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Stephen Walker

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Emeritus Professor

Stephen G. Walker graduated from Creighton University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He received master's (1965) and doctoral (1971) degrees from the University of Florida in political science and joined the political science faculty at Arizona State University (1969), rising to the rank of professor (1985), serving as department chair (1992-1998), and currently as an Emeritus Professor (2003-present).

Walker's professional service includes appointments as affiliated faculty in the Center for the Future of War at Arizona State University, service as a past or present member of the editorial boards of International Interactions, Political Psychology, and Foreign Policy Analysis, past service as a co-editor of International Studies Quarterly, terms on the Governing Councils of the International Studies Association and the International Society of Political Psychology, and election to the office of vice president of these two organizations.

Walker’s public service includes an appointment by the National Academy of Science as a committee member and a co-author of the National Research Council’s committee report, “U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches in the 21st Century Security Environment” (2013-2014). His research grants include “Mapping the Impact of Personality Traits on Foreign Policy Decisions” from the National Science Foundation (1982-83), “Small Groups and International Policy Making” (1995) and “Bridging the Gap between Role Theory and Role Practice in Foreign Policy” (2013) from the International Studies Association. He has received the Distinguished Scholar Award (2003) from the Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association.

Walker’s research interests focus on conflict management and resolution, foreign policy analysis, and political psychology. His latest book is "Role Theory and Role Conflict in U.S.-Iran Relations" (2017). He has authored or edited five previous books, "Role Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis" (1987), "Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics" (2006), "Rethinking Foreign Policy Analysis" (2011), "U.S. Presidents and Foreign Policy Mistakes" (2011), "Role Theory and the Cognitive Architecture of British Appeasement Decisions" (2013) plus more than 70 papers in journals such as Journal of Peace Research (1972), Journal of Conflict Resolution (1977, 1982, 1994, 1999), International Interactions (1978), World Politics (1981), Political Psychology (1981/1982, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2007), Journal of Politics (1982), International Studies Quarterly (1983, 1998, 2006) and  Foreign Policy Analysis (2011).

Walker’s publications also extend to chapters in edited volumes such as “Beliefs and Foreign Policy Analysis in the New Millennium” in "Millennial Reflections on International Studies" (2002), “The Psychology of Presidential Decision Making” in the "Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency" (2009), “Operational Code Theory: Beliefs and Foreign Policy Decisions” in the "International Studies Encyclopedia" (2010), “The British Strategy of Appeasement: Why Britain Persisted in the Face of Negative Feedback” in "When Things Go Wrong: Foreign Policy Decision Making under Adverse Feedback" (2011), “Belief Systems and Foreign Policy Roles: Role Contestation in U.S. Foreign Policy Decisions” in "Domestic Role Contestation, Foreign Policy, and International Relations" (2016), “Role Theory as an Empirical Theory of International Relations: From Metaphor to Formal Model” in "Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory" (2017), “Role Contestation in Making Foreign Policy Decisions: Game Theory and Digraph Models” in the "Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Foreign Policy Analysis" (2017).

  • Ph.D. Political Science (International relations and Comparative Politics), University of Florida 1971 
  • M.A. Political Science (International relations and Comparative Politics), University of Florida 1965 
  • A.B. Political Science; minors: Philosophy and History, Creighton University 1964