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Norrin Ripsman


0009 - Maginnes Hall

Ph.D University of Pennsylvania, 1997

M.A. University of Toronto, 1990

B.A. University of Toronto, 1989

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Additional Interests

  • Postwar peacemaking
  • Constructing regional stability
  • The political economy of national security
  • Neoclassical realism
  • Crisis prevention
  • Democracy and national security
  • The impact of globalization on national security

Research Statement

The main problem that animates my research is the conduct of national security policy and the formulation of grand strategy by modern democratic states in increasingly complex domestic and international environments.  In the contemporary era, the ability of democratic governments to conduct foreign policy independently of the public, the legislature and other societal forces has been challenged by mobilized publics, activist interest groups, and legislatures, frequently informed by pervasive journalistic media.  At the same time, foreign policy autonomy has also been challenged from without, as democracies are increasingly economically interdependent, are embedded in a globalized world, and participate in transnational economic, political and military organizations (such as the World Trade Organisation, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) that restrict national policy choices.  My various research projects, therefore, explore how foreign and security policy executives have responded to these challenges from below and above, particularly when they negotiate peace with former enemies.  Moreover, my focus on pressures on policymaking from multiples sources and levels of analysis has led me, together with my co-authors (Steven Lobell and Jeffrey Taliaferro) to refine neoclassical realist theoretical tools to accommodate and explain that complexity.


Norrin M. Ripsman (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1997) is Monroe J. Rathbone Distinguished Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University.  His primary research interests include: crisis prevention, democracy and national security, postwar peacemaking, constructing regional stability, the political economy of national security, neoclassical realism, crises/pre-crises, and the impact of globalization on national security.  He has published nine books, most recently Peacemaking from Above, Peace from Below: Ending Conflict Between Regional Rivals (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Studies in Security, Cornell University Press, 2016) and (with Jeffrey W. Taliaferro and Steven E. Lobell) Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), and over 30 peer-reviewed articles in International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, and other high quality outlets.

Selected Publications (books):

Norrin M. Ripsman, Peacemaking from Above, Peace from Below: Ending Conflict Between Regional Rivals (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Studies in Security, Cornell University Press, 2016).

Norrin M. Ripsman, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Steven E. Lobell, Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Norrin M. Ripsman, Economic Statecraft and Foreign Policy: Sanctions and Incentives and Target State Calculations (London: Routledge, 2013) paper 2015.

Norrin M. Ripsman and T.V. Paul, Globalization and the National Security State (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2010) hardcover & paperback.

Norrin M. Ripsman, Peacemaking by Democracies: The Effect of State Autonomy on the Post-World-War Settlements (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2002): paperback edition 2003.

Selected Publications (articles):

Norrin M. Ripsman, “Globalization, Deglobalization and Great Power Politics,” International Affairs, vol. 97, no. 5 (Sept. 2021), pp. 1317–1333.

Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, Steven E. Lobell, and Norrin M. Ripsman, “Is Peaceful Change in World Politics Always Desirable? A Neoclassical Realist Perspective,” (with), International Studies Review, vol. 20, no. 2 (June 2018), pp. 283–291.

Norrin M. Ripsman and Jack S. Levy, “Wishful Thinking or Buying Time? The Logic of British Appeasement in the 1930s,” International Security, vol. 33, no. 2 (Fall 2008), pp. 148-181.

Norrin M. Ripsman, “Peacemaking and Democratic Peace Theory: Public Opinion as an Obstacle to Peace in Post-Conflict Situation,” Democracy and Security, vol. 3, no. 1 (January 2007), pp. 89-113.

Norrin M. Ripsman, “Two Stages of Transition From a Region of War to a Region of Peace: Realist Transition and Liberal Endurance,” International Studies Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 4 (December 2005), pp. 669-693.

Norrin M. Ripsman, “The Curious Case of German Rearmament: Democracy and Foreign Security Policy,” Security Studies, vol. 10, no. 2 (Winter 2001), pp. 1-47.

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Norrin M. Ripsman, “Asking the Right Question: When Do Economic Sanctions Work?” (with Jean-Marc F. Blanchard) Security Studies, vol. 9, no. 1 (Autumn 1999), pp. 228-264.

Norrin M. Ripsman and Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, “Commercial Liberalism Under Fire: Evidence from 1914 and 1936,” (with Jean-Marc F. Blanchard) Security Studies, vol. 6, no. 2 (Winter 1996-97), pp. 4-50.


IR 74 – American Foreign Policy
IR 210 – Foreign Policy
IR 237 – The Military Instrument of Foreign Policy
IR 332 – The Quest for Peace