Jon Western

Carol Hoffmann Collins '63 Professor of International Relations and Five College Professor of International Relations
Specialization: 
International security; human rights; American foreign policy

Jon Western's 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.

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 State-building: Getting Its Act Together? (Rutledge, 2012) and co-editor of Global Giant: Is China Changing the Rules of the Game (Palgrave, 2009). He is currently finishing a biography of Dorothy Fosdick titled The Woman in the Room: Dorothy Fosdick and the Rise of American Power in the 20th Century. He is working on two additional research projects exploring complexity and global governance and democratic institutional resilience. He also leads an international working group on Global Trends in War, Conflict, and Political 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. He served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Mount Holyoke from 2016 to 2020.

Western's articles have appeared in numerous publications including Foreign AffairsSecurity StudiesInternational SecurityEthno-politicsHarvard International ReviewPerspectives on Politics, and Political Science Quarterly. He is a former permanent contributor to Duck of Minerva, a blog focusing on International Relations.

Recent Campus News

Elena Frogameni in green coat smiling at the camera in front of Skinner Hall

Senior Elena Frogameni named Rhodes Scholar

Mount Holyoke senior Elena Frogameni ‘22 is Mount Holyoke’s second-ever Rhodes Scholar and its first in over 25 years. 

Ken Paxton, balding, waiting on a tarmac, tie flapping in the wind, gesturing

The story behind a partisan lawsuit

Jon Western and Mount Holyoke students uncovered the origin of a lawsuit backed by GOP attorneys general aiming to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Elena Frogameni ’22, from Northampton MA, looking into the camera

Scholarship supports senior from Western Mass

Mount Holyoke student Elena Frogameni ’22 has been named the recipient of the Western Massachusetts Scholarship Fund for this past academic year.

Dorothy Mosby, Associate Dean of Faculty

Dorothy E. Mosby is interim dean of faculty

Dorothy E. Mosby has been appointed as the interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty through June 30, 2022.  

Nine faculty members have been granted tenure. Top row, l-r: Olivia Aguilar; Riché J. Daniel Barnes; Thomas Ciufo. Middle row, l-r: Naomi Darling; Nina Emery; Kerstin Nordstrom. Bottom row, l-r: Heather Pon-Barry; Jared Schwartzer; Jennifer Wallace Jacoby

Nine faculty receive tenure

The Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees has voted to grant tenure to nine faculty members spanning disciplines from gender studies to physics. 

Recent Publications

Haas, P. and Western, J., (2021). "Governing Complexity in World Politics". Complexity, Governance & Networks, 6(1), 55-87.