Kimberly Marten

Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science, Barnard College

1215 International Affairs Building, the Harriman Institute

Kimberly Marten is the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and a faculty member of both the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. She directs the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at Columbia’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and PONARS (the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia), and serves as an associate editor of the Journal on Global Security Studies.

Marten’s current research focuses on Russian foreign and security policy, and on non-state armed actors. She has written four books, the most recent of which is Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States (Cornell, 2012). Her first book, Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation (Princeton, 1993), received the Marshall Shulman Prize. Her scholarly articles have appeared in International SecurityArmed Forces and Society, International Peacekeeping, the Journal of Intervention and State-Building, Problems of Post-Communism, and Post-Soviet Affairs, as well as a number of edited volumes, and she has completed two open-source contract projects for the Pentagon’s Director of Net Assessment. She has published policy articles in The Washington Quarterly, and opinion pieces in, the Huffington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Monkey Cage Blog for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and USA Today.

Marten has made guest appearances on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, “The Charlie Rose Show” with guest host Richard Haass, the PBS Newshour, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and on CNN, the BBC, and Al Jazeera, among others, and has been a frequent guest on WNYC radio’s The Takeaway.

Marten earned her A.B. at Harvard University (1985) and Ph.D. at Stanford University (1991). She was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, has taught at the Ohio State University and the Japanese National Defense Academy, and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Olin Institute and at Tokyo’s Institute for International Security Studies (the Nakasone Institute) through a Hitachi/Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in Japan. Her research has been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation, and the Government of Canada, among others.



Kimberly Marten, Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012).

Kimberly Marten, Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2004).

Kimberly Marten, Weapons, Culture, and Self-Interest: Soviet Defense Managers in the New Russia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).

Kimberly Marten, Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation, 1955-1991 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993).

Book Chapters

Kimberly Marten, “Debunking the Stationary Bandit Myth: Violence and Governance in Statebuilding History,” in The Jackals of Westphalia? Non-State Challenges in a Re-ordered World, ed. Stefano Ruzza, Anja P. Jakobi and Charles C. Geisler (New York: Routledge, 2015).

Kimberly Marten, “Warlords and Governance,” in The Transnational Governance of Violence and Crime: Non-State Actors in Security, ed. Anja P. Jakobi and Klaus Dieter Wolf (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Kimberly Marten, “Warlords,” The Changing Character of War, eds. Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Kimberly Marten, “Is Stability the Answer?” Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World, ed. Pamela Aall, Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007).

Kimberly Marten, “Lending Forces: Canada’s Military Peacekeeping,” Handbook of Canadian Foreign Policy, ed. Patrick James, Nelson Michaud, and Marc O’Reilly (Lahnam, MD: Lexington Books, 2006).

Kimberly Marten, “Central Asia: Military Modernization and the Great Game,” Strategic Asia 2005-06: Military Modernization in an Era of Uncertainty, ed. Ashley J. Tellis and Michael Wills (Seattle: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2005).

Kimberly Marten, “Making and Keeping the Peace,” Sections 1-6 of A Global Agenda: Issues before the 55th General Assembly of the United Nations, 2000-2001 Edition, ed. John Tessitore and Susan Woolfson (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).

Kimberly Marten, “The Threat of the Soviet Decline: The CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the End of the Cold War,” U.S. Foreign Policy after the Cold War, ed. James Lindsay and Randall Ripley (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997).

Kimberly Marten, “Foreign Policy Preferences of Russian Defense Industrialists: Integration or Isolation?” The Sources of Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War, ed. Celeste Wallander (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996).

Journal Articles

Kimberly Marten, “The Security Costs and Benefits of Non-State Militias: The Example of Eastern Ukraine,” Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia Policy Memo 391, 14 October 2015, <> (14 October 2015).

Kimberly Marten, “Putin’s Choices: Explaining Russian Foreign Policy and Intervention in Ukraine,” The Washington Quarterly 38, no. 2 (2015): 189.

Kimberly Marten, “Informal Political Networks and Putin’s Foreign Policy: The Examples of Iran and Syria,” Problems of Post-Communism 62, no. 2 (2015): 71.

Kimberly Marten, “Reformed or Deformed? Patronage Politics, International Influence, and the Palestinian Security Forces,” International Peacekeeping 21, no. 2 (2014): 181.

Kimberly Marten, Thomas H. Johnson, and M. Chris Mason, “Correspondence: Misunderstanding Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas?” International Security 33, no. 3 (2008): 180.

Kimberly Marten, “Russian Efforts to Control Kazakhstan’s Oil: The Kumkol Case,” Post-Soviet Affairs 23, no. 1 (2007): 18.

Kimberly Marten, “Warlordism in Comparative Perspective,” International Security 31, no. 3 (2006): 41.

Alexander Cooley and Kimberly Marten, “Base Motives: The Political Economy of Okinawa’s Antimilitarism,” Armed Forces & Society 32, no. 4 (2006): 566.

Kimberly Marten, “Bases for Reflection: The History and Politics of U.S. Military Bases in South Korea,” IRI Review, Seoul University (2005).

Kimberly Marten, “Warlords as Stakeholders” (letter to the editor), Foreign Affairs 83, no. 4 (2004): 149.

Kimberly Marten, “Defending Against Anarchy: From War to Peacekeeping in Afghanistan,” The Washington Quarterly 16, no. 1 (2002): 35.

Kimberly Marten, “Japan’s United Nations Peacekeeping Dilemma,” Asia-Pacific Review 8, no. 1 (2001): 21.

Kimberly Marten, “Contact Lenses: Explaining U.S.-Russian Military-to-Military Ties,” Armed Forces and Society 25, no. 4 (1999): 579.

Kimberly Marten, “Arzamas-16: Economics and Security in a Closed Nuclear City,” Post-Soviet Affairs 11, no. 1 (1995): 57.

Kimberly Marten, “The Russian Military-Industrial Sector and Conversion: A Comment,” Post-Soviet Geography 35, no. 9 (1994): 522.

Kimberly Marten, “Soviet Academic Theories on International Conflict and Negotiation: A Research Note,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 34, no. 4 (1990): 678.

Other Articles

Kimberly Marten, “Warlords, Sovereignty, and State Failure. Chapter Three: Lessons from Post-Soviet Georgia,  Saltzman Working Paper No. 12 (2009).

Kimberly Marten, “The Same Old Mistake,” International Herald Tribune, September 4, 2009.

Kimberly Marten, “Economic Lures and Ungoverned Territories: Overcoming Warlordism,” Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia) Policy Memo No. 39 (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Eurasian Strategy Project, 2008).

Kimberly Marten, “Disrupting the Balance: Russian Efforts to Control Kazakhstan’s Oil,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 428, (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2006).

Kimberly Marten, “Understanding the Impact of the K-2 Closure,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 311 (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 2005).

Kimberly Marten, “In Building Nations, Establish Security, Then Democracy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 18, 2005).

Alexander Cooley and Kimberly Marten, “Permanent Military Bases Won’t Work,” International Herald Tribune (February 3, 2005).

Kimberly Marten, “Getting It Right in Haiti This Time Around,” International Herald Tribune, March 26, 2004.

Kimberly Marten, “Emerging Security Threats in Post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caspian,”  Contract #DASW01-02-P-0797, Director of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Pentagon,  March 2004.

Kimberly Marten “U.S. Military Bases in Post-Soviet Central Asia: Economic Lessons from Okinawa,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 311 (2003).

Kimberly Marten, “Stabilizing Iraq: Why America Needs the UN,” International Herald Tribune, 26 April 2003.

Kimberly Marten, “U.S. and Russia: Working on Their Postures,” The New Jersey Star-Ledger (March 30, 2003).

Kimberly Marten, “Small Steps for U.S. Security Interests in Kyrgyzstan,” PONARS Policy Memo No. 264 (2002).

Kimberly Marten. “Why Peace Operations in Afghanistan Should Heed Soviet Lessons Learned.” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 209, November 2001.

Kimberly Marten, “The Russian Military in 2025: Alternative Futures,” Contract # DASW01-00-P-3583, Director of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense, United States Pentagon.  November 2001.

Kimberly Marten, “The New Bush Administration and the UN: A Strategy of Great Power Consensus?,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 189 (2001).

Kimberly Marten, “Putin and the Russian Military,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 155 (2000).

Kimberly Marten, “Human Rights Violations in Chechnya: Implications for Western Assistance to Russia,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 142 (2000).

Kimberly Marten, “The Dissonant Concert: US-Russian Relations in the UN Security Council,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 71 (1999).

Kimberly Marten, “Institutional Decline in the Russian Military: Exit, Voice, and Corruption,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 67 (1999).

Kimberly Marten. “The Political Costs of Western Investment in Russian Spin-off Companies.” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 49, November 1998.

Kimberly Marten, “Why Military Dissatisfaction is Not a Threat to the Russian State,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 34 (1998).

Kimberly Marten, “Contact Lenses: Transparency and US-Russian Military Ties,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 7 (1997).