Robert Jervis

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Robert Jervis.

Robert Jervis (born 1940) is the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University,[1] and has been a member of the faculty since 1980. Jervis was the recipient of the 1990 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.[2] Jervis is co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, a series published by Cornell University Press, and the member of numerous editorial review boards for scholarly journals.


Robert Jervis holds a B.A. from Oberlin College (1962) and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1968). From 1968 to 1972, he was an assistant professor of government at Harvard University, and was an associate professor from 1972 to 1974. From 1974 to 1980, he was a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He served as the President of the American Political Science Association. He is the father of Lisa Jervis, who co-founded Bitch magazine.[3]

He has worked on perceptions and misperceptions in foreign policy decision making. While Jervis is perhaps best known for two books in his early career, he also wrote System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton, 1997). With System Effects, Jervis established himself as a social scientist as well as an expert in international politics. Many of his latest writings are about the Bush doctrine, of which he is very critical. Jervis is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2006 he was awarded the NAS Award for Behavior Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War from the National Academy of Sciences.[4] He participated in the 2010 Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, a high-level research program on nuclear proliferation.[5]

Selected publications[edit]


  • The Logic of Images in International Relations (Princeton, 1970) ISBN 978-0-231-06932-8
  • Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, 1976) ISBN 978-0-691-10049-4
  • The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution (Cornell, 1989)
  • System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton, 1997) ISBN 978-0-86682-003-5
  • Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons From The Iranian Revolution And The Iraq War (Cornell, 2010) ISBN 978-0-8014-4785-3


  • "System Effects Revisited." (2012) Critical Review 24(3): 393–415.
  • "Black Swans in Politics." (2009) Critical Review 21(4): 475–89.
  • "Bridges, Barriers, and Gaps: Research and Policy." (2008) Political Psychology 29(4): 571–92.
  • "Understanding Beliefs." (2006) Political Psychology 27(5): 641–63.
  • "The Implications Of Prospect Theory For Human Nature And Values." (2004) Political Psychology 25(2): 163–76.
  • "Realism, Neoliberalism, and Cooperation: Understanding the Debate." (1999) International Security 24(1): 42–63.
  • "Complexity and the Analysis of Political and Social Life." (1997) Political Science Quarterly 112(4): 569–93.
  • "Cooperation under the Security Dilemma" (World Politics, Vol. 30, No.2, 1978)


External links[edit]