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Joshua Schwartz

Joshua Schwartz

Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology

  • Posner Hall 370
  • 412-268-2451


Joshua A. Schwartz is an Assistant Professor in the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology (CMIST). His research focuses on questions related to the effectiveness of military force and threats, public support for the use of force, and the spread of military technology around the world. Dr. Schwartz has written widely on topics such as the global proliferation of armed drones and their counter-terrorism effectiveness, public support for the use of weapons of mass destruction, the role of gender stereotypes in international politics, and even the limitations of dragon power in Game of Thrones. His academic work has been published or is forthcoming in International OrganizationInternational SecurityJournal of Conflict ResolutionInternational Studies QuarterlySecurity StudiesConflict Management and Peace Science, and Environmental Politics. You can also find his policy commentary in Foreign AffairsThe Washington PostBulletin of the Atomic ScientistsPolitical Violence at a Glance, and Defense One.

Dr. Schwartz is currently working on a book titled, “Dovish Reputation Theory: When Backing Down Makes Sense.” This project challenges a widely held rationale for war among policymakers and scholars, which is that states should avoid backing down from conflict because doing so will inevitably harm their future credibility and reputation for resolve. This logic has been used to justify consequential military interventions, such as the Vietnam War, which led to tens of thousands of American deaths and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese deaths. Instead, Dr. Schwartz argues that choosing to fight rather than back down can sometimes backfire by making adversaries believe that a war-weary country is less likely to stand firm in the future. 

Before joining CMU, Dr. Schwartz received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and his BA in Political Science and Economics from the George Washington University. He was also a Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Predoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Grand Strategy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Hans J. Morgenthau fellow at the University of Notre Dame, and a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Emerging Scholar. 


“When Foreign Countries Push The Button: Public Support for Foreign Nuclear Use.” Accepted at International Security.

The Gendered Peace Premium.” Accepted at International Studies Quarterly (with Christopher W. Blair). 

  • Winner of the 2022 APSA Presidents and Executive Politics Section David Naveh Founders Award for Best Graduate Student Paper

Fossil Fuel Divestment and Public Climate Change Policy Preferences: An Experimental Test in Three Countries.” Environmental Politics (with Paul Lendway and Abolfazl Nuri).

Madman or Mad Genius? The International Benefits and Domestic Costs of the Madman Strategy.” 2023. Security Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 271-305.

Do Armed Drones Counter Terrorism, Or Are They Counterproductive? Evidence from Eighteen Countries.” 2022. International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 3 (with Matthew Fuhrmann and Michael C. Horowitz).

The Two Faces of Opposition to Chemical Weapons: Sincere Versus Insincere Norm-Holders.” 2022. Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 66, No. 4-5, pp. 677-702 (with Christopher W. Blair and Jonathan A. Chu).

Who’s Prone to Drone? A Global Time-Series Analysis of Armed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Proliferation.” 2022. Conflict Management and Peace Science, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 119-142 (with Michael C. Horowitz and Matthew Fuhrmann).

Do Women Make More Credible Threats? Gender Stereotypes, Audience Costs, and Crisis Bargaining.” 2020. International Organization, Vol. 74, No. 4, pp. 872-895 (with Christopher W. Blair).

  • Winner of the 2019 Special Competition for Young Investigators, Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS)