|Edgar S. Furniss Book Award Winner
Jacques E.C. Hymans
"The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy"
Monday, February 25, 2008
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
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Jacques E. C. Hymans is Assistant Professor in the Smith College Department of Government (Northampton, Massachusetts). He is also an affiliate of the Center for European Studies and an associate of the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, both of Harvard University.
Hymans' research focuses on international relations and foreign policy, with an emphasis on the growth and impact of collective identities. He is author of The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), which received not only the Edgar S. Furniss Award from the Mershon Center, but also the Alexander L. George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology.
In this book, Hymans explores why few states have acquired nuclear weapons even though dozens have long been capable of doing so. He finds that the key to this surprising historical pattern lies not in externally imposed constraints, but in state leaders’ conceptions of the national identity.
Synthesizing a wide range of scholarship from the humanities and social sciences to experimental psychology and neuroscience, Hymans builds a rigorous model of decision-making that links identity to emotions and ultimately to nuclear policy choices. Exhaustively researched case studies of France, India, Argentina, and Australia -- two that got the bomb and two that abstained -- demonstrate the value of this model while debunking common myths.
Hymans has held residential fellowships at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, and the Mershon Center. He received his Ph.D. from the Harvard University Department of Government in 2001.
Jacques E.C. Hymans
Assistant Professor of Government