Stephen Van Evera | People

Steve van Evera
Van Evera
Professor of Political Science Emeritus


Stephen Van Evera is Professor of Political Science Emeritus. He was previously the Ford International Professor in the MIT Political Science Department. He earned his B.A. in government from Harvard and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Van Evera works in several areas of international relations: the causes and prevention of war, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. security policy, U.S. intervention in the Third World, international relations of the Middle East, and international relations theory. He has published books on the causes of war and on social science methodology, and articles on American foreign policy, American defense policy, nationalism and the causes of war, the origins of World War I, and U.S. strategy in the War on Terror. He currently serves as chair of the Tobin Project committee on national security.


Tobin Project profile


Publications|Selected Publications

Stephen Van Evera, “Lessons from the Russian Invasion of Ukraine,” Defense Priorities, February 13, 2023 (With Barry Posen at al.)  

Stephen Van Evera, “There is no NATO open-door policy,” The Hill, January 27, 2023, (With Michael O’Hanlon)

Stephen Van Evera, “U.S. Social Science and International Relations,” War on the Rocks, February 9, 2015

Stephen Van Evera, “European Militaries and the Origins of World War I,” in Richard N. Rosecrance and Steven E Miller, eds., The Next Great War?: The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict (Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 2015)

Stephen Van Evera, “Using U.S. Leverage to Abate Conflicts that Harm U.S. Security,” in Stephen Van Evera and Sidharth Shah, eds., The Prudent Use of Power in American National Security Strategy (Cambridge, MA: Tobin Project, 2010)

Stephen Van Evera, “Public Diplomacy: Ideas for the War of Ideas,” Middle East Policy, Vol. XVI, No. 3 (Fall 2009) (With Peter Krause)

Stephen Van Evera, “A Farewell to Geopolitics,” in Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro, eds., To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine (Oxford, UK: Oxford, 2008) 

Stephen Van Evera, “The War on Terror: Forgotten Lessons from WWII” Middle East Policy Vol. 14, No. 2 (Summer 2007) 

Stephen Van Evera, “Iraq: Canary in a Coal Mine,” MIT International Review Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2007)

Stephen Van Evera, “Bush Administration, Weak on Terror,” Middle East Policy Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter 2006)

Stephen Van Evera, “American Foreign policy for the New Era, “in Stephen Van Evera, ed., How to Make America Safe: New Policies for National Security (Cambridge, MA: Tobin Project, 2006)

Stephen Van Evera, “Assessing U.S. Strategy in the War on Terror,” The Annuals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 607. No. 1 (September 2006)

For a complete list of publications



Quoted in "If Russia goes nuclear, how does the West respond?Eurasianet, March 13, 2023. 

Panelist, Columbia SIPA, February 24, 2023, "Nuclear War Theory: Continuity and Change."

Quoted in "Lesson from Ukraine for India and Pakistan - there will be no short wars," ThePrint, February 22, 2023. 

Quoted in "NATO's Open Door Policy," Praveen Swami, Malaysian Digest, November 26, 2022. 

Panelist, Starr Forum, Center for International Studies, May 21, 2021. "Israelis and Palestinians: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow."

Moderator, Starr Forum, Center for International Studies, October 23, 2017. "Syria: Which way forward?"

Jay Talking podcast, September 12, 2019, Victim Ideology, Part 1. interview, September 16, 2015, The Rise and Fall of An Empire.