Cynthia Roberts is Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is also a Senior Research Scholar at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. In 2019, with support from a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship, Roberts served as a policy adviser at the Joint Staff, Department of Defense in J-5, Strategy, Plans and Policy. She is a member of the John J. McCloy Roundtable on Setting the National Security Agenda at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, Roberts was Director of the Russian Area Studies Graduate Program at Hunter and served as a member of the Executive Committee on Science, Arms Control, and National Security of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has held research fellowships at the Brookings Institution and Stanford University, received several grants, including from the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and worked as a consultant on international security issues. Most recently, she participated in the 2019 NATO Nuclear Policy Symposium in Riga and gave a presentation to the Arms Control Committee at NATO HQ on “The Post INF World.”

Roberts’ research spans military and financial statecraft and she has worked extensively on Russian and European security problems. Her most recent book, The BRICS and Collective Financial Statecraft (with L. Armijo and S. Katada) was published by Oxford University Press in 2018 and will come out in a Chinese edition in 2020. She is also the author of Russia and the European Union: The Sources and Limits of ‘Special Relationships’ (2007) and the editor of and contributor to a special issue on Challengers or Stakeholders? BRICs and the Liberal World Order in Polity (2010). Roberts has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, book chapters, and policy papers, including recently on such topics as: blowback and escalation risks from the US weaponization of finance; the BRICS in the era of renewed great power competition; Russian nuclear signaling and military doctrine; coping with nuclear terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation; and the political and military sources of the Soviet catastrophe in 1941.

Roberts received an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University and also a certificate from the Harriman Institute at Columbia.


Leslie Armijo, Saori Katada, and Cynthia Roberts, The BRICS and Collective Financial Statecraft (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Cynthia Roberts, Russia and the European Union: The Sources and Limits of ‘Special Relationships’ (Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2007).

Principal Articles

Cynthia Roberts, “Russia’s BRICs Diplomacy: Rising Outsider with Dreams of an Insider,” Polity 42, no. 1 (January 2010).
Cynthia Roberts, “Challengers or Stakeholders? BRICs and the Liberal World Order,” Polity 42, no. 1 (January 2010).

Book Chapters

Cynthia Anderson, “Foreword,” Andrea Gilli and Pierre de Dreuzy, eds., in Nuclear strategy in the 21st century: continuity or change? (NATO Defense College, December 2022).