Areas of Expertise
Middle East; global governance; humanitarianism; international affairs; international organizations.
Michael Barnett is University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. He previously taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Macalester College, Wellesley College, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also was a visiting scholar at the New School for Social Research and the Dayan Center at Tel-Aviv University, and was a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
Barnett teaches and does research on international relations, international organizations, humanitarian action, the United Nations, and the politics of the Middle East. His dissertation won the 1991 APSA's Gabriel Almond Award for Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics and the book based on the dissertation, "Confronting the Costs of War: Military Power, State and Society in Egypt and Israel" (Princeton, 1992), won the ISA's Quincy Wright award. His other major books are "Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order" (Columbia University Press, 1998); "Security Communities" (Cambridge University Press, 1998), which he co-edited with Emanuel Adler; "Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda" (Cornell University Press, 2002), which was a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title ; and, with Martha Finnemore, "Rules for the World: International Organizations in World Politics" (Cornell University Press, 2004), which won both the ISA's Best Book of the Year Award and the Chadwick Alger Best Book on International Organizations Award, He has written extensively on contemporary humanitarianism, including Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism (Cornell University Press, 2011); Humanitarianism in Question: Politics, Power, and Ethics (Cornell University Press, 2008), which he co-edited with Tom Weiss, and Humanitarianism Contested, which he co-authored with Tom Weiss. His most recent books are Paternalism Beyond Borders (edited, Cambridge University Press) and The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews. His scholarly writings have appeared in major professional journals, including International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, World Politics, and Cultural Anthropology. He is currently involved in various projects ranging from world order to global governance to humanitarianism. He is in the final stages of two edited volumes. Human Rights and Humanitarianism: World of Difference?, which offers a conceptual, historical, and ethical exploration of the relationship between the two, and, with Jon Pevehouse and Kal Raustiala, The Evolution of Global Governance: Hierarchies, Markets, and Networks. Both books will be published by Cambridge University Press. His current research examines hierarchies in humanitarian governance and the relationship between human suffering and global progress.
From 1993 to 1994 Barnett was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow at the U.S. mission to the United Nations, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is former Associate Editor of International Organization.
Most recent books:
The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews (Princeton University Press, 2016)
Paternalism Across Borders (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming, editor)
Religion and World Affairs