Benjamin Miller

Professor of International Relations The University of Haifa, Israel

Welcome to Professor Benjamin Miller Site

I’m a Full Professor of International Relations at the School of Political Sciences, and the Head of National Security Center, The University of Haifa. My current book project—Grand Strategy From Truman to Trump -- focuses on explaining changes in US grand strategy: (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2020). My other book project focuses on explaining war and peace in the 21st century (under contract with Oxford University Press). Among my other publications: When Opponents Cooperate: Great Power Conflict and Collaboration in World Politics (Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 2nd ed., 2002); States, Nations and Great Powers: The Sources of Regional War and Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Regional Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution (Routledge, 2015; co-edited with Carmela Lutmar); and International and Regional Security: The Sources of War and Peace (Routledge, 2017).

I’m the Winner of the University of Haifa Provost’s Prize for a Distinguished Senior Researcher for the year 2020.

I have received a Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley and have held Research Fellowships at Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University (Center for International Studies), McGill University and at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). I was a tenured member of the department of International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; I have also taught at Duke University, the University of Colorado, Boulder, Princeton University and Dartmouth College.

I have also served for many years as the President of the Israeli Association for International Studies (IAIS). I was the Head of the International MA Program in Peace and Conflict when the Program started at the University of Haifa (it was the first international MA program at the University of Haifa).

I’m currently the Head of the Center for National Security Studies at the University of Haifa.

My first book --When Opponents Cooperate: Great Power Conflict and Collaboration in World Politics (Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 2nd ed., 2002) -- explores the conditions under which the great powers are most likely to cooperate or to compete in times of crisis and in normal diplomacy.

The second book-- States, Nations and Great Powers: The Sources of Regional War and Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press-Cambridge Studies in International Relations, 2007 -- focuses on the effects of nationalism and the great powers on regional variations in war and peace both among different regions (the Balkans, South America, Western Europe and the Middle East) and also over time in these regions—from the l9th century to the 21st century.

Another book --International and Regional Security: The Sources of War and Peace – is a collection of my essays over the years and includes also some new research (Routledge, 2017).

The co-edited volume with Carmela Lutmar is based on my development of competing theoretical approaches to conflict management and to war and peace.

My forthcoming book with the University of Chicago Press-- Grand Strategy From Truman to Trump-- focuses on explaining changes in US grand strategy since World war II and the beginning of the Cold War to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and until the presidency of Donald Trump. My key argument is that ideational competition on the best way to maximize national security is brokered by material/international forces, most notably the global distribution of capabilities and the balance of threat to the state.

A partly related study focuses on the effects of the balance of threat on variations in great power management of regional war and peace. The empirical cases include the l973 Arab-Israeli War, the l991 Gulf war, the Peace Process, the 2003 Iraq War, and the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Another study examines the utility of competing peace strategies such as democratization and the effects of military defeats on revisionist states. The case-studies include the record in war and peace of Germany and Iraq during the 20th and 21st centuries.

The study under contract with Oxford University Press examines the competing expectations about the likely character of the post-Cold War Order, which analysts advanced with the end of the Cold War. Many expected a far-reaching transformation in the fundamental character of world politics. Some of these predictions were quite optimistic- believing the changes will lead to more peace and cooperation; some were pessimistic-predicting the emergence of new types of conflicts, while others remained skeptic regarding the possible transformation (for better or worse) in the fundamental character of international politics. While none of these perspectives predicted accurately the nature of the international system, my study will account for the differential application of the competing predictions to different regions.

A current study aims to provide a novel theoretical framework for explaining the rising challenges to the liberal international order, especially in the second decade of the 21st century. The key argument is that nationalism plays a major role in the rise of these challenges. Yet, nationalism is not monolithic. I distinguish among five types of nationalism. The variations in the type of nationalism explain variations in peace and conflict in different parts of the world. The emergence of certain types of domestic and external conflicts particularly poses challenges to domestic and international liberalism. The explanation of the variations of types of nationalism, in turn, is explained by the combined effect of variations in state capacity and national congruence, that is, the congruence between national identities and borders. The general theoretical argument advanced in the paper provides an explanation for the recent rise of nationalist-populism (and the related domestic polarization) in the West and in other democracies in a comparative perspective with other types of nationalism and the conflicts they generate. There are also trans-border linkages between variations in national identity. Thus, the absence of a common national identity in weak states produces failed states, which, in turn, affect the reinforcement of populism in the West by exporting (not necessarily by design) migration and terrorism. Thus, paradoxically, some of the weakest states in the international system affect a major transformation in some of the highest-capacity states in the world by reinforcing the rise of populism. Such a rise of populism—as well as of revisionism and failed states—poses severe challenges to the liberal international order.

I have also published numerous articles on international relations theory and international and regional security, war and peace, democracy promotion, grand strategy, nationalism and conflict, sources of international cooperation and conflict, international and regional conflict management, great-power intervention and the effects of the great powers on regional security. I have also published on war and peace in specific regions (the Middle East, the Balkans, South America, Europe, South Asia and North America). Currently my regional research focuses on the post-Soviet area, China and East Asia and the post-Arab Spring Middle East.

I have also some “practical” experience in war and peace: I fought in the l973 war on the Golan Heights in the famous Tel-Saki battle on which two recent books were published, and later I graduated from the Cadet Course of the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs and served as a member of the Israeli Delegation to the UN.

Office Address

Division of International Relations

School of Political Sciences

Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Haifa.

Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, ISRAEL.






States, Nations and Great Powers: The Sources of Regional War and Peace. Cambridge University Press- Cambridge Studies inInternational Relations. 2007, 500 pages.

To the site of the book please press here

key book reviews by leading scholars were published in the following journals: G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2008; Richard Little, International Journal, Winter 2008-09, pp. 289-291; Kal J. Holsti, International Studies Review 2009 11, pp. 371-372).