Michael John Williams

Clinical Professor of International Relations and Director of the IR Program at New York University



Professor Michael John Williams studies international relations with a thematic focus on the intersection of international law, political theory and war. He has a particular interest in application of technology to warfare and the comparative politics civil-military relationships in defense policy formulation.  His regional expertise is Europe, in particular the politics of European Union, security and defense politics in the Atlantic world and NATO-Russia relations. Williams is a fluent in German and utilizes Russian extensively for research.   


Prof. Williams' most recent publications include Science, Law and Liberalism in the American Way of War: The Quest for Humanity in Conflict (Cambridge University Press 2015), co-authored with Prof. Stephanie Carvin (Ottawa), "The Afghan War, 2001-2012" in the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History (Oxford 2012) and, The Good War: NATO and the Liberal Conscience in Afghanistan (Palgrave 2011).

Currently he is writing a manuscript, with NYU colleague Prof. Asli Peker, for Cambridge University Press on evolution of international security.

Prof. Williams excellence as a scholar of international affairs has been recognized by several organizations. He was a Stephen M. Kellen term member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and held a Robert Bosch Fellowship in Germany, a Visiting Fellowship at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford, and a DAAD Fellow at the Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr in Potsdam, Germany. He was an investigator in the Sustainable Peacebuilding Network, a collaborative research project involving 20 scholars from six countries, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and directed by Prof. Roland Paris (Ottawa). Williams was a founding member and Senior Associate Scholar at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington D.C.

Williams is currently editor-in-chief of the journal International Politics Reviews and serves on the editorial board for The European Journal of International Security. He was co-editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies while at the LSE. From 2005-2008 Dr. Williams directed the Transatlantic Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London. He has consulted for NATO Allied Command Transformation, the UK Foreign Office, the UK Ministry of Defense, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the US Department of Defence and the UK Department for International Development. He also worked at the US Embassy in London and in the United States Senate in the office of Joseph R. Biden. 

Educated at the universities of Delaware, Hamburg, Bath, Berlin, and Moscow he earned his doctorate at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Williams splits his time between his office in New York city and his home in Annapolis, Maryland. An avid sailor, if he is not in a seminar room teaching or at his desk writing, he is most likely out on the sea sailing. Williams is also an avid rower and has a soft spot for whippets, classic SAAB automobiles and vintage Land Rovers.