Joshua Schwartz

Joshua Schwartz

Ph.D. Student in International Relations

Website

Joshua A. Schwartz is currently a Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in July 2022 and was a Predoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Guggenheim Foundation Emerging Scholar during the 2021–2022 academic year. Josh specializes in International Relations with a focus on why leaders and members of the public support the use of military force and under what conditions the application of military power is more or less effective. His work on these topics has been published in International Organization, the Journal of Conflict ResolutionInternational Studies Quarterly, and Conflict Management and Peace Science. Josh’s policy commentary has also been published in Foreign Affairs, the Washington PostBulletin of the Atomic ScientistsDefense One, and Political Violence at a Glance

Josh’s dissertation and book project challenges a widely held rationale for war among policymakers and scholars by building a new theory of reputation for resolve and credibility: Dovish Reputation Theory. According to traditional, Hawkish Reputation Theory, states inevitably harm their reputation for resolve by backing down and enhance or maintain it by choosing to stand firm and engage in military conflict. This logic has been used, at least in part, by policymakers and scholars to justify consequential interventions like the Vietnam War. Contrary to this perspective, Josh argues that backing down does not always harm a state’s reputation for resolve and, in some cases, can actually enhance it relative to standing firm and fighting. The most important implication of this novel theory is that policymakers and scholars should be more skeptical about the utility of using military force than the conventional wisdom suggests. Josh’s other research analyzes the impact of greater female leadership around the world, the factors that impact support for weapons of mass destruction use, and why military technologies like drones spread and the impact their spread has on international politics. You can read more about his research at joshuaaschwartz.com.