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Dr. Christopher P. Twomey

Crhistopher TwomeyStatus
Associate Professor 


Research Interests
Theories of international relations and security studies; Strategic culture; Perception; Military innovation; East Asian security; Chinese foreign and military policy; Chinese political and social development


Christopher P. Twomey joined the faculty of the Department of National Security Affairs as an Assistant Professor in November 2004 and was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in July 2011. He served as Associate Chair for Research in the department and as Director of the Center for Contemporary Conflict from 2007-09. In March 2010 he was named Research Fellow with the National Asia Research Program at the National Bureau of Asian Research. He previously spent two years as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Instructor in the Political Science Department at Boston College (2003-04). He received his Ph.D. in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a Master's degree from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1993. He received his B.A. from UCSD in Economics in 1990.

His research interests center on security studies, Chinese foreign policy, modern nuclear affairs, strategic culture, statecraft, and East Asian security in theory and practice.  His book entitled The Military Lens: Doctrinal Differences and Deterrence Failure in Sino-American Relations was published by Cornell University Press in 2010.  It explains how differing military doctrines make diplomatic signaling, interpretations of those signals, and assessments of the balance of power more difficult.  It then tests this explanation through examination of several deterrent attempts between China and the United States in the early Cold War and shorter cases drawn from the Middle East conflicts in the mid-Cold War. His edited volume entitled Perspectives on Sino-American Strategic Nuclear Issues (Palgrave Macmillan) was published in 2008, and he co-edited Power and Prosperity: The Links between Economics and Security in Asia-Pacific (Transaction/Rutgers University Press) in 1996.  Among his recent articles are: “Asia’s Complex Strategic Environment: Nuclear Multipolarity and Other Dangers,” Asia Policy, 11 (January 2011): 51-78; “Chinese-U.S. Strategic Affairs: Dangerous Dynamism,” Arms Control Today, vol. 39, no. 1 (January/February 2009); and "Lacunae in the Study of Culture in International Security," Contemporary Security Policy 29, no. 2 (Aug 2008).

Professor Twomey manages a track II diplomatic exchange on Sino-American nuclear issues involving several PLA flag officers, academics, and civilian policy makers.  This project is in its sixth year.  He consults for the Office of Net Assessment on the future of security competition in Asia and works on a range of diplomatic projects in Asia for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  Twomey has spent a year each as a consultant for the RAND Corporation on strategic issues and as Policy Researcher for Asia at the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.  He has also held fellowships from or been affiliated with Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, MIT’s Security Studies Program and Center for International Studies, the National Security Education Program (Washington, DC), and the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing.  He has lived in China several times, most recently in 1998-99, speaks and reads Chinese, and has traveled widely in Asia. 

Additional information about his research and teaching can be found by clicking here.

Recent Publications

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