Alexander Wendt

Alexander Wendt poses with a black t-shirt and black jacket on a white background.

Alexander Wendt

Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security


2048 Derby Hall
154 N Oval Mall
Columbus, OH

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  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Minnesota (1989)
  • B.A., Political Science and Philosophy, Macalester College (1982)


Alexander Wendt is Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security and professor of political science at The Ohio State University. His areas of expertise include the philosophy of social science and social theory, international relations theory, global governance, and international security.

Wendt is interested in philosophical aspects of social science, with special reference to international relations.  He is the author of Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, 1999), which in 2006 received the International Studies Association award for "Best Book of the Decade" and has been translated into more than 10 languages. In the 2013 TRIP survey of 1,400 International Relations scholars he was named as the most influential scholar in the field over the past 20 years.

Wendt's latest book is Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which proposes a quantum physical basis for consciousness and its place in the natural world, and explores the implications of this perspective for the social sciences. Wendt's argument provides a philosophical basis for human agency through free will, and for a holistic or 'non-local' vision of social life. This book was the basis of Mershon's Quantum Theory and the International conference organized by Wendt in April 2018.

Recent publications also include New Systems Theories of World Politics, edited with Mathias Albert and Lars-Erik Cederman (Macmillan, 2010), based on a conference held at the Mershon Center in 2005. He has also published articles in International Organization, American Political Science Review, Review of International Studies, European Journal of International Relations, International Security, and Politics and Society.

Before coming to Ohio State in 2004, Wendt taught at Yale University, Dartmouth College, and University of Chicago. 

Find out more about Wendt on his personal website at

Faculty Links

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page

Media Links

Mershon Center: Wendt to be featured speaker at TEDxColumbus (2019)
The Wright Show: Quantum Physics and Social Science (2019)
Mershon Center: Conference to examine quantum social science (2018)
Mershon Center: Q and A: Alexander Wendt on ‘Quantum Mind and Social Science’ (2015)
Mershon Center: Wendt again named top scholar in International Relations (2015)
Arts and Sciences: Alexander Wendt Selected Top Scholar in International Relations (2012)
Global Perspectives: Ohio State's own Alexander Wendt named world's most influential scholar in international relations (2012)

Mershon Projects

Quantum Social Science and International Security Studies Workshop (2017-18)
Critical Research in International Politics Speaker Series, with Jennifer Mitzen (2015-16)
Realism and Constructivism: From Debate to Dialogue (2005)
New Systems Theories of World Politics (2005)