Amir Stepak

Amir Stepak



Major — International Relations

Minor — Research Methods

Much of my research concerns the cognitive aspects of foreign policy decision-making, and especially how leaders handle uncertainty and risk. In past projects, I have studied the effects of an individual's issue-area expertise on decision-making dynamics during international conflicts and have written on competing models of risk-taking in political science. Currently, I am working on my dissertation, which examines the relationship between severe domestic crises and foreign policy changes.

Current Research

US Foreign Policy, Comparative Foreign Policy, Middle East, Military Intervention, Civil-Military Relations, Uncertainty and Risk in Decision-Making


  • B.A., University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • M.A., George Washington University


Redefining Strategic Interests: From Domestic Crisis to Foreign Policy Change

Committee: Charles Glaser, Michael Barnett, Jim Goldgeier, Elizabeth Saunders


2013. "Review of Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro (eds.). 2011. In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11 (Cornell University Press)." Journal of Politics 75 (2): e18-e19.

2012. "The Battle over America's Foreign Policy Doctrine." Survival 54 (2): 45-66 (with Rachel Whitlark).

Office Hours

Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm