Associate Professor

Pick Hall 428
773 834 7916

Austin Carson is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His main research focus is the politics of secrecy in International Relations. His first book, Secret Wars: Covert Conflict in International Politics (Princeton UP 2018), analyzes puzzling secrecy patterns that arise when outside powers intervene in foreign wars. The book develops a theory based on conflict escalation dynamics, showing that states use covert intervention and conceal others' covert activity to keep war limited. An article analyzing the secret side of the Korean War was published in International Organization. His second book project, in collaboration with Allison Carnegie (Columbia), analyzes the role of intelligence and other forms of sensitive information in international organizations. His other research addresses the signaling value of covert action, secrecy's role in insulating international regimes from damaging rule violations, and dynamics of limited war. Dr. Carson received his PhD from Ohio State, BA from Michigan State, and has held research fellowships at Princeton University's Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance and George Washington University's Institute for Security and Conflict Studies.

Selected Publications:

  • "Facing Off and Saving Face: Covert Intervention and Escalation Management in the Korean War,” International Organization, Winter 2016.
  • “Political Irrelevance, Democracy, and the Limits of Militarized Conflict,” with Bear Braumoeller, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Volume 55, No. 2, April 2011, 292-320.