Thomas Ambrosio is a professor of political science in the Criminal Justice and Political Science Department at North Dakota State University. He was director of NDSU's International Studies Major from 2009-2014.
He teaches courses in international studies, international relations, and international law.
In 2011, he was awarded the NDSU College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 'Outstanding Educator' award; 2007, he was awarded the NDSU College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 'Outstanding Research Award' as well as the 'Distinguished Educator's Award' from the NDSU chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society.
Ambrosio received his Ph.D. in foreign affairs in 2000 from the University of Virginia.
He has published extensively on the relationship between ethnic groups and nation states, examining such topics as: attempts by states to annex the territory of other states where their co-nationals reside (Irredentism); the status of nations in international law; the role played by organized ethnic interest groups in the formulation of governmental foreign policy; the role that political opportunity structures limit nationalist expression; and, how Russia's conception of itself affects its relationship with the United States and its perceived role in the unipolar international system.
He has most recently completed a book project entitled Authoritarian Backlash: Russian Resistance to Democratization in the Former Soviet Union which examines five strategies that an increasingly authoritarian Russia has adopted to preserve the Kremlin's political power: insulate, bolster, subvert, redefine and coordinate. Each strategy seeks to counter or undermine regional democratic trends both at home and throughout the former Soviet Union. Policies such as these are of great concern to the growing literature on how autocratic regimes are becoming more active in their resistance to democracy. Through detailed case studies of each strategy, this book makes significant contributions to our understandings of Russian domestic and foreign policies, democratization theory, and the policy challenges associated with democracy promotion.
He intends to extend his research into the issues surrounding authoritarian persistence.
- Authoritarian Backlash: Russian Resistance to Democratization in the Former Soviet Union. 2009. ISBN 0-7546-7350-2
- Challenging America's Global Preeminence: Russia's Quest for Multipolarity. 2005. ISBN 0-7546-4289-5
- Ethnic Identity Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy. (as editor and contributor) 2002. ISBN 0-275-97532-0
- International Law and the Rise of Nations: The State System and the Challenge of Ethnic Groups. (as co-editor, with Robert J. Beck, and contributor) 2001. ISBN 1-889119-30-X
- Irredentism: Ethnic Conflict and International Politics. 2000. ISBN 0-275-97260-7
- “Beyond the Transition Paradigm: A Research Agenda for Authoritarian Consolidation,” Demokratizatsiya vol.22, no.3 (Summer 2014): 471-495.
- “Democratic States and Authoritarian Firewalls: America as a Black Knight in the Uprising in Bahrain,” Contemporary Politics, vol.20, no.3 (September 2014): 331-346.
- "Mapping the Geopolitics of the Russian Federation: The Federal Assembly Addresses of Putin and Medvedev" 2013. Geopolitics (with Geoffrey Vandrovec).
- "The Rise of the 'China Model' and 'Beijing Consensus': Evidence of Authoritarian Diffusion?" 2012. Contemporary Politics vol.18, no.4: 381-399.
- “Constructing a Framework of Authoritarian Diffusion: Concepts, Dynamics, and Future Research.” 2010. International Studies Perspectives 11: 375-392.
- "The Kurdistan Referendum Movement: Political Opportunity Structures and National Identity," Democratization, vol.15, no.5 (December 2008): 891-908, with Azad Berweri.
- “Catching the ‘Shanghai Spirit’: How the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Promotes Authoritarian Norms in Central Asia,” Europe-Asia Studies, vol.60, no.8 (October 2008): 1321-1344.
- "Insulating Russia from a Colour Revolution: How the Kremlin Resists Regional Democratic Trends," Democratization, v.14, no.2 (April 2007): 232-252.
- “The Political Success of Russia-Belarus Relations: Insulating Minsk from a ‘Color’ Revolution,” Demokratizatsiya, v.14, no.3 (Summer 2006): 407-434.
- "The Non-material Cost of Bandwagoning: The Yugoslav Crisis and the Transformation of Russian Security Policy,” Contemporary Security Policy, v.27, no.2 (August 2006): 258-281.
- “The Geopolitics of Demographic Decay: HIV/AIDS and Russia's Great Power Status,” Post-Soviet Affairs, v.22, no.1 (January 2006): 1-23.
- “Trying Saddam Hussein: Teaching International Law Through an Undergraduate Mock Trial,” International Studies Perspectives v.7, no.2 (May 2006): 159-171.
- “The Russo-American Dispute over the Invasion of Iraq: International Status and the Role of Positional Goods,” Europe-Asia Studies v.57, no.8 (December 2005): 1189-1210.
- “The Third Side? The Multipolar Strategic Triangle and the Sino-Indian Rapprochement,” Comparative Strategy v.24, no.5 (December 2005): 397-414.
- “Bringing Ethnic Conflict into the Classroom: A Student-Centered Simulation of Multiethnic Politics,” PS: Political Science and Politics v.37, no.2 (April 2004): 285-9.
- “From Balancer to Ally? Russo-American Relations in the Wake of September 11th,” Contemporary Security Policy v.24, no.2 (August 2003): 1-28.
- “Congressional Perceptions of Ethnic Cleansing: Reactions to the Nagorno-Karabagh War and the Influence of Ethnic Interest Groups,” Review of International Affairs v.2, no.1 (Autumn 2002): 24-45.
- “Russia's Quest for Multipolarity: A Response to U.S. Hegemony,” European Security v.10, no.1 (2001): 45-67.
- “The Geopolitics of Slavic Union: Russia, Belarus, and Multipolarity,” Geopolitics v.4, no.3 (2000): 73-90.
- "Authoritarian Belarus between Russia and Europe: Four Scenarios," in Rachel Vanderhill and Michael E. Aleprete, Jr, eds., International Dimensions of Authoritarian Persistence (Lexington, 2013).
- "Russia Reacts to the Color Revolutions: A Multifaceted Approach to Undermining Democratization in the Former Soviet Union," in Donnacha O Beachain and Abel Polese, eds., The Color Revolutions in the Former Soviet Republics (Routledge, 2010).
- “Russia Against Estonia: Defending the Kremlin through Tu Quoque Rhetoric,” in Roger Kanet, ed., A Resurgent Russia and the West (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009).
- “East Timor Independence: Changing Foci of International Pressure,” in Robert Compton, ed., Transforming East Asian Domestic and International Politics: The Impact of Political Economy and Globalization (Ashgate, 2002), pp. 115–137.
Thomas Ambrosio has provided interviews with the following media outlets:
Internationally in the United Kingdom (BBC Azeri), Kurdistan (Hewler, Kurdish Globe, Gulan, Rudaw Weekly Paper), Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani News Agency, news.az, Regionalplus), Armenia (news.am), Georgia (Georgia Today), and Russia (Gazeta), China (Sanlian Life Weekly).
National interviews with Southeast European Times and the Karabakh Foundation’s Azerbaijan Radio Hour.
Local interviews with Prairie Public Radio (radio), KFGO (radio), KVLY (television), KDSU-FM (radio), KVRR (television), WDAY (television), Y94 (radio), SU TV News (internet), NDSU's Thunder Radio (radio), and The Forum (newspaper).
He has also guest hosted on the Mike McFeeley Show on KGFO -- the Mighty 790.