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Bio & CV

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Paul Poast is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a foreign affairs columnist for World Politics Review, and a research affiliate of the Pearson Institute for the Study of Global Conflicts.

At the University of Chicago, Paul serves as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Summer Institute for Social Research Methods. Additionally, he is a member of the Center for International Social Science Research advisory board, the College Council, and the Board of the University of Chicago Library. Paul also serves on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Survey Advisory Board.

Paul studies international politics, focusing on international security (e.g. the economics of warfare; the motivations for border fortification), diplomacy (e.g. the formation of alliances; the purpose of international organizations), and the use of data to study international relations. He is the author or co-author of three books, The Economics of War (McGraw Hill-Irwin, 2006), Organizing Democracy (w/ Johannes Urpelainen, University of Chicago Press, 2018), and Arguing About Alliances (Cornell University Press, 2019), as well as papers in academic journals such as International Organization, World Politics, Political Analysis, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.


His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and has received numerous awards and recognitions (notably the Walter Isard Award, the Bruce Russett Award, and the Lepgold Prize). Paul's commentary on foreign affairs appears regularly in a variety of global news outlets and forums, including the Telly award winning and CASE Circle of Excellence recognized "COVID 2025" video series.


Paul received a PhD from the University of Michigan, a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA from Miami University. Paul has taught courses at a number of universities including Universidad CEU San Pablo in Spain, Universität Konstanz in Germany, Rutgers University, where he was an assistant professor of political science, and The Ohio State University, where, prior to pursuing his PhD, he was a lecturer in the Department of Economics.


You can follow Paul (and his ISA Online Achievement Award recognized "threads") on Twitter/X at @ProfPaulPoast, on LinkedIn, and on Bluesky.

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