University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Jon Western

Professional Title: 

Five College Professor of International Relations


Office Hours: 

Tue 11:30-12:30


Columbia University, Ph.D.; University of Michigan, M.P.P.; Macalester College, B.A.


Jon Western is Five College Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College and the FiveColleges, Inc. and Chair of the Five College International Relations Program. He also chairs the MHC Nexus on Law, Public Policy, and Human Rights.

His teaching and research interests focus on U.S. foreign policy, international security, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. He teaches courses such as American Foreign Policy; International Human Rights; International Security Policy; U.S. Foreign Policy, Human Rights and Democracy Promotion; and International Human Rights Advocacy in Theory and Practice -- a linked course with Professor Rogelio Miñana’s course in Spanish and Latin American Studies titled The Other and New Media.

Western is the author of Selling Intervention and War: The Presidency, the Media, and the American Public (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005). He is the co-editor of The International Community and Statebuilding: Getting Its Act Together? (Rutledge, 2012) and co-editor of Global Giant: Is China Changing the Rules of the Game (Palgrave, 2009). His most recent manuscript titled Why Bother? The Rise and Fall of Liberal Statebuilding from Sarajevo to Kabul will be published in early 2014. He is currently managing two additional research projects on post-hegemonic global governance and on international responses to mass atrocity violence.

Prior to joining the Mount Holyoke faculty, Western served as a Peace Scholar-in-residence and the coordinator of the Dayton Upgrade Project at the United States Institute of Peace. He has taught at Columbia University and George Washington University and served as a Balkans analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, an M.P.P. from the University of Michigan, and B.A. from Macalester College.

Western's articles have appeared in numerous publications includingForeign AffairsSecurity StudiesInternational SecurityEthnopolitics,Harvard International ReviewPerspectives on Politics, and Political Science Quarterly. He is a regular contributor to Duck of Minerva, a blog focusing on International Relations, and he writes a monthly column for Current Intelligence, a British journal on politics and culture.