Paul MacDonald

Professor of Political Science

My primary area of research and teaching in political science is international relations, with a focus on American foreign policy.

My research focuses on the political and military dimensions of overseas expansion, as well as the dynamics of resistance to colonial rule. I am also working with a collaborator - Joseph M. Parent of Miami University - on a project on the foreign policy responses adopted of great powers to acute relative economic decline. My first book Networks of Domination: The Social Foundations of Peripheral Conquest in International Politics was published by Oxford University Press. I have also published articles on these topics in the American Political Science Review, International Security, International Organization, Security Studies, Review of International Studies, and Foreign Affairs.

I teach survey courses on “World Politics” and “American Foreign Policy,” as well as seminars on topics such as “Empires and Imperialism,” and “Small Wars and Insurgencies.”

Before coming to Wellesley, I taught for three years in the department of political science at Williams College. I have also held research positions at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.

When not traveling abroad, I enjoy backpacking in California, snowshoeing in the Berkshires, and kicking the soccer ball with my two daughters, Sophie and Stella.

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  • B.A., University of California (Berkeley)
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • Ph.D., Columbia University