Erik Lin-Greenberg | People

Erik Lin-Greenberg
Assistant Professor


Erik Lin-Greenberg is an Assistant Professor 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 leverages experimental methods, archival research, elite interviews, and surveys to study how remote warfighting technologies – like drones and cyber warfare – shape crisis escalation. In other ongoing projects, he explores how technology and public opinion influence alliance politics and decisions on the use of force. He is also interested in the role of food in international politics.

His work has appeared in a variety of academic and policy outlets including Security Studies, Journal of Conflict ResolutionJournal of Peace ResearchInternational Peacekeeping, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and War on the Rocks.  He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Carnegie Predoctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

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

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

 “Backing Up, Not Backing Down: Mitigating Audience Costs Through Policy Substitution,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 56, No. 4 (2019).
 “Non Citizen Soldiers: Foreign Recruitment by Modern State Militaries,” Security Studies, Vol. 28, No 2. (2019). With Kolby Hanson
 “Non-Traditional Security Dilemmas: Can Military Operations Other Than War Intensify Security Competition?,” Asian Security, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Fall 2018).
 “Air Power in Peace Operations: Reexamined,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 18, No. 4. (August 2011).
 “Dragon Boats: Assessing China’s Participation in Horn of Africa Anti-Piracy Operations,” Defense and Security Analysis, Vol. 26, No. 2. (June 2010).
 “Offensive Airpower with Chinese Characteristics: Development, Capabilities, and Intentions,” Air and Space Power Journal, Vol. 21, No. 3. (Fall 2007). Reprinted in Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.





"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.