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Francis J. Gavin

Chair, Editorial Board

Francis J. Gavin is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. In 2013, Gavin was appointed the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. Before joining MIT, he was the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas. From 2005 until 2010, he directed The American Assembly’s multiyear, national initiative, The Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions. Gavin’s writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012).

He received a PhD and MA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Studies in Modern European History from Oxford University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Gavin is an Associate of the Managing the Atom Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, Senior Fellow of the Clements Program in History, Strategy, and Statecraft, a Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center, a Senior Advisor to the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a life-member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Author's Articles

Does Might Make Right? Individuals, Ethics, and Exceptionalism

Does Might Make Right? Individuals, Ethics, and Exceptionalism

In his introductory essay for Vol. 3, Iss. 1 of TNSR, the chair of our editorial board, Francis J. Gavin, discusses the choices made by individual statesmen, how to evaluate their motives, and the role of ethics in making grand strategic choices.

Wars with Words?

Wars with Words?

In his introductory essay for Vol. 2, Iss. 4, Francis J. Gavin, the chair of TNSR's editorial board, discusses academic combat, debates over "isms," and how to truly advance knowledge through intellectual exchange.

Patterns and Purpose

Patterns and Purpose

In his introductory essay for Vol. 2, Iss. 3, Frank Gavin, the chair of our editorial board, writes about feeling like a scholar without a home, the challenges of publishing an interdisciplinary journal, and how to adapt best practices from science and…

Reviewing Blues

Reviewing Blues

The chairman of our editorial board, Frank Gavin, introduces Vol. 2, Iss. 2 of TNSR and discusses the joys and pains of the review process, giving some advice for both reviewers and those submitting their work for review.

Rethinking the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons and American Grand Strategy

Rethinking the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons and American Grand Strategy

Nuclear weapons have long played a central but often unappreciated role in American grand strategy. In spite of the unimaginable consequences of their use in war, we know far less about how the bomb shapes U.S. national security and world politics than we…

Introducing TNSR’s Fourth Issue: Allies & Enemies

Introducing TNSR’s Fourth Issue: Allies & Enemies

This past summer, after 31 years as a member of its editorial leadership team, Sean Lynn Jones announced his retirement from running International Security. Sean is a giant among journal editors and will be missed.

TNSR: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why You Should Care

TNSR: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why You Should Care

The Texas National Security Review launches today. What do you need to know about this ambitious project aimed at changing the way we generate policy-relevant and policy-accessible knowledge about the world's toughest challenges?