• Contact Info

Beard, Steven Matthew



Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • I use formal models and game theory, along with statistical and qualitative analysis, to help understand how wars begin and end. My dissertation showed that military factors create commitment problems that inhibit negotiations to end wars. I have several ongoing projects examining when commitment problems can cause war, the relationship between uncertainty and war, and whena nd why coercion succeeds and fails.


  • war, war trends, war termination, causes of war, bargaining model of war, military strategy, coercion, deterrence


courses taught

  • IAFS 3000 - Special Topics in International Affairs
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Junior or senior level umbrella seminar spanning a variety of topics relevant to the study of international affairs. Subjects addressed under this heading vary according to student interest and faculty availability. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.
  • IAFS 4500 - The Post-Cold War World
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Capstone course for international affairs majors. Examines the ways in which the end of the Cold War, the collapse of failed states, and the rise of global terrorism changed the world. Studies how peoples, governments and nongovernmental organizations face new social, political, economic and security challenges in an era of globalization. Includes discussion, oral reports, critical book reviews, and research papers.
  • PACS 3800 - Security Studies
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Provides an introduction to the academic field of "Security Studies". Focuses on motives, institutions and processes associated with societal defense against threats posed to cherished possessions and the pursuit of stable, autonomous and prosperous existence. Reviews related theoretical traditions associated with militarism, war and conflict. Covers key concerns of (in-)security in post 9/11 global society, including surveillance, terrorism, genocide and insurgency. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Similar to PSCI 3123.
  • PSCI 2075 - Quantitative Research Methods
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Introduces quantitative research methods used in political science. Focuses on basic tools of analysis: data collection, processing, and evaluation, with special attention to survey techniques. Includes elite and case study analysis; aggregate, cluster, and content analysis; and the use of computers in political research.
  • PSCI 3163 - American Foreign Policy
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    Examines foundations, assumptions, objectives, dynamics, and methods of U.S. foreign policy since WWII. Gives special attention to domestic and external problems of adapting U.S. policy to the changing world environment. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 2223.
  • PSCI 3183 - International Law
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022
    Investigates the legal principles and landmark judicial cases that govern relations between countries and other international actors. Explores the development and effectiveness of law on issues such as human rights, war crimes, and the use of military force. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 2223.
  • PSCI 3225 - Strategy and Politics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Focuses on the rational choice approach to understanding political decision making. Introduces students to the tools and methods of game-theoretic reasoning, and examines the strategic logic of many forms of political decision-making, including voting, lawmaking, and international conflict. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 1101 or PSCI 2012 or PSCI 2223.

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