• Professor, Political Science Department
  • Partial Medical Leave, FMLA leave, spring semester, 2020

Research Summary

Major areas of research: Neoclassical Realism; Political Economy and international security; Pre-Crisis and Near-Crisis Escalation (; Great Power Competition and Emerging Powers; Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons.


  • BA, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MA, Department of Political Science, New York University
  • Ph.D, Department of Political Science, U.C.L.A.


Steven E. Lobell is professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah. Lobell specializes in neoclassical realism, pre- and near crises, the political economy of security, great power competition and aspiring powers, and the rise and decline of the great powers. His regions of study include American and European diplomatic and international history, and Middle East studies.




  1. Minerva Research Initiative, 2018-2021. “Power Projection, Deterrence Strategies, and Escalation Dynamics in an Era of Challenging Near Peers, Rogue States, and Terrorist and Insurgent Organizations.” $1,179,073. Lead-PI.
  2. Israel Institute, 2017. “The Use of Force to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation.”  $7,600.
  3. Research recognized at Showcase of Extraordinary Faculty Achievements, University of Utah.


  1. College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS) Superior Research Senior Award.
  2. Graduate Convocation speaker.


  1. Betty Glad Award, “The Use of Preventive Military Strikes for Nuclear Counter Proliferation.” $14,952.


  1. Sabbatical, “How Leaders Measure Power and the Balance of Power?”
  2. Nobel Institute, Visiting Research Fellow, Oslo, Norway (May 6-June 6).



  1. Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), with Norrin M. Ripsman and Jeffery W. Taliaferro. Chinese version (Shanghai People's Publishing House, 2017).
  2. The Political Economy of Regional Peacemaking (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016), with Norrin M. Ripsman, eds. 
  3. The Challenge of Grand Strategy: The Great Powers and the Broken Balance between the World Wars (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), with Jeffrey W. Taliaferro and Norrin M. Ripsman, eds.
  4. Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow, or Challenge (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012), with Kristen P. Williams and Neal G. Jesse, eds.
  5. Neoclassical Realism, The State, and Foreign Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), with Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, eds
  6. Ethnic Conflict and International Politics: Explaining Diffusion and Escalation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), with Philip Mauceri, eds.
  7. The Challenge of Hegemony: Grand Strategy, Trade, and Domestic Politics (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2003, paperback edition, 2005).


Journal Articles

  1. "Preventive Military Srike or Preventive War? The Fungibility of Power Resources," Cambridge Review of International Affairs (
  2. "Why Israel Launched a Preventive Military Strike on Iraq's Nuclear Weapons Program (1981): The Fungibility of Power Resources," Journal of Strategic Studies (
  3. “Granular Theory of Balancing,” International Studies Quarterly Vol. 62, No. 3 (2018): 593-605. (
  4. Daniel Flemes and Steven E. Lobell, (Guest Editors) Special Issue: “Regional Contestation to Rising Powers,” International Politics Vol. 52, No. 2 (February 2015 (
  5.  “Engaging the Enemy and the Lessons for the Obama Administration,” Political Science Quarterly Vol. 128, No. 2 (Summer 2013): 261-88.
  6. “Bringing Balancing Back In: Britain’s Targeted Balancing, 1936-1939,” The Journal of Strategic Studies Vol. 35, No. 6 (2012): 747-775.
  7. “Winning Friends and Influencing Enemies among Great Power Rivals: The Case of Washington, Beijing, and Moscow, 1969-1979,” The Chinese Journal of International Politics Vol. 4, No. 2 (spring 2011): 205-230.
  8. “Great Powers in a Restrictive International Environment,” International Journal Vol. 66, No. 2 (spring 2011): 335-350.

    “Realism and the Changing International System: Will China and Russia Challenge the Status Quo?” The China and Eurasian Forum Quarterly Vol. 8, No. 4 (2010): 129-151, with Kathleen J. Hancock

  10. “Second Face of Security Strategies: Anglo-German and Anglo-Japanese Trade Concessions during the 1930s,” Security Studies Vol. 17, No. 3 (2008): 438-467.
  11. “The Second Face of American Security: The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement as Security Policy,” Comparative Strategy Vol. 27, No. 1 (2008): 1-13.
  12. “The Second Face of Security: Britain’s ‘Smart’ Appeasement Policy towards Japan and Germany,” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific Vol. 7, No. 1 (2007): 73-98.
  13. “The Political Economy of War Mobilization: From Britain’s Limited Liability to a Continental Commitment” International Politics Vol. 43, No. 3 (July 2006): 283-304.
  14. “The International Realm, Framing Effects, and Security Strategies: Britain in Peace and War,” International Interactions Vol. 32, No. 1 (2006): 27-48.
  15. “The Politics of National Security: The Battles for Britain,” Conflict Management and Peace Science Vol. 21, No. 4 (2004): 269-286.
  16. “The Bush Defense Strategy of Assurance and Dissuasion: Lessons from Philip IV of Spain,” Comparative Strategy Vol. 23, No. 2 (2004): 197-208.
  17. “Historical Lessons to Extend America’s Great Power Tenure,” World Affairs Vol.166, No. 4 (spring 2004): 175-184.
  18. “War is Politics: Offensive Realism, Domestic Politics, and Security Strategies,” Security Studies Vol. 12, No. 1 (winter 2002/03): 164-94.
  19. “Britain’s Paradox: Cooperation or Punishment prior to World War I,” Review of International Studies Vol. 27, No. 2 (April 2001): 169-186.
  20. “The Grand Strategy of Hegemonic Decline: Dilemmas of Strategy and Finance,” Security Studies Vol. 10, No. 1 (autumn 2000): 92-119.
  21. “Second Image Reversed Politics: Britain’s Choice of Freer Trade or Imperial Preferences, 1903-1906, 1917-1923, 1930-1932,” International Studies Quarterly Vol. 43, No. 4 (December 1999): 671-694.


  • “How Should the US respond to a Rising China?” in Will China’s Rise be Peaceful? Asle Toje, ed., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 349-362.
  • “Realism, Balance of Power, and Power Transitions,” in Accommodating Rising Powers: Past, Present and Future, T.V. Paul, ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2016), pp. 33-52.
  • The Political Economy of Regional Peacemaking (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016), with Norrin M. Ripsman, eds.
  1. Norrin M. Ripsman and Steven E. Lobell, “Introduction: Conceptualizing the Political Economy of Regional Transitions.”
  2. Steven E. Lobell, “Chapter Two: The Second Face of Regional Peacemaking: Israel and Jordan, 1985-2001.”
  1. Steven E. Lobell, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Norrin M. Ripsman, “Introduction: Grand Strategy during the Interwar Years.”
  2. “From Balance of Power to Components of Power – British Grand Strategy in the 1930s.”
  • Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow, or Challenge (Stanford University Press, 2012), with Kristen P. Williams and Neal G. Jesse, eds.
  1. Neal G. Jesse, Steven E. Lobell, Galia Press-Barnathan, and Kristen P. Williams, “The Leader Can’t Lead When the Followers Won’t Follow: The Limitations of Hegemony.”
  2. “Power Disparities and Strategic Trade: Bandwagoning, Balking, and the Domestic Consequence of U.S.-Jordan Trade Concessions.”
  • “Structural Realism/Offensive and Defensive Realism” in Robert Denemark et. al. eds., The International Studies Compendium Project (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 6651-6669.
  • Neoclassical Realism, The State, and Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2009), with Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, eds.
  1. Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, Steven E. Lobell, and Norrin M. Ripsman, “Introduction: Neoclassical Realism, the State, and Foreign Policy,” 1-41.
  2. “Threat Assessment, the State, and Foreign Policy: A Neoclassical Realist Model,” 42-74.
  3. Norrin M. Ripsman, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Steven E. Lobell, “Conclusion: The State of Neoclassical Realism,” 280-299
  • Reprints of Chapter One:
  1. “Introduction” reprinted in: Foreign Policy Analysis (Sage Publications, 2011), eds. Walter Carlsnaes and Stefano Guzzini.
  2. “Introduction” reprinted in: Realism Reader (Routledge, 2011), eds. Colin Elman and Michael Jensen.
  • Steven E. Lobell and Philip Mauceri, eds., Ethnic Conflict and International Politics: Explaining Diffusion and Escalation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
  1. Steven E. Lobell and Philip Mauceri, Chapter 1, “Diffusion and Escalation of Ethnic Conflict,” 1-10.
  • “Regional Powers and the Politics behind WMD Proliferation,” in The Search for WMD: Non-Proliferation, Intelligence, and Pre-emption in the New Security Environment, edited by Graham F. Walker (March, 2006). Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University, pp. 300-315.
  • Arthur A. Stein and Steven E. Lobell, "Geostructuralism and International Politics: The End of the Cold War and the Regionalization of International Security," in Regional Orders: Building Security in a New World, edited by David Lake and Patrick Morgan (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997): 101-122.


  1. “Can the United States and China Escape the Thucydides Trap?” China International Strategy Review (Beijing: Center for International and Strategic Studies, Peking University, 2015). In Chinese (June) and English (December).
  2. “Grand Strategy in an Era of Emerging Powers,” YNET (2014; translated into Hebrew).
  3. “Regional Economic Institutions and Conflict Mitigation,” Perspectives on Politics Vol. 12, No. 4 (2014).
  4. “The Political Economy of Grand Strategy,” Perspectives on Politics (2008).
  5. Steven E. Lobell and Brent Steele, “Was the United States Correct in Pressuring Britain and France to Dismantle their Colonies?” in History in Dispute 6: Cold War Series, edited by Dennis Showalter (Farmington Hills, MI: St. James Press, 2000): 78-80.
  6. To the Editor, New York Times, April 22, 2013 (
  7. “Obama Foreign Policy Reflects Ways of ‘70s, ‘30s,” Salt Lake Tribune, March 21, 2010.
  8. “The Bush Defense Strategy,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 26, 2004, p. A9.

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