Kimberly Marten is chairing the Barnard political science department for the second time, after holding the 5-year term Ann Whitney Olin Professorship (2013-18). She is a faculty member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute for Russian and East-Central European Studies, and Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Marten is a founding member of PONARS-Eurasia, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Foreign Policy Experts Panel.

Marten specializes in international security and Russia. She was honored to give congressional testimony about Russia’s Wagner Group “private” military company in July 2020 (written testimony here). She has also analyzed the Wagner Group in Post-Soviet Affairsin three PONARS-Eurasia memos (herehere and here), in Lawfare, and in War on the Rocks. She analyzes Russia’s overall aims in Africa in the Washington QuarterlyMarten has written recently about Russia and NATO, in International Politicsthe European Journal of International Securityan H-Diplo International Security Studies Forum roundtable, and a Council on Foreign Relations report. She has also analyzed Russia’s intelligence agencies under Putin (Routledge Handbook and the Journal of Slavic Military Studies). She explains (International Politics) Putin’s decision to meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections, and to intervene militarily in Ukraine (The Washington Quarterly)Other Russia-related work is in The New RepublicForeignAffairs.comH-Diplo, the Huffington Post, and the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage Blog (hereherehereherehere, and here).

Marten appeared on the The Daily Show (extended interview here) with Jon Stewart, CBS This Morning Saturday (here and here), the Charlie Rose Show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, PBS NewsHour Weekend with Hari Sreenivasan (herehereherehere, and here), NPR’s All Things Considered with Ari Shapiro and Audie CornishFresh Air with Terry Gross, The 1A (herehere, and here) with Joshua Johnson, Here and Now with Robin Young, KQED’s Forum, and WNYC’s The Takeaway.

Her most recent previous project analyzed the politics of warlords, asking how their patronage networks impact sovereignty and state failure. In Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States (Cornell University Press, 2012), Marten traces the development of warlordism and its consequences in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Sunni Arab areas of Iraq, and post-Soviet Georgia and the Republic of Chechnya in Russia. She discussed the book on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and Wisconsin Public Radio.  The book was reviewed in an H-Diplo/International Security Studies Forum roundtable. In International Security, she compares warlordism in Afghanistan and Somalia to medieval Europe and Republican-era China. She researched militias and security sector reform in weak states, including work on the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, published in International Peacekeeping and in the International Herald Tribune/New York Times. Her chapter on the Afghan Local Police appears in an edited volume on The Transnational Governance of Violence and Crime, following an earlier opinion piece in the IHT/NYT. With Olga Oliker she analyzes the threat of warlordism in Ukraine’s patriotic militias in War on the Rocks.

Her prior books include Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation (Princeton, 1993), which received the Marshall Shulman Prize; Weapons, Culture, and Self-Interest: Soviet Defense Managers in the New Russia (Columbia, 1997); and Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past (Columbia, 2004).

Marten has been at Barnard since 1997. She earned her A.B. in 1985 at Harvard magna cum laude and Ph.D. in 1991 at Stanford. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation; a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies; a visiting scholar at Tokyo’s Institute for International Policy Studies (via a Hitachi/Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship); and a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  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.



Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012).
Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2004).
Weapons, Culture, and Self-Interest: Soviet Defense Managers in the New Russia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).
Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation, 1955-1991 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993).

Book Chapters

“Debunking the Stationary Bandit Myth: Violence and Governance in Statebuilding History,” in The Jackals of Westphalia? Non-State Challenges in a Re-ordered World, eds. Stefano Ruzza, Anja P. Jakobi and Charles C. Geisler (New York: Routledge, 2015).
“Warlords and Governance,” in The Transnational Governance of Violence and Crime: Non-State Actors in Security, eds. Anja P. Jakobi and Klaus Dieter Wolf (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
“Warlords,” in The Changing Character of War, eds. Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
“Is Stability the Answer?” in Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World, eds. Pamela Aall, Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007).
“Lending Forces: Canada’s Military Peacekeeping,” in Handbook of Canadian Foreign Policy, eds. Patrick James, Nelson Michaud, and Marc O’Reilly (Lahnam, MD: Lexington Books, 2006).
“Central Asia: Military Modernization and the Great Game,” in Strategic Asia 2005-06: Military Modernization in an Era of Uncertainty, eds. Ashley J. Tellis and Michael Wills (Seattle: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2005).
“Making and Keeping the Peace,” Sections 1-6 in A Global Agenda: Issues before the 55th General Assembly of the United Nations, 2000-2001 Edition, eds. John Tessitore and Susan Woolfson (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).
“The Threat of the Soviet Decline: The CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the End of the Cold War,” in U.S. Foreign Policy after the Cold War, eds. James Lindsay and Randall Ripley (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997).
“Foreign Policy Preferences of Russian Defense Industrialists: Integration or Isolation?” in The Sources of Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War, ed. Celeste Wallander (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996).

Journal Articles

“Putin’s Choices: Explaining Russian Foreign Policy and Intervention in Ukraine,” The Washington Quarterly 38, no. 2 (2015): 189.
“Informal Political Networks and Putin’s Foreign Policy: The Examples of Iran and Syria,” Problems of Post-Communism 62, no. 2 (2015): 71.
“Reformed or Deformed? Patronage Politics, International Influence, and the Palestinian Security Forces,” International Peacekeeping 21, no. 2 (2014): 181.
“Patronage vs. Professionalism in New Security Institutions,” Prism 2, no. 4 (2011): 83.
Kimberly Marten, Thomas H. Johnson, and M. Chris Mason, “Correspondence: Misunderstanding Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas?” International Security 33, no. 3 (2008): 180.
“Russian Efforts to Control Kazakhstan’s Oil: The Kumkol Case,” Post-Soviet Affairs 23, no. 1 (2007): 18.
“Warlordism in Comparative Perspective,” International Security 31, no. 3 (2006): 41.
Kimberly Marten and Alexander Cooley, “Base Motives: The Political Economy of Okinawa’s Antimilitarism,” Armed Forces & Society 32, no. 4 (2006).
“Bases for Reflection: The History and Politics of U.S. Military Bases in South Korea,” IRI Review, Seoul University (2005).
“Warlords as Stakeholders” (letter to the editor), Foreign Affairs 83, no. 4 (2004): 149.
“Defending Against Anarchy: From War to Peacekeeping in Afghanistan,” The Washington Quarterly 16, no. 1 (2002): 35.
“Japan’s United Nations Peacekeeping Dilemma,” Asia-Pacific Review 8, no. 1 (2001): 21.
“Contact Lenses: Explaining U.S.-Russian Military-to-Military Ties,” Armed Forces and Society 25, no. 4 (1999): 579.
“Arzamas-16: Economics and Security in a Closed Nuclear City,” Post-Soviet Affairs 11, no. 1 (1995): 57.
“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

“The Security Costs and Benefits of Non-State Militias: The Example of Eastern Ukraine,” Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS) Policy Memo 391 (14 October 2015).
Warlords, Sovereignty, and State Failure. Chapter Three: Lessons from Post-Soviet Georgia,  Saltzman Working Paper No. 12 (2009).
“The Same Old Mistake,” International Herald Tribune (4 September 2009).
“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).
“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).
“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).
“In Building Nations, Establish Security, Then Democracy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (18 March 2005).
Alexander Cooley and Kimberly Marten, “Permanent Military Bases Won’t Work,” International Herald Tribune (2005).
“Getting It Right in Haiti This Time Around,” International Herald Tribune (26 March 2004).
“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).
“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).
“Stabilizing Iraq: Why America Needs the UN,” International Herald Tribune (26 April 2003).
“U.S. and Russia: Working on Their Postures,” The New Jersey Star-Ledger (30 March 2003).
“Small Steps for U.S. Security Interests in Kyrgyzstan,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 264 (2002).
“Why Peace Operations in Afghanistan Should Heed Soviet Lessons Learned.” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 209, November 2001.
“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).
“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).
“Putin and the Russian Military,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 155 (2000).
“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).
“Institutional Decline in the Russian Military: Exit, Voice, and Corruption,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 67 (1999).
“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).
“Why Military Dissatisfaction is Not a Threat to the Russian State,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 34 (1998).
“Contact Lenses: Transparency and US-Russian Military Ties,” Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Policy Memo No. 7 (1997).
Kimberly Marten and Rajan Menon, “Facing a Fragile Ceasefire,” (13 January 2015).
Kimberly Marten and Alexander Cooley, “Lessons of Okinawa,” New York Times (30 July 2003). Reprinted as “Okinawa’s Lessons for Post-War Iraq,” International Herald Tribune (31 July 2003).