Thomas J. Christensen

Professor of International and Public Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs

1314A International Affairs

Thomas J. Christensen is William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics of Peace and War and Director of the China and the World Program at Princeton University. At Princeton he is also faculty director of the Masters of Public Policy Program and the Truman Scholars Program. From 2006-2008 Christensen served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan, and Mongolia. His research and teaching focus on China’s foreign relations, the international relations of East Asia, and international security. His most recent book, “The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power” (W.W. Norton), was an editors’ choice at the New York Times Book Review, a “Book of the Week” on CNN”s Fareed Zakaria GPS, and the Arthur Ross Book Award Silver Medalist for 2016 at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before arriving at Princeton in 2003, Christensen taught at Cornell University and MIT. He received his B.A. with honors in History from Haverford College, M.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. He has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, as co-editor of the International History and Politics series at Princeton University Press, and as a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for the Schwarzman Scholars Program. Christensen is currently the Chair of the Editorial Board of the Nancy B. Tucker and Warren I. Cohen Book Series on the United States in Asia at Columbia University Press. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Non-Resident Senior Scholar at the Brookings Institution. In 2002 he was presented with a Distinguished Public Service Award by the U.S. Department of State.



Thomas J. Christensen, The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power (New York: W. W. Norton, 2015).

Journal Articles

Jack Snyder and Thomas J. Christensen, “Multipolarity, Perceptions, and the Tragedy of 1914,” International Studies Quarterly 55, no. 2 (2011): 305.

Jack Snyder and Thomas Christensen, “Progressive Research on Degenerate Alliances,” American Political Science Review 91, no. 4 (December 1997): 919.

Jack S. Levy, Thomas J. Christensen, and Marc Trachtenberg, “Mobilization and Inadvertence in the July Crisis,” International Security 16, no. 1 (1991): 189.

Jack Snyder and Thomas Christensen, “Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks: Predicting Alliance Patterns in Multipolarity,” International Organization 44, no. 2 (1990): 137.