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Patrick Jackson Professor School of International Service

Send email to Patrick Jackson
(202) 885-2036
SIS - School of International Service
SIS - 200D
Mondays 1:00pm-3:00pm; Thursdays 12:00-2:00pm. FOR THE DURATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY, some office hours will be held via Zoom. In any case, please use this link to schedule an office hour appointment:
Additional Positions at AU
Professor of International Studies
Director, AU Honors
MA, MPhil, PhD, Political Science, Columbia University; BA, James Madison College, Michigan State University

Languages Spoken
Favorite Spot on Campus
Davenport Coffee Lounge
Book Currently Reading
Ian Hacking, Why Is There Philosophy Of Mathematics At All? and Richard Rothstein, The Color Of Law
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Professor of International Studies in the School of International Service, and also Director of the AU Honors program. He previously taught at Columbia University and New York University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 2001. In 2003-4, he served as President of the International Studies Association-Northeast; in 2012-2013, he did so again. He was formerly Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Relations and Development, and is currently Series Editor of the University of Michigan Press' book series Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics. He was named the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year for the District of Columbia by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Jackson's research interests include culture and agency, international relations theory (particularly the intersection of realism and constructivism), scientific methodology, the role of rhetoric in public life, civilizations in world politics, the sociology of academic knowledge, popular culture and IR, and the formation of subjectivity both in the classroom and in the broader social sphere.

Jackson is also a devoted (some might say “obsessive”) baseball fan, and a self-proclaimed sci-fi geek.


Spring 2022

  • HNRS-151 AU Honors Research Experience: Popular Culture and Politics

  • HNRS-400 Advanced Honors Colloquium: Social/Science/Fiction

  • SIS-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Fall 2022

  • SIS-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Dr. Jackson's research interests include culture and agency, international relations theory (particularly the intersection of realism and constructivism), the philosophy and sociology of science, ethical action in light of climate change, the role of rhetoric in public life, the concept of 'Western Civilization,' popular culture and politics, and the political and social theory of Max Weber. "Eclectic" is an understatement.

Professional Certifications

  • Certified Apple Support Specialist, August 2008.

Professional Presentations

  • “Causal and Interpretive Explanations,” NUPI—Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 13 August 2018.

  • “International Studies As A Global Field,” Seoul National University, 13 March 2018.

  • “Explanation As A Vocation: The Value of (Social-)Scientific Scholarship in a World of So-Called ‘Alternative Facts’,” keynote address at CIICUSP conference, University of São Paulo, Brazil, 24 October 2017.

  • “Relationalism in the Study of International Affairs” (co-authored with Daniel H. Nexon), workshop on Relationalism in World Politics, University of Lancaster, May 16-17 2017.

  • “Epistemic Pluralism in International Studies,” University of Oslo, 4 May 2017.

  • “Interpretive Explanation in International Studies,” Aberystwyth University, 2 December 2016; McGill University, 20 January 2017.

  • “Epistemic Pluralism in International Studies,” The New School for Social Research, 28 October 2016.

  • “Interpretive Explanation and the English School,” University of California at Berkeley, 7 October 2016.

  • “Dystopian Science Fiction in Popular Culture,” Escape Velocity conference, 3 July 2016.

  • “A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Star Wars and US Foreign Policy,” University of Toronto, 19 February 2016.

  • “Insecurity Redux?” University of Sussex, 10 December 2015.

  • “Alternate Constructivism: Language Instead of Ideas,” Aberystwyth University, 18 November 2015.

  • “Epistemic Pluralism in International Studies,” University of Tampere, 8 October 2015.


Work In Progress

  • Explanation: A Pragmatic Account (book ms. in progress)
  • as-yet-untitled paper on ecotheology and climate change
  • book that I (probably) won't ultimately call "everything you think you know about Max Weber is wrong" but that's the basic idea
  • "Why Star Wars Isn't Science Fiction and Why That Matters: on the importance of genre for the analysis of popular culture and politics"

Executive Experience

  • Academic Series Editor, Configurations, University of Michigan Press, 2010-present.
  • Web Editor / Associate Editor, International Studies Quarterly, 2013-2018.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Relations and Development, 2008-2012.   
  • Member, Managing Editorial Board, International Political Sociology, 2005-2007.   
  • Board Member, International Political Sociology section of the ISA, 2006-2007.   
  • Past President, ISA-Northeast, 2004-2005.   
  • President, ISA-Northeast, 2003-2004.   
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Studies Perspectives, 2003-present.   
  • President-Elect, ISA-Northeast, 2002-2003.   
  • Program Co-Chair, International Political Sociology organized section of the ISA, 2002.   
  • Vice-President and Program Chair, ISA-Northeast, 2001-2002.   
  • Governing Council Member, ISA-Northeast, 2000-2001, 2005-present.



Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Ann Ferren Curriculum Design Award, January 2015.
  • ISA Theory Section’s Best Book of the Year Award, 2014.
  • U.S. Professor of the Year for Washington D.C., CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, November 2012.
  • Yale H. Ferguson Book Award, International Studies Association-Northeast, November 2012.
  • Named one of the 20 most important International Relations scholars globally in the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Survey, July 2012.
  • School of International Service Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, April 2011.
  • American University Honors Program Faculty Member of the Year Award, April 2005.
  • New York University Outstanding Teaching Award, April 2000.

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • University College Utrecht workshop grant (with Gerard van der Ree), March 2012.  
  • AU Curriculum Development Grant, April 2005.   
  • Conference Funding Grant from the Mershon Center at Ohio State University, March 2005.   
  • SIS Research Fellowship, April 2004.   
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Grant, May 2002.   
  • AU Curriculum Development Grant, April 2002.   
  • AU Senate Research Award, November 2001.      

Selected Publications


  • “‘Does It Matter If It’s A Discipline?’ Bawled the Child,” in Andreas Gofas, Inanna Hamati-Ataya, and Nicholas Onuf, eds., SAGE Handbook of the History, Philosophy and Sociology of International Relations (Sage, 2018), pp. 326-339.
  • “The Production of Facts: Ideal-typification and the Preservation of Politics,” in Ned Lebow, ed., Max Weber and International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 79-96.
  • “Causal Claims and Causal Explanation in International Studies,” Journal of International Relations and Development 20:4 (2017), pp. 689-716.
  • “Morgenthau’s Pilgrimage,” in Molly Cochran and Cornelia Navari, eds., Progressivism and US Foreign Policy Between the World Wars (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
  • “Practicing (Social-)Scientific Pluralism,” in Laura Sjoberg and Samuel Barkin, eds., Interpretive Quantification: Methodological Explorations for Critical and Constructivist IR (University of Michigan Press, 2017), pp. 227-242.
  • The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and its Implications for the Study of World Politics (Routledge, 2011; second edition 2016)
  • “Must International Studies Be A Science?” Millennium 43:3 (2015), pp. 942-965.
  • “Fear of Relativism,” International Studies Perspectives 16:1 (2015), pp. 13-22.
  • “International Theory in a Post-Paradigmatic Era: From Substantive Wagers to Scientific Ontologies” (co-authored with Daniel H. Nexon), European Journal of International Relations 19:3 (2013), pp. 543-565.
  • "How to Think about Civilizations," in Civilizations and States in World Politics, ed. Peter Katzenstein, 2009.     
  • "Outside Context Problems: Liberalism and the Other in the Work of Iain M. Banks,"(co-authored with James Heilman) in Political Science Fiction, ed. Clyde Wilcox and Donald Hassler University of South Carolina Press, 2008.   
  • "Security Scholars for a Sensible Foreign Policy: A Failure of Weberian Activism," (coauthored with Stuart J. Kaufman), in Perspectives on Politics, 2007.    
  • Civilizing the Enemy: German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West, University of Michigan Press, 2006.   
  • "Making Sense of Making Sense: Configurational Analysis and the Double Hermeneutic," in Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn, ed. Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, M. E. Sharpe, 2006.   
  • "The Present as History," in The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis, ed. Charles Tilly and Robert Goodin, Oxford University Press, 2006   
  • "Global Hero: Harry Potter Abroad," (co-authored with Peter Mandaville), in Harry Potter and International Relations, ed. Daniel H. Nexon and Iver B. Neumann, Routledge Press, 2006.

Media Appearances

  • “A Professor’s Guide To the Galaxy,” Big World podcast episode, 2018;

  • Appeared on Voice of America TV—Afghanistan in connection with a segment on NATO operations in Afghanistan, April 2008.   

  • Interviewed by Susan Kinzie, Washington Post, 20 December 2007, regarding distance education and podcasting (article appeared 31 December).   
  • Interviewed by Stephanie Newton, Washington Business Journal, 7 July 2006, regarding the use of podcasting in the classroom.   

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Transatlantic relations, European identity, the West, history of American foreign policy, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), blogs and podcasts in the classroom, science fiction, Harry Potter, teaching the millennial generation

Additional Information

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson's research interests include culture and agency, international relations theory (particularly the intersection of realism and constructivism), sociological methodology, the role of rhetoric in public life, the concept of Western Civilization, and the political and social theory of Max Weber. Jackson teaches courses on IR theory, research methodology, the philosophy of social science, and the intersection of popular culture and international politics. Jackson also makes extensive use of blogs, podcasts, and YouTube in his classes. He speaks and presents regularly on the topic of technology in higher education.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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