Robert Jervis
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Robert Jervis
Robert Jervis
Robert Jervis (7045512599).jpg
Born1940 (age 80–81)
ChildrenLisa Jervis
Academic background
EducationOberlin College (BA)
University of California, Berkeley (PhD)
InfluencesGlenn Snyder - Thomas Schelling
Academic work
DisciplinePolitical science
InstitutionsHarvard University
University of California, Los Angeles
Columbia University

Robert Jervis (born 1940) is an American political scientist who is the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University,[1] and is a member of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies in the School of International and Public Affairs. He has been a member of the faculty since 1980. Jervis was the recipient of the 1990 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.[2] Jervis is co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, a series published by Cornell University Press, and the member of numerous editorial review boards for scholarly journals. According to the Open Syllabus Project, Jervis is the fourth most-frequently cited author on college syllabi for political science courses.[3]

Early life and education

Robert Jervis was born in 1940.[4][5] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in 1962. At Oberlin, he developed an interest in nuclear strategy, and was influenced by Thomas Schelling's Strategy of Conflict and Glenn Snyder's Deterrence and Defense.[5] In 1962, he started his studies at University of California, Berkeley where he studied under Glenn Snyder. He was awarded a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968.


From 1968 to 1972, he was an assistant professor of government at Harvard University and was an associate professor from 1972 to 1974. According to Jervis, Schelling brought him to Harvard.[5] At Harvard, he developed a close friendship with Schelling and Kenneth Waltz.[5] From 1974 to 1980, he was a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He served as the president of the American Political Science Association.

Jervis has consulted for the CIA.[5]

He has worked on perceptions and misperceptions in foreign policy decision making. Jervis played a key role in introducing insights from psychology to International Relations scholarship.[6] While Jervis is perhaps best known for two books in his early career, he also wrote System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton, 1997). With System Effects, Jervis established himself as a social scientist as well as an expert in international politics. Many of his latest writings are about the Bush doctrine, of which he is very critical. Jervis is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.[7] In 2006 he was awarded the NAS Award for Behavior Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War from the National Academy of Sciences.[8] He participated in the 2010 Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, a high-level research program on nuclear proliferation.[9]

In 2021, he was elected member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences.[10]

Personal life

He is the father of Lisa Jervis, who co-founded Bitch magazine.[11]

Selected publications


  • The Logic of Images in International Relations (Princeton, 1970) ISBN 978-0-231-06932-8
  • Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, 1976) ISBN 978-0-691-10049-4
  • The Illogic of American Nuclear Strategy (Cornell, 1985)
  • The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution (Cornell, 1989)
  • System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton, 1997) ISBN 978-0-86682-003-5
  • Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons From The Iranian Revolution And The Iraq War (Cornell, 2010) ISBN 978-0-8014-4785-3
  • How Statesmen Think: The Psychology of International Politics (Essay Collection) (Princeton, 2017) ISBN 978-0-691-17644-4


  • "System Effects Revisited." (2012) Critical Review 24(3): 393-415.
  • "Black Swans in Politics." (2009) Critical Review 21(4): 475-489.
  • "Bridges, Barriers, and Gaps: Research and Policy." (2008) Political Psychology 29(4): 571-592.
  • "Understanding Beliefs." (2006) Political Psychology 27(5): 641-663.
  • "The Implications Of Prospect Theory For Human Nature And Values." (2004) Political Psychology 25(2): 163-176.
  • "Realism, Neoliberalism, and Cooperation: Understanding the Debate." (1999) International Security 24(1): 42-63.
  • "Complexity and the Analysis of Political and Social Life." (1997) Political Science Quarterly 112(4): 569-593.
  • "Cooperation under the Security Dilemma" (World Politics, Vol. 30, No.2, 1978)


  1. ^ Yi, Shen (2 July 2011). "The uncertainties of cyberspace". China Daily. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ "1990- Robert Jervis". Archived from the original on 2014-09-05.
  3. ^ "Open Syllabus: Explorer".
  4. ^ Jervis, Robert (2018). "Politics and Political Science". Annual Review of Political Science. 21: 1-19. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-090617-115035.
  5. ^ a b c d e Jervis, Robert. "H-Diplo Essay 198- Robert Jervis on Learning the Scholar's Craft". H-Diplo | ISSF. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Cohen, Benjamin J. (2008). International Political Economy: An Intellectual History. Princeton University Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-691-13569-4.
  7. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved .
  8. ^ "NAS Award for Behavior Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-11. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "News from the National Academy of Sciences". April 26, 2021. Retrieved 2021. Newly elected members and their affiliations at the time of election are: ... Jervis, Robert; Adlai Stevenson Professor of Political Science, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York City, entry in member directory:"Member Directory". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2021.
  11. ^ Bitch, Lisa Jervis profile.

Further reading

  • Utter, Glenn H. and Charles Lockhart, eds. American Political Scientists: A Dictionary (2nd ed. 2002) online.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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