Andrew Price-Smith

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Dr. Andrew Price-Smith (born 1968, Toronto, Canada) is a Professor of Political Science, and academic writer, best known for his work on 'health security' and 'environmental security.' An expert on the effects of Pandemic Influenza, and government efforts to contain it, his consilient works analyze the complex linkages among environmental change, infectious disease, history, economics and security. He has held prior appointments at Columbia University, and the University of South Florida. In 2005, he moved to Colorado College to join the faculty of Political Science there.

Price-Smith was the first to empirically model an index for State Capacity variables. Although Price-Smith's findings are often espoused by the Human Security community, his work suggests that he is a National Security (IR) theoretician who invokes elements of republican theory (see Daniel Deudney),[1] coupled with facets of political psychology (perception, cognition, and affect- see Robert Jervis).


Price-Smith's intellectual influences include Francis Bacon, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hans Morgenthau, William McNeill, Alfred Crosby, E.O. Wilson, and Robert Fogel.[citation needed]

Academic background[edit]

Price-Smith earned a BA (Honours) in Political Science from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 1992. His Master's in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario in 1994 focused upon Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990–1991), and the conflict between the US-led coalition forces and Iraq. He completed his Ph.D in Political Science at the University of Toronto in 1999. His doctoral dissertation was entitled The Health of Nations and formed the core of his subsequent book of the same name, published by MIT, and shortlisted for the Grawemeyer Award in 2002.

At the University of Toronto, Price-Smith initially studied under Thomas Homer-Dixon, but finished his doctorate under David A. Welch. He completed the dissertation that was published by MIT as The Health of Nations.[2] Upon graduation Price-Smith accepted a post-doctoral position at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, and concurrently taught at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Following that, he taught at the University of South Florida for several years, where he began to develop his interests in the nexus of energy/environment and health. He moved to Colorado College in the summer of 2005 to take a position in the Department of Political Science.

Price-Smith was promoted to the rank of Full Professor with tenure in 2017, and selected as the Packard Professor of Political Science in 2018.

Teaching career[edit]

Price-Smith is the Packard Professor of Political Science (2018–present), and Director of the Global Health Program at Colorado College. He is former Chair of the Department of Political Science (June 2013 - 2016) and also served as Chair of the Environmental Science Program at The Colorado College.


  • Oil, Illiberalism and War: Analysis of Energy and US Foreign Policy, MIT Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-262-02906-3
  • Rising Threats, Enduring Challenges, Readings in US Foreign Policy, Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-19-989763-6
  • Contagion and Chaos: Disease, Ecology, and National Security in the Era of Globalization, MIT Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-262-16248-7, now available
  • The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development. MIT Press. 2002. ISBN 0-262-16203-2.
  • Plagues and Politics : Infectious Disease and International Policy. Palgrave/Macmillan Press. 2001. ISBN 0-333-80066-4.
  • Downward Spiral: HIV/AIDS, State Capacity and Political Violence in Zimbabwe. US Institute of Peace Press. 2004.

Price-Smith's book, Contagion and Chaos, won a Choice Magazine Award for Best Academic Book of 2009, and Health of Nations was short listed for the Grawemeyer Award in 2002. Price-Smith's work has been cited in the Atlantic Monthly, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and the Denver Post. He has lectured at the University of Oxford, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, UCLA, and in Canada, UK, France, Norway, and Switzerland, and spoken on Voice of America.

He has been an influential voice in Washington policy circles. His address to the House Science and Technology Committee was detailed in a front-page article of the Washington Post, entitled: "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Over the years Price-Smith has occasionally acted as consultant for the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, the United States Institute of Peace, the US Department of Energy, and the US Department of Homeland Security (among other institutions).

See also[edit]

Environmental Sustainability Index


  1. ^ Deudney, Bounding Power, Princeton University Press, 2007
  2. ^ A. Price-Smith, The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change and National Security, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002

External links[edit]