Erik Lin-Greenberg | People

Leo Marx Career Development Assistant Professor


Erik Lin-Greenberg is the Leo Marx Career Development Assistant Professor in the History and Culture of Science and Technology in the Department of Political Science at MIT. His research examines how emerging military technology affects conflict dynamics and the regulation and use of force. In his book project, he studies how remote warfighting technologies – like drones – shape crisis escalation. In other ongoing projects, he explores how technology and public opinion influence alliance politics and use of force decisions. He is also interested in the international politics of food and the use of wargaming as a tool of scholarly inquiry.

His work has appeared in academic and policy outlets including Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Security Studies, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy.  He has held fellowships at Dartmouth's College Dickey Center for International Understanding, the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House, and at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. He received the 2020 Merze Tate Award from the American Political Science Association. He completed his PhD in Political Science at Columbia University, and an M.S. and B.S. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before entering academia, he was an active duty officer in the United States Air Force and continues to serve on the Joint Staff as a member of the Air Force Reserve.




Publications | Selected Publications

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Evaluating Escalation: Conceptualizing Escalation in an Era of Emerging Military Technologies,” Journal of Politics Vol. 85, No. 3 (2023)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “The Dawn of Drone Diplomacy,” Foreign Affairs, December 20, 2022

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Algorithms and Influence: Artificial Intelligence and Crisis Decision-making,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 4 (2022) (with Michael C. Horowitz)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Wargame of Drones: Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Crisis Escalation,” Journal of Conflict Resolution (2022)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, "Trivial Tripwires?: Military Capabilities and Alliance Reassurance," Security Studies Vol. 31, No. 1 (2022) (with Brian Blankenship)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Wargaming for International Relations research,” European Journal of International Relations Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022) (With Reid Pauly and Jacquelyn Schneider) 

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Soldiers, Pollsters, and International Crises: Public Opinion and the Military's Advice on the Use of Force,” Foreign Policy Analysis Vol. 17, No. 3 (July 2021)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Private Eyes in the Sky: Emerging Technology and the Political Consequences of Eroding Government Secrecy,” Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 65, No. 6 (2021) (With Theo Milonopoulos)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Allies and Artificial Intelligence: Obstacles to Operations and Decision-making,” Texas National Security Review Vol. 3, No. 2 (2020)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Backing Up, Not Backing Down: Mitigating Audience Costs Through Policy Substitution,” Journal of Peace Research Vol. 56, No. 4 (2019)

Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Non-Citizen Soldiers: Foreign Recruitment by Modern State Militaries,” Security Studies Vol. 28, No 2. (2019) (With Kolby Hanson)
Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Non-Traditional Security Dilemmas: Can Military Operations Other Than War Intensify Security Competition?,” Asian Security Vol. 14, No. 3 (Fall 2018)
Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Air Power in Peace Operations: Reexamined,” International Peacekeeping Vol. 18, No. 4 (August 2011)
Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Dragon Boats: Assessing China’s Participation in Horn of Africa Anti-Piracy Operations,” Defense and Security Analysis Vol. 26, No. 2 (June 2010)
Erik Lin-Greenberg, “Offensive Airpower with Chinese Characteristics: Development, Capabilities, and Intentions,” Air and Space Power Journal Vol. 21, No. 3 (Fall 2007)

For a complete list of publications




"Keeping the Russians Out, the Americans in, and the computers down? Erik Lin-Greenberg on his article 'Allies and Artificial Intelligence'," War on the Rocks, May 22, 2020.

"Building A.I. Armies with Erik Lin-Greenberg," UPenn, The Global Cable, April 17, 2020.


"Big, If True Webinar: New Year, Fresh Threats," Harvard Kennedy School of Government, January 29, 2021.


Discussion with Mike Horowitz, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations on the topic of satellite imagery and open source information. Conversation Six, August 9, 2021.

Panelist, "Wargaming for International Relations Research," Georgetown University, April 23, 2021.


"Commercial satellites — not U.S. intelligence — revealed China’s missile program," Washington Post Monkey Cage, August 3, 2021.

Integrating Emerging Technology in Multinational Military Operations: The Case of Artificial Intelligence,” Texas National Security Review (Roundtable), 2 June 2020.
Trump is Playing Iran’s Game of Drones,” Foreign Policy, 20 June 2019.

Game of Drones: What Experimental Wargames Reveal About Drones and Escalation,” War on the Rocks, 10 January 2019.

Rethinking Reassurance,” Political Violence @ A Glance, 13 November 2018. With Brian Blankenship.

Why Washington’s New Drone Export Policy is Good for National Security,” War on the Rocks, 24 April 2018.

How Trump Can Back Up from North Korea Comments,” Political Violence @ A Glance, 11 August 2017.

So China seized a U.S. drone submarine? Welcome to the future of international conflict,” Monkey Cage, The Washington Post (Online), 23 December 2016.

New Declaration Unlikely to Reduce UAV Proliferation,” Lawfare, 20 November 2016.

Now that Turkey Shot Down a Russian Bomber, What Does Escalation Look Like?,” War on the Rocks, 27 November 2015.

 “A South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone,” Project for the Study of the 21st Century World, 1 June 2015.


Quoted in "Lightning Fast! Defense Firms Accelerate Anti-UAV Tech As Cheap But Effective Combat Drones Wreak Havoc in Ukraine," Prakash Nanda, The Eurasian Times, December 24, 2022.