Menu Close
Senior Lecturer, Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Dr. Pierre Atlas is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and is an affiliated faculty member of the Center for the Study of the Middle East at Indiana University Bloomington. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the O’Neill School’s Public Affairs and Criminal Justice programs, including Gun Culture and Policy and Terrorism and Public Policy. He is also a monthly opinion columnist for the Indianapolis Business Journal and prior to that wrote a regular opinion column for the Indianapolis Star for 16 years.

Prior to joining the O’Neill School in fall 2021, Atlas taught at Marian University in Indianapolis for two decades. He was a Professor of Political Science and, for 17 years, served as the Founding Director of The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies, where he created and directed Marian’s interdisciplinary global studies program and its annual speaker series. At Marian, he taught courses in comparative politics, American politics, international relations, global studies, peace and justice studies, and criminal justice.

A comparative political scientist by training, Atlas devoted much of his academic career to studying and writing about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, U.S. foreign policy, civil wars and ethnic conflicts and conflict resolution. More recently, his comparative research and publications have examined how the legacy of the North American frontier helps to explain contemporary political differences between the United States and Canada on issues such as Indigenous policy, the role of government, and gun laws and gun culture.

Atlas was the Canadian Studies section coordinator for the Western (now World) Social Science Association from 2017-2022 and is a reader for the College Board’s Advanced Placement Exam in US Government and Politics. A native of Texas, Atlas grew up in California and served in the US Army.


  • 2021–present
    Senior Lecturer, Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUPUI
  • 2016–2021
    Professor of Political Science, Marian University Indianapolis
  • 2003–2020
    Founding Director, The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies, Marian University


  • 2000 
    Rutgers University, PhD Political Science
  • 1993 
    University of Arizona, MA Political Science
  • 1984 
    University of Toronto, BA Political Science and History


  • 2020
    “Frontier Violence and Law and Order: Historical and Geographical Variance in the Great Plains of the North American West.”, International Journal of Canadian Studies
  • 2019
    “Of Peaceable Kingdoms and Lawless Frontiers: Exploring the Relationship between History, Mythology and Gun Culture in the North American West.”, American Review of Canadian Studies
  • 2016
    “Constructing and Enforcing the ‘Medicine Line’: A Comparative Analysis of Indian Policy on the North American Frontier.”, American Review of Canadian Studies
  • 2012
    “U.S. Foreign Policy and the Arab Spring: Balancing Values and Interests.”, Digest of Middle East Studies

Professional Memberships

  • World (formerly Western) Social Science Association
  • Association for Canadian Studies in the United States