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Professor of Political Science, Drake University

David Skidmore received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University and taught at Hamilton College and the University of Notre Dame before arriving at Drake in 1989. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. In 2010-11, he served as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong. His other travels have taken him to Egypt, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, England, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Turkey and Brazil.

Skidmore serves as Director of the Principal Center for Global Citizenship and the R.W. and Mary Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, both at Drake University. He is past Director of the Drake Curriculum and First Year Seminar programs and founded the Drake University Social Science Journal. His research and teaching interests lie in the areas of international political economy, American foreign policy and international relations theory.

Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including Reversing Course: Carter’s Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics and the Failure of Reform (Vandebilt, 1996), Contested Social Orders and International Politics (Vandebilt, 1997), The Limits of States Autonomy: Social Groups and Foreign Policy Formulation (with Valerie Hudson; Westview, 1993), Paradoxes of Power: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changing World (Paradigm, 2007), The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and International Political Economy: The Struggle for Power and Wealth in a Globalizing World (with Thomas Lairson; Routledge, 2017). Skidmore has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books, including Political Science Quarterly, International Studies Perspectives and Foreign Policy Analysis. His work has also appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Al Jazeera and the Des Moines Register. Skidmore blogs at:


  • –present
    Professor of Political Science, Drake University