (2018): 63-82.