Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science
Kimberly Marten is the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and a faculty member of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. She is also Director of the new Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at Columbia's Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies (where she served as Institute Acting Director in 2012/13 and Deputy Director for Development in 2013-15). She is a member of Columbia's Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the PONARS-Eurasia network, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Marten's current research focuses on Russia. She has two major projects underway: a counterfactual analysis of what would have happened if NATO hadn't expanded, and a historical analysis of Soviet intelligence organizations and their foreign policy impact. She writes frequently about current events, with recent articles in The Washington Quarterly, ForeignAffairs.com, the Washington Post's Monkey Cage Blog (for example, here, here, here, here, and here), the Huffington Post, and USA Today among others.
She is a frequent media commentator, appearing on the The Daily Show (extra web content here) with Jon Stewart, the Charlie Rose Show with guest host Richard Haass, the Rachel Maddow show and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, CNN International, PBS NewsHour Weekend with Hari Sreenivasan (here and here), Al Jazeera America, NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross and "Here and Now" with Robin Young, WNYC's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Todd Zwillich, Minnesota Public Radio's "Daily Circuit" with Kerri Miller, KPFK's (Los Angeles) "Background Briefing" with Ian Masters, the BBC World Service, Bloomberg TV and Radio, China Business Network (Shanghai), Globo TV Brazil, and Monocle 24 UK among others. She has been interviewed by Newsweek, Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Russia), and Forbes.com.
Her previous research project analyzed the politics of warlords, asking how their patronage networks impact sovereignty and state failure. Her latest book, Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States (Cornell University Press, 2012), traces the development of warlordism and its consequences in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Sunni Arab areas of Iraq, and post-Soviet Georgia and the Republic of Chechnya in Russia. She discussed the book on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show and Wisconsin Public Radio. The book was reviewed in an H-Diplo/International Security Studies Forum roundtable. In International Security, she compares warlordism in Afghanistan and Somalia to medieval Europe and Republican-era China. She researched militias and security sector reform in weak states, including work on the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, published in International Peacekeeping and in the International Herald Tribune/New York Times. Her chapter on the Afghan Local Police appears in an edited volume on The Transnational Governance of Violence and Crime, following an earlier opinion piece in the IHT/NYT.
Her prior books include Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation (Princeton, 1993), which received the Marshall Shulman Prize; Weapons, Culture, and Self-Interest: Soviet Defense Managers in the New Russia (Columbia, 1997); and Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past (Columbia, 2004).
Marten earned her A.B. in 1985 at Harvard magna cum laude and Ph.D. in 1991 at Stanford. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation; a visiting scholar at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies; a visiting scholar at Tokyo's Institute for International Policy Studies (via a Hitachi/Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship); and a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Her research has been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation, and the Government of Canada.
Recent courses taught:
Syllabus Fall 2015
Syllabus Spring 2015
Syllabus Spring 2013
“Debunking the Stationary Bandit Myth: Violence and Governance in Statebuilding History,” in The Jackals of Westphalia? Non-State Challenges in a Re-ordered World, ed. Stefano Ruzza, Anja P. Jakobi and Charles C. Geisler (New York: Routledge, in press).
“Putin’s Choices: Explaining Russian Foreign Policy and Intervention in Ukraine,” The Washington Quarterly 38, no. 2 (Summer 2015): 189-204.
“Informal Political Networks and Putin’s Foreign Policy: The Examples of Iran and Syria,” Problems of Post-Communism 62, no. 2 (April 2015): 71-87.
"Reformed or Deformed? Patronage Politics, International Influence, and the Palestinian Security Forces," International Peacekeeping 21, no. 2 (June 2014): 181-97.
"A New Explanation for Russian Foreign Policy: The Power of Informal Patronage Networks," PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo 274, September 2013.
“Warlords and Governance,” in The Transnational Governance of Violence and Crime: Non-State Actors in Security, ed. Anja P. Jakobi and Klaus Dieter Wolf (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 23-29. Governance and Limited Statehood Series.
"The Bane of Palestinian Infighting," International Herald Tribune, June 27, 2013.
Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012.
"Uncertain Loyalty: The Challenges of Cooperating with Militias," Jane's Intelligence Review, December 2012: 41-5.
"Patronage vs. Professionalism in New Security Institutions," Prism (National Defense University Center for Complex Operations) 2, no. 4 (Sept. 2011): 83-98.
“Warlords,” in The Changing Character of War, ed. Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
“Failing States and Conflict,” in The International Studies Encyclopedia (a peer-reviewed compendium of scholarly concepts in international relations, a project of the International Studies Association), ed. Robert A. Denemark (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).
“Russian Efforts to Control Kazakhstan’s Oil: The Kumkol Case,” Post-Soviet Affairs 23, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 2007): 18-37.
“Is Stability the Answer?” in Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World, ed. Pamela Aall, Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007).
“Warlordism in Comparative Perspective,” International Security 31, no. 3 (Winter 2006/7): 41-73.
Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
Weapons, Culture, and Self-Interest: Soviet Defense Managers in the New Russia. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation, 1955-1991. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.
Fall 2015 Office Hours:
IAB (Columbia campus) 1215
A.B., Harvard University
Ph.D., Stanford University
In the News
Political science professor provides context for historic meeting between Presidents Obama and Putin
Provides expert commentary on Putin's political maneuvering and consequences for Russia's economy
Political science professor appears in various broadcast and print outlets
Political science professor appears in various broadcast and print outlets
Expert on Eurasian affairs discusses escalating political crisis