Joshua Rovner is the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of Studies at the Tower Center for Political Studies. Before coming to SMU, he was Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the Naval War College, and he also taught at Columbia University and Williams College.
Dr. Rovner writes extensively on strategy and security. His recent book, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011), is a wide-ranging study about how leaders use and misuse intelligence. Rovner’s book combines a new theory of intelligence with a deep historical analysis of critical moments in U.S. foreign policy, including key decisions about the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Widely praised by reviewers, Fixing the Facts won the International Studies Association Best Book Award for security studies, and the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award, presented by the Mershon Center at Ohio State University.
Rovner’s research interests also include international relations theory, nuclear weapons, grand strategy, and U.S. defense policy. He has written on intelligence before and after the September 11 attacks, strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possible responses to nuclear proliferation. In addition to his continuing research on intelligence, he is currently working on issues relating to U.S. force posture in the Persian Gulf, the theory and history of counterinsurgency, and contemporary deterrence theory.
A frequent public speaker, Rovner seeks to encourage a wide-ranging discussion on the issues of force and war. He also seeks to promote close collaboration between political scientists and historians. As reviews editor for The Journal of Strategic Studies, he has deliberately brought together scholars from different disciplines in order to encourage work that is both theoretically rigorous and historically rich.
Dr. Rovner received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his doctoral thesis won the Lucian W. Pye Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Political Science. He also holds an MA in political science from Boston College and a BA in political science from U.C. San Diego. He lives with his wife, Nicole Nicas Rovner, and their sons Desmond and Maxwell.