Joshua Busby is a Professor of Public Affairs and a Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He originally joined the LBJ School faculty in fall 2006 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer. In 2021-2022, he served as a Senior Advisor for Climate at the U.S. Department of Defense.
In 2016, Dr. Busby also joined the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as a non-resident fellow. In 2018, he joined the Center for Climate & Security as a Senior Research Fellow.
Prior to coming to UT, Dr. Busby was a research fellow at the Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs (2005-2006), the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s JFK School (2004-2005), and the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution (2003-2004). He defended his dissertation with distinction in summer 2004 from Georgetown University, where he also earned his M.A. in 2002.
His first book entitled Moral Movements and Foreign Policy was published by Cambridge University Press in July 2010. In his book, Busby seeks to explain why some countries are willing to take on new international commitments championed by principled advocacy groups and others are not. Substantively, he explores the politics of climate change, developing country debt relief, HIV/AIDS, and the International Criminal Court in selected country cases in the advanced industrialized world.
His second book AIDS Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations with Ethan Kapstein was published by Cambridge University Press in fall 2013. The book is the winner of the 2014 Don K. Price award, APSA’s prize for the best book on science, technology, and environmental politics. This book seeks to explain the conditions under which social movements can transform markets to achieve to their ends.
His third book States and Nature: The Effects of Climate Change on Security was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. The book explores why climate change leads to negative security consequences in some places and not others. He uses paired cases of countries similarly exposed to climate hazards that experienced different outcomes and explains these differences based on differences in state capacity, political inclusion, and international assistance.
Busby is the author of several studies on climate change, national security, and energy policy from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, the German Marshall Fund, and CNAS. Busby was one of the lead researchers in the Strauss Center project on Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS), a $7.6 million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. He was also the principal investigator of a Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA), a 3-year $1.9 million project, also funded by the Department of Defense. He has also written on U.S.-China relations on climate change for CNAS, Resources for the Future, and the Paulson Institute.
Busby is a Life Member in the Council on Foreign Relations. His works have appeared in Foreign Affairs, World Development, Political Geography, International Security, Perspectives on Politics, Security Studies, International Studies Quarterly, among other publications.
Busby served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador (1997-1999), worked in Nicaragua (Summer 1994, Spring 1996), and consulted for the Inter-American Development Bank (2000). Prior to working with the Peace Corps, he was a Marshall Scholar at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, England), where he completed a second B.A. (with Honors) in Development Studies (1993-1995). He completed his first B.A. (with Highest Distinction) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Political Science and Biology.