David M. Rowe teaches political economy, comparative politics, and international relations. He is a former director of the International Studies Program at Kenyon and from 2010-2012 held the R. Todd Ruppert Chair for International Studies. He has been the recipient of several prestigious grants and awards. In 2009, he held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Innsbruck. Other awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Peace and Security and grants from the Pew Memorial Trust and the National Science Foundation.

Rowe has been a fellow at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto. He was executive director of the Aspen Strategy Group, a policy program of the Aspen Institute on U.S. foreign and security policy and has also worked for the U.S. Department of Defense. Rowe is a regular commenter on U.S. politics for the Austrian press. His research has focused on three major themes: how economic sanctions influence target countries, globalization’s role in causing World War I, and the origins of social order. He has developed a nationally recognized course on terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.


1993 — Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University

1985 — Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University

1982 — Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College

Courses Recently Taught

This seminar examines some of the problems inherent in cross-cultural comparison and explores the ways in which a variety of disciplines grapple with these difficulties by investigating contemporary themes in international affairs. These themes include some or all of the following: ethnic conflict; comparative perspectives on development; religion and socioeconomic development; contemporary environmental problems; the ethics of armed intervention; the emergence of a world popular culture and its consequences for national cultures; the challenges of democratization; and perceptions of the United States, Americans and U.S. foreign policy abroad. Open only to international studies majors with senior standing. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Offered every year.

This course is an introduction to the study of international relations. It first provides students with the analytical tools and concepts necessary to understand and explain the interactions of states and other actors in the international system. It then explores some of the most pressing political problems and challenges in the modern international system. The course discusses issues such as the importance of power in the international system; the origins of war and peace; the challenges of the new global economy; security and terrorism; and the implications of these trends for the 21st century. This course is required for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or first-year students currently enrolled in PSCI 102Y. Offered every year.

Globalization has become an increasingly prominent phenomenon in contemporary politics. Some argue that globalization can generate a world of increased wealth and international peace. Others contend that globalization undermines traditional culture and generates social conflict. This course investigates the origins and nature of globalization. It explores the key actors, institutions and processes that gave rise to and shape modern globalization, the potential benefits that globalization brings and the sources and nature of the modern backlash against globalization. The course concludes by exploring the implications of globalization for the nation-state and international order. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations requirement for the major. Sophomore standing. Offered every three years.

This course explores the U.S. role in world politics at the beginning of the 21st century. The United States faces a number of new challenges — from building democracy in the Middle East to defending against catastrophic terrorism to managing globalization — but many of the institutions and alliances that previously served U.S. interests and structured world order have come under increasing stress from U.S. actions. We explore topics such as whether the United States should pursue a more multilateral or unilateral foreign policy, American relations with key allies, and how to manage the most important challenges of the 21st century. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Sophomore standing.

This course explores the causes and consequences of international terrorism. It examines how terrorists use violence to shape identities and achieve social change, the grievances that give rise to modern terrorism, the goals of modern terrorist groups such as al-Qaida; and the potential for "catastrophic terrorism" using weapons of mass destruction. The final segment of the course explores the complex issues raised by the terrorist challenge to liberal democratic states and the rule of law. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations or the seminar requirements for the major. No prerequisite. Junior standing. Offered every two years.

This course explores the complex and dynamic relations between the state and market, the two most pervasive institutions that structure modern social life. We examine issues such as the role of state violence in constructing political and economic order, the political foundations of markets, how warfare led to the emergence of modern states and global capitalism, the political sources of economic growth and decline, and how markets can undermine states and social order. We read scholars from a diverse array of disciplines including political science, economics, history and sociology drawing on a wide range of empirical materials, ranging from medieval Europe and colonial Africa to modern Africa and the advanced industrial states. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations or the seminar requirements for the major. No prerequisite. Junior standing. Offered every two years.