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Michael F. Harsch

Associate Professor of National Security, National Defense University

Dr. Michael Harsch is an Associate Professor of National Security at the National Defense University.

Dr. Harsch is a political scientist with a focus on international security, international organizations and alliances, conflict, and economic development. He is the author of The Power of Dependence: NATO-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management (Oxford University Press, 2015), which analyzes U.S. strategic leadership and joint decision-making with its allies in major post-Cold War conflicts. He is currently completing his second book, which investigates the enduring success of “islands of stability” in fragile states. His work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post, among others.

Dr. Harsch has a wealth of experience in academic research and teaching, policy-relevant work, and engagement with international organizations. He has been a visiting scholar with Harvard University’s Weatherhead Scholars Program and a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University (BU). At BU, he taught multiple courses in the fields of international relations and security studies, including the university-wide hub course “Introduction to International Relations” and the graduate seminar “International Security.” Prior to joining BU, he served as an Assistant Professor of Practice at New York University (NYU) in Abu Dhabi, where he lived and taught for five years in an extraordinarily diverse environment, with students from more than 110 countries. At NYU Abu Dhabi, he also helped build a new, interdisciplinary peace and conflict studies program. In addition, he has been a visiting researcher at the NYU Center on International Cooperation in New York, the Social Science Center (WZB) in Berlin, and the World Bank’s Global Center on Conflict, Security, and Development in Nairobi. He further completed fellowships at Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). He holds a PhD in Political Science from the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. Additional information can be found on his personal website:


  • –present
    Associate Professor of National Security, National Defense University


  • 2011 
    Free University of Berlin, Political Science