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Robert Jervis (born 1940) is the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University.


Robert Jervis holds a B.A. from Oberlin Collegemarker (1962) and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeleymarker (1968). From 1968 to 1972, he was an assistant professor of government at Harvard University, and was an associate professor from 1972–74. From 1974 to 1980, he was a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angelesmarker. He is the father of Lisa Jervis, who co-founded Bitch magazine.


He has worked on perceptions and misperceptions in foreign policy decision making. While Jervis is perhaps best known for two books in his early career, he also wrote System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton, 1997). With System Effects, Jervis established himself as a social scientist as well as an expert in international politics. Many of his latest writings are about the Bush doctrine, of which he is very critical. Jervis is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciencesmarker. He was also president of the American Political Science Association in 2001.

Selected publications

  • The Logic of Images in International Relations (Princeton, 1970) ISBN 978-0231069328
  • Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, 1976) ISBN 978-0691100494
  • Cooperation under the Security Dilemma (World Politics, Vol. 30, No.2, 1978)
  • The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution (Cornell, 1989)
  • System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton, 1997) ISBN 978-0866820035

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