Keir A. Lieber

Keir A. Lieber
Associate Professor

Associate Professor 

Keir A. Lieber is Associate Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government.

Lieber’s research and teaching interests include the causes of war; nuclear weapons, deterrence, and strategy; U.S. foreign policy; and international relations theory. He is author of War and the Engineers: The Primacy of Politics over Technology (Cornell University Press, 2005, 2008) and editor of War, Peace, and International Political Realism (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009). His articles have appeared in leading scholarly and foreign policy publications – most recently in International Security, Foreign Affairs, and the Atlantic Monthly. He has been awarded fellowships from the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Earhart Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Smith Richardson Foundation. He is currently writing a book (with Daryl Press, Dartmouth College) on nuclear weapons and international relations.

Lieber received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a proud product of the D.C. public schools.


  • Ph.D. (2000) University of Chicago, Political Science
  • M.A. (1996) University of Chicago, Political Science
  • B.A. (1992) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science and International Relations



Keir A. Lieber. War and the Engineers: The Primacy of Politics over Technology. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005.

Articles in journals

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “The New Era of Nuclear Weapons, Deterrence, and Conflict.” Strategic Studies Quarterly 7.1 (2013): 3-12.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “Why States Won’t Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists.” International Security 38.1 (2013): 80-104.

Jennifer Lind, Keir A. Lieber, and Daryl G. Press. “Pyongyang’s Nuclear Logic.” Foreign Affairs (2013).

Keir A. Lieber. “Mission Impossible: Measuring the Offense-Defense Balance with Military Net Assessment.” Security Studies 20.3 (2011): 451-459.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “Obama’s Nuclear Upgrade: The Case for Modernizing America’s Nukes.” Foreign Affairs (2011).

Jan Lodal; James M. Acton; Hans M. Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, and Ivan Oelrich; and Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “Second Strike: Is the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Outmoded?.” Foreign Affairs 89.2 (2010): 145-152.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “The Nukes We Need: Preserving the American Deterrent.” Foreign Affairs 88.6 (2009): 39-51.

Jack Snyder and Keir A. Lieber. “Defensive Realism and the ‘New’ History of World War I.” International Security 33.1 (2008): 174-194.

Keir A. Lieber. “The New History of World War I and What It Means for International Relations Theory.” International Security 32.2 (2007): 155-191.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “U.S. Nuclear Primacy and the Future of the Chinese Nuclear Deterrent.” China Security Quarterly 5 (2007): 66-89.

Jeffrey S. Lantis, Tom Sauer, James J. Wirtz, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “The Short Shadow of U.S. Primacy?.” International Security 31.3 (2007): 174-193.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “Superiority Complex: Why America’s Growing Nuclear Supremacy May Make War with China More Likely.” Atlantic Monthly 300.1 (2007): 86-92.

Peter C. W. Flory, Keith Payne, Pavel Podvig, Alexei Arbatov, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “Nuclear Exchange: Does Washington Really Have (Or Want) Nuclear Primacy?.” Foreign Affairs 85.5 (2006): 149-157.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy.” Foreign Affairs 85.2 (2006): 42-54.

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “The End of MAD? The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Primacy.” International Security 30.4 (2006): 7-44.

Robert J. Art, Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press. “Striking the Balance.” International Security 30.3 (2006): 177-196.

Keir A. Lieber and Gerard Alexander. “Waiting for Balancing: Why the World Is Not Pushing Back.” International Security 30.1 (2005): 109-139.

Keir A. Lieber. “Grasping the Technological Peace: The Offense-Defense Balance and International Security.” International Security 25.1 (2000): 71-104.

Edited Books

Keir A. Lieber, ed. War, Peace, and International Political Realism: Perspectives from The Review of Politics. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2009.

Book Reviews

Keir A. Lieber. “Complex Deterrence: Strategy in the Global Age.” Perspectives on Politics 8.3 (2010): 988-990.

Keir A. Lieber. “The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy.” Journal of Politics 69.1 (2007): 254-256.

Keir A. Lieber. “Glimmer of a New Leviathan: Total War in the Realism of Niebuhr, Morgenthau, and Waltz.” Ethics & International Affairs 18.2 (2004): 107-109.

Keir A. Lieber. “Constructivism in International Relations.” Review of Politics 65.4 (2003): 466-469.

Keir A. Lieber. “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.” America 186.14 (2002): 23-24.


Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press, “Coercive Nuclear Campaigns in the 21st Century: Understanding Adversary Incentives and Options for Nuclear Escalation,” March 2013, Report Number 2013-001, Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC)..

“Strategic Stability and U.S. Nuclear Modernization,” Program on Strategic Stability Evaluation (POSSE), Georgia Institute of Technology, June 20, 2011, Thinkpiece. ..