Vipin Narang | People

Vipin Narang
Associate Professor of Political Science


VIPIN NARANG is Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT and a member of MIT’s Security Studies Program. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government, Harvard University in May 2010, where he was awarded the Edward M. Chase Prize for the best dissertation in international relations. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering with distinction from Stanford University and an M. Phil with Distinction in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where he studied on a Marshall Scholarship. He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, a predoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a Stanton junior faculty fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. His research interests include nuclear proliferation and strategy, South Asian security, and general security studies.

His first book Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era (Princeton University Press, 2014) on the deterrence strategies of regional nuclear powers won the 2015 ISA International Security Studies Section Best Book Award. He is currently working on his second book, Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation (Princeton University Press, under contract), which explores how states pursue nuclear weapons. His work has been published in several journals including International Security, Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Washington Quarterly, and International Organization.




Publications|Selected Publications

Vipin Narang, "North Korea Defied the Theoretical Odds: What Can We Learn From its Successful Nuclearization?" Texas National Security Review, February 13, 2018. With Nicholas L. Miller.

Vipin Narang, "Democratic Accountability and Foreign Security Policy: Theory and Evidence From India," Security Studies, January 8, 2018. With Paul Staniland.

Vipin Narang, "Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation," International Security, Vol 41, No. 3 (Winter 2016/17), pp. 110-150.

Vipin Narang, “Civil-Military Pathologies and Defeat in War: Tests Using New Data,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, January 2017. With Caitlin Talmadge.

Vipin Narang, "Five Myths about India's Nuclear Posture," The Washington Quarterly, 36.3, Summer 2013, pp. 143-157.

Vipin Narang, "What Does it Take to Deter? Regional Power Nuclear Postures and International Conflict," Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 57, no. 3 (June, 2013), pp. 478-508.

Vipin Narang, "Posturing for Peace? Pakistan's Nuclear Postures and South Asian Stability," International Security, vol. 34, no. 3 (Winter, 2010), pp. 38-78.

Vipin Narang, "Who are These Belligerent Democratizers? Reassessing the Impact of Democratization on War," International Organization, vol. 63, no. 2 (April 2009), pp. 357–379. With Rebecca M. Nelson.




Quoted in "North Korea Won Pyeongchang Political Gold, but What's Next?" New York Times, February 12, 2018.


Quoted in "North Korea Is Not the Threat Trump Would Have You Believe," The Atlantic, January 31, 2018.


Quoted extensively in "India test-fires Agni-V, a nuclear-capable ICBM,", January 18, 2018.


Quoted in "Hawaii and the Horror of Human Error," The Atlantic, January 15, 2018.


Quoted in "Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War," New York Times, January 14, 2018.


Quoted in "Few Checks Can Keep Trump's Hands Off His 'Nuclear Button'," US News & World Report, January 3, 2018.


Interview in Technology Review: "Sizing Up the North Korea Showdown," December 19, 2017.


Quoted in "Tillerson: US won't set preconditions for North Korea talks," CNN, December 13, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea is a nuclear state. But can the U.S. accept that?" Washington Post, December 9, 2017.


Quoted in "A dangerous choice looms for Trump on North Korea,", December 8, 2017.


Quoted in "New North Korean Missile Is A 'Monster'," NPR, November 30, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea has shown us its new missile, and it's scarier than we thought," Washington Post, November 30, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea Claims New Missile Makes It A Nuclear Power," NPR, November 29, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea, What we know about the new missile," BBC News, November 29, 2017.


Quoted in "Analysis: N. Korea May Declare 'Victory,' Turn to Economy," New York Times, November 29, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea Launches Biggest ICBM Yet, Despite U.S. Sanctions," Foreign Policy, November 28, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea may be producing rare rocket fuel also known as 'devil's venom'," The Telegraph, October 26, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea Threatens U.S. With 'Strongest Hydrogen Bomb Test Over The Pacific Ocean,'" Newsweek, October 25, 2017.


Quoted in "A Nuclear Deal with North Korea May Be Tillerson's Mission Impossible," New York Times, October 2, 2017.


Quoted in "No one wants another H-bomb test in the Pacific," Popular Science, September 28, 2017.


Quoted in "Remote Textile Plant May Secretly Fuel North Korea's Weapons," New York Times, September 27, 2017.


Quoted in "A North Korea Nuclear Test Over the Pacific? Logical, Terrifying," New York Times, September 22, 2017.


Quoted in "Kim Jong Un: 'Deranged' Trump will 'pay dearly' for threat," Washington Post, September 22, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea could test hydrogen bomb over Pacific Ocean, says foreign minister,", September 22, 2017.


Quoted in "What happens if North Korea tests a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific?", September 22, 2017.


Quoted in "Q&A: America's Options on a Nuclear North Korea," The Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea wants the world to know it has a working thermonuclear bomb," Popular Science, September 6, 2017.


Quoted in "How Did North Korea's Missile and Nuclear Tech Get So Good So Fast," The Atlantic, September 6, 2017.


Quoted extensively in "How Can US Stop North Korea Nukes? 3 Experts Have Ideas," New York Times, September 6, 2017.


Quoted in "With Powerful Bomb, Kim Dares Both Trump and Xi to Stop Him,", September 3, 2017.


Quoted in "In latest test, North Korea detonates its most powerful nuclear device yet," Washington Post, September 3, 2017.


Quoted in "Don't be surprised by North Korea's missiles. Kim Jong Un is doing what he said he would," Washington Post, August 31, 2017.


Quoted in "Analysis: Is North Korea Winning Deterrence War with US?" New York Times, August 29, 2017.


Quoted in "Pakistan finds itself on the defensive in Trump's Afghan war strategy," Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2017.


Quoted extensively in "US faces critical moment to negotiate with North Korea, experts warn," The Guardian, August 15, 2017.


Quoted in "The frightening new developments in Trump's standoff with North Korea, explained,", August 1, 2017.


Quoted in "Missile Launch by North Korea increases threat to US," Financial Times, July 28, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea and Its Weapons Programs Are Now a Fact of Life," New York Times, July 7, 2017.


Quoted extensively in "European Nuclear Weapons Program Would Be Legal, German Review Finds," New York Times, July 5, 2017.


Quoted in "North Korea showed off a lot of missiles. What might be its targets?" Washington Post, May 18, 2017.


Quoted in "We're Edging Closer to Nuclear War,", May 15, 2017.


Quoted in "India and Pakistan Escalate Nuclear Arms Race," The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2017.


Quoted in "India, Long at Odds With Pakistan, May Be Rethinking Nuclear First Strikes," New York Times, March 31, 2017.


Quoted in "Fearing U.S. Withdrawal, Europe Considers Its Own Nuclear Deterrent,' New York Times, March 6, 2017.


Quoted in "In Kim Jong-nam's Death, North Korea Lets Loose a Weapon of Mass Destruction," New York Times, February 24, 2017.


Quoted in "Trump wants a 'top of the pack' nuclear program: does that actually signal a shift?" Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2017.


Quoted extensively in "Trump, Promising Arms Race, Could Set World on Uncertain Path" New York Times, December 23, 2016.


Quoted extensively in "Trump's Nuclear Weapons Tweet, Translated and Explained," New York Times, December 22, 2016.


MIT News Office interview, July 24, 2015, The US-Nuclear Deal: MIT experts size it up.