Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology

CMU's Home for Political Science and International Relations

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Researchers at Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Strategy and Technology are involved in cutting-edge, rigorous research about the relationship between power and governance, on the one hand, and political and technological innovation on the other. Their speaking, writing, teaching, and publications address the full range of crucial issues facing humankind in the twenty-first century.

Research Highlights

Meet Ignacio Arana, Assistant Professor

Prof. Arana specializes in elite behavior by analyzing how the personality traits and other individual differences of heads of government impact executive governance. Second, he studies the consequences of variation in political institutions across countries, with an emphasis on Latin America. He also examines executive-legislative relations, informal institutions, gender and politics, and judicial politics. His research interests include:

  • Heads of Government

  • Political Psychology

  • Comparative Political Institutions

  • Latin America

Meet Daniel Silverman, Assistant Professor

Prof. Silverman’s research focuses on international security, political psychology, and the politics of the Middle East and the wider Islamic world, with a particular emphasis on the psychological factors – including the biases and misperceptions – that drive conflicts, and how they can be mitigated or leveraged to promote peace. Current topics of interest include:
  • Lies and misinformation in war

  • What shapes public support for violent resistance groups

Additional Research Highlights

Audrey Kurth Cronin

Audrey Kurth Cronin, CMIST Director; Trustees Professor of Security and Technology

Prof. Cronin’s research focuses on how conflicts end and how lethal technology diffuses. From both research and field studies experience, she is an expert on the range of tools used to end conflicts--including negotiating, targeting leadership, undermining public support, reorienting the violence, and using military repression. She also explores how nonactors use accessible technologies such as robotics, cyber weapons, synthetic biology, autonomous systems, and various forms of artificial intelligence. She is also an expert in military technological innovation, especially the differences between 20th century innovation and processes of innovation and diffusion driven by commercial actors today. Her areas of expertise include:

  • Security, Military, Terrorism 

  • International Affairs

  • Government Relations and Policy

Baruch Fischhoff

Baruch Fischhoff, Howard Heinz University Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Prof. Fischhoff studies basic topics in judgment and decision making, prompted by engagement with public policy issues.  His current topics include:

  • THE USABILITY OF AI AIDS, TRAUMA TRIAGE, INFECTIOUS (AND PANDEMIC) DISEASE, AND MEDICAL INFORMED CONSENT

  • CLIMATE CHANGE, ELECTRIC VEHICLES, AND GLACIER PRESERVATION

Learn more about Prof. Fischhoff

Mark Kamlet

Mark Kamlet, University Professor of Economics and Public Policy; Chair of the Graduate Committee; Provost Emeritus

Prof. Kamlet’s research spans economics, statistics and public policy, and includes the impact of technological innovation on society, political polarization, cost-utility analysis, and U.S. budgetary and fiscal policy outcomes. His areas of study include:

  • How to reduce the social costs and increase the benefits of technological innovation

  • Polarization among U.S. political parties, media and elites

  • Cost-effectiveness and resource allocation in healthcare

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Justin Canfil, Assistant Professor

Professor Canfil's research examines the conditions under which emerging technologies become subject to international regulation. He is interested in efforts by arms controllers to engineer against technological creativity. These include attempts to negotiate "anticipatory" and "future-proof" international agreements. Another arm of his research investigates how policymakers (and their lawyers) respond when such efforts fail. He uses a combination of historical, experimental, and computational methods to explain real-world patterns over time. Current interest areas include:
  • International law, arms control, governance of emerging technologies

  • Military use of cyber and artificial intelligence

  • US and Chinese foreign policy

Kathleen Carley

Kathleen M. Carley, Professor of Computer Science, Institute for Software Research; IEEE Fellow; CASOS Director 

Dr. Carley specializes in network science, social cyber-security, and organizations. Her work is transdisciplinary, and employs a diverse range of methods including social and dynamic network analysis, visual analytics, machine learning, computational linguistics, agent based modeling, and generative AI. Computational social science applications include organizational design, influence, online harms (disinformation, hate-speech and extremism), and disasters. Social cybersecurity focus areas include:

  • Ensuring that people can work and play online without undue influence and fear

  • Emphasis in detecting, countering and mitigating the impact of online harmful behaviors

  • New technologies that employ network science and AI to detect inauthentic information

Jonathan Cervas

Jonathan Cervas, Assistant Teaching Professor (Fall '24)

Prof. Cervas’ research interests focus on American political institutions and political representation, with particular emphasis on how inequalities in institutions result in disparities among voters. His current areas of interest include:

  • Voting rights, vote dilution, and inequalities in voting

  • Elections, especially election integrity, election law, and election reform

  • Minority representation in electoral systems

  • Gerrymandering and redistricting

John Chin

John Chin, Assistant Teaching Professor

Prof. Chin's research interests are the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, with an emphasis on technologies of rebellion, authoritarian politics, and comparative democratization. His current areas of study include:

  • Coups d'état, self-coups, mass uprisings, and assassinations

  • Forecasting political instability

  • U.S. foreign policy / democracy promotion

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Molly Dunigan, Senior Lecturer

Prof. Dunigan's research focuses on the future of warfare, grand strategy, great power conflict dynamics, military privatization, outsourcing, operational contract support, civil–military relations, counterinsurgency, and maritime security. Her current areas of interest include:

  • Private security contracting

  • Civilian deployment

  • Strategic competition

Geoffrey McGovern

Geoffrey McGovern, Senior Lecturer

Prof. McGovern's research focuses on matters of civil justice, statutory compliance, alternative dispute resolution, environmental policy, health care law and policy, and defense acquisitions.  His current areas of study include:
  • Asbestos litigation

  • Civil law

  • State judicial resourcing and management

Forrest Morgan

Forrest Morgan, Senior Lecturer

Prof. Morgan’s areas of research focus on air and space power doctrine and strategy and the future of warfare. Specific topics include:

  • Deterrence

  • Escalation management

  • Crisis stability

  • Artificial intelligence

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Joshua Schwartz, Assistant Professor

Prof. Schwartz has several areas of research focus, including the global spread of armed drones, public support for the use of weapons of mass destruction, and the impact that the increase of female political leaders will have on international politics. His research addresses three interrelated questions:
  • What factors impact the spread of military technology around the world?

  • Under what conditions does the general public support the use of force or particular military technologies?

  • When is the use of military force and technology effective on the battlefield?

Learn more about Prof. Schwartz
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Haleigh Bartos, Associate Professor of the Practice

Prof. Bartos has substantial experience working in Washington, DC to support policy and at various NGOs.  Her current research interests span national security and terrorism, with a particular focus on terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa.

Select Publications

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Cronin, Audrey Kurth. "Hamas’s Asymmetric Advantage: What Does It Mean to Defeat a Terrorist Group?" Foreign Affairs Magazine, November 22, 2023.
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Fischhoff, Baruch. "Making Behavioral Science Integral to Climate Science and Action." Behavioural Public Policy 5, no. 4 (2021).
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KhudaBukhsh, Ashiqur R., Rupak Sarkar, Mark S. Kamlet, and Tom Mitchell. "We Don't Speak the Same Language: Interpreting Polarization through Machine Translation." In Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence 35, no. 17 (2021).
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Grofman, Bernard, and Jonathan Cervas. "Statistical Fallacies in Claims about ‘Massive and Widespread Fraud’ in the 2020 Presidential Election: Examining Claims Based on Aggregate Election Results." Statistics and Public Policy, DOI: 10.1080/2330443X.2023.2289529.
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Chin, John J., Kiron Skinner, and Clay Yoo. "Understanding National Security Strategies Through Time." Texas National Security Review 6, no. 4 (2023).
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Cervas, Jonathan, Bernard Grofman, and Scott Matsuda. "The Role Of State Courts In Constraining Partisan Gerrymandering In Congressional Elections." The University of New Hampshire Law Review 21, no. 2 (2023).
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Blair, Christopher W., and Joshua A. Schwartz. "The Gendered Peace Premium." International Studies Quarterly 67, no. 4 (2023).
Introducing ROLE: A Database of Rebel Leader Attributes in Armed Conflict
Acosta, Benjamin, Reyko Huang, and Daniel Silverman. “Introducing ROLE: A Database of Rebel Leader Attributes in Armed Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research 60, no. 2 (2023).
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"Dominant Personality and Politically Inexperienced Presidents Challenge Term Limits." Journal of Politics 85, no. 4, (2023).
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Cronin, Audrey Kurth. "How Private Tech Companies Are Reshaping Great Power Competition." The Kissinger Papers, (August 2023).
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New Mexico Republican Party v. Oliver. Brief amicus curiae of Dr. Jonathan Cervas, Paul Mitchell, Dr. Samuel S.-H. Wang, Roderick Kennedy, Election Reformers Network, Common Cause New Mexico, and League of Women Voters New Mexico, in support of neither party. 14 August 2023.
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Timoneda, Joan C., Abel Escribà-Folch, and John Chin. “The Rush to Personalize: Power Concentration after Failed Coups in Dictatorships.” British Journal of Political Science 53, no. 3 (2023).
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Silverman, Daniel, Daniel Kent, and Christopher Gelpi. “Putting Terror in its Place: An Experiment on Mitigating American Public Fears of Terrorism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 66, no.2 (2022).
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Cronin, Audrey Kurth. "Behind the Curve: Globalization and International Terrorism." International Security 27, no. 3 (2002).
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Su, Tsai-Tsu, Mark S. Kamlet, and David C. Mowery. “Modeling U.S. Budgetary and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: A Disaggregated, Systemwide Perspective.” American Journal of Political Science 37, no. 1 (1993).
Journal Publication: How Safe is Safe Enough? A Psychometric Study of Attitudes Towards Technological Risks and Benefits
Fischhoff, Baruch, Paul Slovic, Sarah Lichtenstein, Stephen Read, and Barbara Combs. "How Safe is Safe Enough? A Psychometric Study of Attitudes Towards Technological Risks and Benefits." Policy Sciences 9 (1978).

Faculty Bookshelf

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Covid Crisis Group, Lessons from the COVID War: An Investigative Report.  New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2023. 

(CMIST Prof. Baruch Fischhoff, contributing author)

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

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Cronin, Audrey Kurth. Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow's Terrorists. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2020. 

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Grisé, Jane Bloom, and Michelle C. Grisé. Civil Rights and Federal Courts: Juidice v. Vail. Northport, NY: Twelve Table Press, 2020.

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Dunigan, Molly. Victory for Hire: Private Security Companies' Impact on Military Effectiveness. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011.

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Fischhoff, Baruch, and John Kadvany. Risk: A Very Short Introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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Cronin, Audrey Kurth. How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009.