Jack S. Levy

Senior Research Scholar, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies Board of Governors' Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

Jack S. Levy is a Board of Governors’ Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, and a Senior Research Scholar at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.  His research focuses primarily on the causes of war, foreign policy decision-making, and qualitative methodology.

Levy is past president of the International Studies Association and of the Peace Science Society.  He has held tenured positions at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Minnesota, and visiting or adjunct positions at Tulane University, Stanford University, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and New York University.  Levy received the American Political Science Association’s Helen Dwight Reid Award for the best dissertation in International Relations as well as the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association.

Levy received a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Leonie Huddy, David O. Sears, Jack S. Levy, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, 2nd ed. (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson, The Arc of War: Origins, Escalation, and Transformation (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Jack S. Levy, and William R. Thompson, Causes of War (Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

Gary Goertz, and Jack S. Levy, eds., Explaining War and Peace: Case Studies and Necessary Condition Counterfactuals (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2007).

Paul W. Schroeder, Systems, Stability, and Statecraft: Essays on the International History of Modern Europe, eds. Robert Jervis, David Wetzel, and Jack Levy, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

War in the Modern Great Power System, 1495-1975 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1983).

Jack S. Levy, “Political Decision-Making,Political Psychology, ed. Christopher J. Hewer and Evanthia Lyons (London: BPS Wiley, 2018), chapter 9.

Book Chapters

“The Sources of Preventive Logic in German Decision-making in 1914,” in The Outbreak of the First World War: Structure, Politics, and Decision-Making, ed. Jack Levy and John Vasquez (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

“International War,” in Concise Encyclopedia of Comparative Sociology, ed. Masamichi Sasaki, Jack A. Goldstone, Ekkart Zimmermann, and Stephen K. Sanderson (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2014).

“Interstate War and Peace,” Handbook of International Relations, 2nd ed., eds. Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, and Beth A. Simmons (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2013).

Leonie Huddy, David O. Sears, and Jack S. Levy, “Introduction: Theoretical Foundations of Political Psychology,” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, 2nd ed., ed. Leonie Huddy, David O. Sears, and Jack S. Levy (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013).

“Psychology and Foreign Policy Decision-Making,” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, 2nd ed., eds. Leonie Huddy, David O. Sears, and Jack S. Levy (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Jack S. Levy, “The ‘Paths-to-War’ Concept,” in What Do We Know about War, ed. John A. Vasquez (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).

Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jack S. Levy, “British Grand Strategy and the Rise of Germany, 1933-1936,” The Challenge of Grand Strategy: The Great Powers and the Broken Balance between the World Wars, eds. Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, Norrin M. Ripsman, and Steven E. Lobell (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

“Theories and Causes of War,” in The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, eds. Christopher Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2011).

“Preface,” in Major Powers and the Quest for Status in International Politics: Global and Regional Perspectives, eds. Thomas J. Volgy, Renato Corbetta, Ryan G. Baird, and Keith A. Grant (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, 2011).

“Case Studies and Conflict Resolution,” The SAGE Handbook of Conflict Resolution, eds. Jacob Bercovitch, Victor Kremenyuk, and I. William Zartman (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009).

“Power Transition Theory and the Rise of China,” in China’s Ascent: Power, Security, and the Future of International Politics, eds. Robert S. Ross and Zhu Feng (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008).

“Counterfactuals and Case Studies,” in Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology, eds. Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Henry Brady, and David Collier (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Gary Goertz, Jack S. Levy, “Causal Explanation, Necessary Conditions, and Case Studies,” Explaining War and Peace: Case Studies and Necessary Condition Counterfactuals, eds. by Gary Goertz and Jack S. Levy (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2007).

“Theory, Evidence, and Politics in the Evolution of Research Programs,” in Theory and Evidence in Comparative Politics and International Relations, eds. Richard Ned Lebow and Mark Lichbach (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Jack S. Levy, “Preventive War and the Bush Doctrine: Theoretical Logic and Historical Roots,” in Understanding The Bush Doctrine: Psychology and Strategy in an Age of Terrorism, ed. Stanley A. Renshon and Peter Suedfeld (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2007).

“International Sources of Interstate and Intrastate War,” in Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World, eds. Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007).

“Policy and Politics in Security Studies,” in The Evolution of Political Knowledge: Democracy, Autonomy, and Conflict in Comparative and International Politics, eds. Edward D. Mansfield and Richard Sisson (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2004).

“What Do Great Powers Balance Against and When?” in Balance of Power Revisited: Theory and Practice in the 21st Century, eds. T.V. Paul, James Wirtz, and Michel Fortmann (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004).

Joseph R. Gochal, and Jack S. Levy, “Crisis Mismanagement or Conflict of Interests? A Case Study of the Crimean War,” Multiple Paths to Knowledge in International Relations: Methodology in the Study of Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution, eds. Zeev Maoz et al (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 2004).

Jack S. Levy and Jonathan M. DiCicco, “The Power Transition Research Program: A Lakatosian Analysis,” in Progress in International Relations Theory: Appraising the Field, eds. Colin Elman and Miriam Fendius Elman (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003).

“Political Psychology and Foreign Policy,” in Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, ed. David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Jervis (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2003).

“Economic Interdependence, Opportunity Costs, and Peace,” in Economic Interdependence and International Conflict: New Perspectives on an Enduring Debate, eds. Edward D. Mansfield and Brian M. Pollins (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003).

“Necessary Conditions in Case Studies: Preferences, Constraints, and Choices in July 1914,” in Necessary Conditions: Theory, Methodology, and Applications, eds. Gary Goertz and Harvey Starr (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

Katherine Barbieri, and Jack S. Levy, “The Trade Disruption Hypothesis and the Liberal Economic Theory of Peace,” in Globalisation and Armed Conflict, eds. Gerald Schneider, Katherine Barbieri, and Nils Petter Gleditsch (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

“Balances and Balancing: Concepts, Propositions, and Research Design,” in Realism and the Balancing of Power: A New Debate, eds. John A. Vasquez and Colin Elman (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2003).

“War and Peace,” in Handbook of International Relations, eds. Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, and Beth A. Simmons (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2002).

“Qualitative Methods in International Relations,” in Millennial Reflections on International Studies, eds. Michael Brecher and Frank P. Harvey (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002).

“Explaining Events and Testing Theories: History, Political Science, and the Analysis of International Relations,” in Bridges and Boundaries: Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study of International Relations, eds. Colin Elman and Miriam Fendius Elman (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001).

“Theories of Interstate and Intrastate War: A Levels-of-Analysis Approach,” in Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict, eds. Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2001).

Ronald R. Krebs, and Jack S. Levy, “Demographic Change and the Sources of International Conflict,” Demography and National Security, eds. Myron Weiner and Sharon Stanton Russell (New York: Berghahn Books, 2001).

Jack S. Levy, Thomas C. Walker, and Martin S. Edwards, “Continuity and Change in the Evolution of War,” in War in a Changing World, eds. Zeev Maoz and Azar Gat (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2001).

“Reflections on the Scientific Study of War,” in What Do We Know about War? ed. John A. Vasquez (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).

“The Implications of Framing and Loss Aversion for International Conflict,” in Handbook of War Studies II, ed. Manus I. Midlarsky (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000).

“The Rise and Decline of the Anglo-Dutch Rivalry, 1609-1689,” in Great Power Rivalries, ed. William R. Thompson (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1999).

Jack S. Levy and Salvatore Ali, “From Commercial Competition to Strategic Rivalry to War: The Evolution of the Anglo-Dutch Rivalry, 1609-1652,” in The Dynamics of Enduring Rivalries, ed. Paul F. Diehl (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1998).

“Prospect Theory and the Cognitive-Rational Debate,” in Decisionmaking on War and Peace: The Cognitive-Rational Debate, eds. Nehemia Geva and Alex Mintz (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1997).

“The Evolution of Militarized Interstate Disputes,” in The Process of War: Advancing the Scientific Study of War, eds. Stuart A. Bremer and Thomas R. Cusack (Abingdon, UK: Gordon and Breach, 1996).

“Learning from Experience in U.S. and Soviet Foreign Policy,” in From Rivalry to Cooperation: Soviet and American Perspectives on the Post-Cold War Era, eds. Manus I. Midlarsky, John A. Vasquez, and Peter Gladkov (New York: HarperCollins, 1994).

Jack S. Levy and Lily I. Vakili, “Diversionary Action by Authoritarian Regimes: Argentina in the Falklands/Malvinas Case,” in The Internationalization of Communal Strife, ed. Manus I. Midlarsky (Abingdon, UK: Routlege, 1992).

“Long Cycles, Hegemonic Transitions, and the Long Peace,” in The Long Postwar Peace, ed. Charles W. Kegley, Jr. (New York: HarperCollins, 1991).

“The Role of Crisis Mismanagement in the Origins of World War I,” Avoiding War: Problems of Crisis Management, ed. Alexander L. George (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991).

T. Clifton Morgan, and Jack S. Levy, “Base Stealers versus Power Hitters: A Nation-State Level Analysis of the Frequency and Seriousness of War,” in Prisoners of War? eds. Charles S. Gochman and Alan Ned Sabrosky (New York: Lexington Books, 1990).

“The Diversionary Theory of War: A Critique,” in Handbook of War Studies, ed. Manus I. Midlarsky (Crows Nest, Australia: Unwin-Hyman, 1989).

“War and Perception,” International Conflict and Crisis Management, 2nd ed., eds. Robert O. Matthews, Arthur G. Rubinoff, and Janice Gross Stein (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989).

“The Causes of War: A Review of Theories and Evidence,” Behavior, Society, and Nuclear War, vol. I, eds. Philip E. Tetlock, Jo L. Husbands, Robert Jervis, Paul C. Stern, and Charles Tilly (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1989).

“Quantitative Studies of Deterrence Success and Failure,” in Perspectives on Deterrence, eds., Paul C. Stern, Robert Axelrod, Robert Jervis, and Roy Radner (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1989).

T. Clifton Morgan, and Jack S. Levy, “The Structure of the International System and the Frequency and Seriousness of War,” in Persistent Patterns and Emergent Structures in a Waning Century, ed. Margaret P. Karns (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1986).

Jack S. Levy and Michael Froelich, “The Causes of the Iran-Iraq War,” The Regionalization of War, eds. James Brown and William P. Snyder (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books, 1985).

“The Polarity of the System and International Stability: An Empirical Analysis,” in Polarity and War: The Changing Structure of International Conflict, ed., Alan Ned Sabrosky (New York: Westview, 1985).

“World System Analysis: A Great Power Framework,” in Contending Approaches to World System Analysis, ed., William R. Thompson, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1983).

Jack S. Levy and John A. Vasquez, ““Introduction: Historians, Political Scientists, and
the Causes of the First World War,” in The Outbreak of the First World War: Structure,
Politics, and Decision-Making, ed. Jack S. Levy and John A. Vasquez (Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Journal Articles

Phillip Streich and Jack Levy, “Information, Commitment, and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905,” Foreign Policy Analysis 12 (2016): 489-511.

“Counterfactuals, Causal Inference, and Historical Analysis,” Security Studies 24, 3 (2015): 378-402.

Jack S. Levy, Michael K. McKoy, Paul Poast, and Geoffrey P.R. Wallace “Backing Out or Backing In? Commitment and Consistency in Audience Costs Theory,” American Journal of Political Science 59, 4 (2015): 988-1001.

Jack S. Levy and Jack Snyder, Correspondence: “Everyone’s favored Year for War – or Not?” International Security 39, 4 (2015): 208-17.

Patrick Shea, Terence K. Teo and Jack Levy, “Opposition Politics and International Crises: A Formal Model,” International Studies Quarterly 58, no. 4 (2014): 741-51.

Halvard Buhaug, Jack Levy and Henrik Urdal, “50 Years of Peace Research: An Introduction to the Journal of Peace Research Anniversary Special Issue,” Journal of Peace Research 51, no. 2 (2014): 139-44.

“Has Violence Declined in World Politics? A Discussion of Joshua S. Goldstein’s Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide,” Perspectives on Politics 11, no. 2 (2013): 566.

“Coercive Threats, Audience Costs, and Case Studies,” Security Studies 21, no. 3 (2012): 383.

David W. Blagden, Jack S. Levy, and William R. Thompson, “Sea Powers, Continental Powers, and Balancing Theory,” International Security 36, no. 2 (2011): 190.

Patricia T. Young, and Jack S. Levy, “Domestic Politics and the Escalation of Commercial Rivalry: Explaining the War of Jenkins’ Ear, 1739-48,” European Journal of International Relations 17, no. 2 (2011): 209.

“The Initiation and Spread of the First World War: Interdependent Decisions,” Foreign Policy Analysis 7, no. 2 (2011): 183.

“Preventive War: Concept and Propositions,” International Interactions 37, no. 1 (2011): 87.

Jack S. Levy, and William R. Thompson, “Balancing on Land and at Sea: Do States Ally Against the Leading Global Power?” International Security 35, no. 1 (2010): 7.

Uri Bar-Joseph, and Jack S. Levy, “Conscious Action and Intelligence Failure,” Political Science Quarterly 124, no. 3 (2009): 461.

Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jack S. Levy, “Debating British Decisionmaking toward Nazi Germany in the 1930s,” International Security 34, no. 1 (2009): 173.

Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jack S. Levy, “Wishful Thinking or Buying Time? The Logic of British Appeasement in the 1930s,” International Security 33, no. 2 (2008): 148.

“Deterrence and Coercive Diplomacy: The Contributions of Alexander George,” Political Psychology 29, no. 4 (2008): 537.

“Preventive War and Democratic Politics,” International Studies Quarterly 52, no. 1 (2008): 1.

“Case Studies: Types, Designs, and Logics of Inference,” Conflict Management and Peace Science 25, no. 1 (2008): 1.

Philip Streich, and Jack S. Levy, “Time Horizons, Discounting, and Intertemporal Choice,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51, no. 2 (2007): 199.

“Qualitative Methods and Cross-Method Dialogue in Political Science,” Comparative Political Studies 40, no. 2 (2007): 196.

Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jack S. Levy, “The Preventive War that Never Happened: Britain, France, and the Rise of Germany in the 1930s,” Security Studies 16, no. 1 (2007): 32.

“Well Worth the Wait,” Qualitative Methods 4 (2006): 40.

Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson, “Hegemonic Threats and Great Power Balancing in Europe, 1495-2000,” Security Studies 14, no. 1 (2005): 1.

William F. Mabe, Jr, and Jack S. Levy, “Politically Motivated Opposition to War,” International Studies Review 6, no. 4 (2004): 65.

Jack S. Levy and Katherine Barbieri, “Trading with the Enemy during Wartime,” Security Studies 13, no. 3 (2004): 1.

Raymond Dacey, and Jack S. Levy, “Aspects of Contemporary Decision Analysis,” Synthese 135, no. 2 (2003):165.

“Applications of Prospect Theory to Political Science,” Synthese 135, no. 2 (2003): 215.

“Daniel Kahneman: Judgment, Decision, and Rationality,” PS: Political Science and Politics 35, no. 2 (June 2002): 271.

Jack S. Levy. with Joseph R. Gochal, “Democracy and Preventive War: Israel and the 1956 Sinai Campaign,” Security Studies 11, no. 2 (2001-02): 49.

Katherine Barbieri, and Jack S. Levy, “Does War Impede Trade? A Response to Anderton and Carter,” Journal of Peace Research 38, no. 5 (2001): 619.

Jonathan M. DiCicco, and Jack S. Levy, “Power Shifts and Problem Shifts: The Evolution of the Power Transition Research Program,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 43, no. 6 (1999): 675.

Katherine Barbieri, and Jack S. Levy, “Sleeping With the Enemy: The Impact of War on Trade,” Journal of Peace Research 36, no. 4 (1999): 463.

“Misperception and the Use of Force: A Commentary on Ralph White’s ‘American Acts of Force,'” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 4, no. 2 (1998): 129.

“The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace,” Annual Review of Political Science 1 (June 1998): 39.

Richard R. Lau and Jack S. Levy, “Contributions of Behavioral Decision Theory to Research in Political Science,” Applied Psychology: An International Review 47, no. 1 (1998): 29.

“Too Important to Leave to the Other: History and Political Science in the Study of International Relations,” International Security 22, no. 1 (1997): 22.

“Prospect Theory, Rational Choice, and International Relations,” International Studies Quarterly 41, no. 1 (1997): 87.

“Loss Aversion, Framing, and Bargaining: The Implications of Prospect Theory for International Conflict,” International Political Science Review 17, no. 2 (1996): 179.

“The Theoretical Foundations of Paul W. Schroeder’s International System,” International History Review 16, no. 4 (1994): 715.

“The Democratic Peace Hypothesis: From Description to Explanation,” Mershon International Studies Review 38, no. 2 (1994): 352.

“Learning and Foreign Policy: Sweeping a Conceptual Minefield,” International Organization 48, no. 2 (1994): 279.

Jack S. Levy and Michael N. Barnett, “Alliance Formation, Domestic Political Economy, and Third World Security,” Jerusalem Journal of International Relations 14, no. 4 (1992): 19.

“An Introduction to Prospect Theory,” Political Psychology 13, no. 2 (1992): 171.

“Prospect Theory and International Relations: Theoretical Applications and Analytical Problems,” Political Psychology 13, no. 2 (1992): 283-310.

Jack S. Levy, Thomas J. Christensen, and Marc Trachtenberg, “Mobilization and Inadvertence in the July Crisis,” International Security 16, no. 1 (1991).

Michael N. Barnett, and Jack S. Levy, “Domestic Sources of Alliances and Alignments: The Case of Egypt, 1962-1973,” International Organization 45, no. 3 (1991): 369.

“Big Wars, Little Wars, and Theory Construction,” International Interactions 16, no. 3 (1990): 215.

“Preferences, Constraints, and Choices in July 1914,” International Security 15, no. 3 (1990): 151.

“Analytic Problems in the Identification of Wars,” International Interactions 14, no. 2 (1988): 181.

“When Do Deterrent Threats Work?” British Journal of Political Science 18, no. 4 (1988): 485.

“Domestic Politics and War,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18, no. 4 (1988): 653.

“Declining Power and the Preventive Motivation for War,” World Politics 40, no. 1 (1987): 82.

“Organizational Routines and the Causes of War,” International Studies Quarterly 30, no. 2 (1986): 193.

Jack S. Levy and T. Clifton Morgan, “The War-Weariness Hypothesis: An Empirical Test,” American Journal of Political Science 30, no. 1 (1986): 26.

“Theories of General War,” World Politics 37, no. 3 (1985): 344.

“Size and Stability in the Modern Great Power System,” International Interactions 11 (1984): 341.

Jack S. Levy and T. Clifton Morgan, “The Frequency and Seriousness of War: An Inverse Relationship?” Journal of Conflict Resolution 28, no. 4 (1984): 731.

“The Offensive/Defensive Balance of Military Technology: A Theoretical and Historical Analysis,” International Studies Quarterly 28, no. 2 (1984): 219.

“Misperception and the Causes of War: Theoretical Linkages and Analytical Problems,” World Politics 36, no. 1 (1983): 76.

“The Contagion of Great Power War Behavior, 1495-1975,” American Journal of Political Science 26, no. 3 (1982): 562.

“Historical Trends in Great Power War, 1495-1975,” International Studies Quarterly 26, no. 2 (1982): 278.

“Alliance Formation and War Behavior: An Analysis of the Great Powers, 1495-1975,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 25, no. 4 (1981): 581.

William Mulligan and Jack S. Levy, “Rethinking Power Politics in an Interdependent World,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 49, 4 (2019): 611-40.

Andrew Q. Greve and Jack S. Levy, “Power Transitions, Status dissatisfaction, and War: The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895,” Security Studies 27, 1 (2018): 148-78

Jack S. Levy and William Mulligan, “Shifting Power, Preventive Logic, and the Response of the Target: Germany, Russia, and the First World War,” Journal of Strategic Studies 40, 5 (2017): 731-69.

“Clausewitz and People’s War,” Journal of Strategic Studies 40, 3 (2017): 450-456.

Phillip Streich and Jack S. Levy, “Information, Commitment, and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905,” Foreign Policy Analysis 12, 4 (2016): 489-511.