Dale Copeland

Faculty Senior Fellow

Fast Facts

  • Professor of international affairs, University of Virginia Department of Politics
  • Recipient of numerous awards, including MacArthur and Mellon Fellowships and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Expertise in international relations, international economics, security studies, political economy 

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism
  • Economic Issues

Dale Copeland, faculty senior fellow, is the Hugh S. and Winnifred B. Cumming Memorial Professor of International Affairs in the UVA Department of Politics. A graduate of Queen’s University (B. Comm), Johns Hopkins (MA), and the University of Chicago (PhD), Copeland specializes in security studies and political economy. He is the author of many publications, including Economic Interdependence and War, which examines the conditions under which inter-state trade will lead to either war or peace and won the 2017 Best Book Award of the International Studies Association. He is also the author of The Origins of Major War, which studies the rise and fall of great world powers and the devastation of system-wide war. Other research interests include the origins of economic interdependence between great powers, the realist-constructivist divide, in-group/out-group theory and the logic of reputation-building, and the interconnection between international political economy and security studies.

Copeland is the recipient of numerous awards, including MacArthur and Mellon fellowships and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University.

Dale Copeland News Feed

William B. Taylor Jr., former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, joins a panel of Miller Center and UVA experts on war and foreign policy to analyze Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As Taylor wrote recently: “Atrocities and mass civilian casualties, in a Russian assault that President Biden and others have labeled an act of genocide, only heighten the question for democracies of how to respond. Accountability will be vital. But an immediate imperative is to stop this aggression by defeating Putin and supporting Ukrainians’ battle to preserve their own freedom. That battle is crucial to the protection of international rule of law—and, given Putin’s implacability, to any hope for peace.”
Dale Copeland Miller Center Presents
Miller Center scholars join Director William Antholis to discuss the destabilizing effects of the invasion.
Dale Copeland Miller Center Russia-Ukraine blog
There has been much discussion since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as to whether Vladimir Putin should be considered a rational actor, given his brutal assault on Ukraine and his apparent unwillingness to recognize the high costs the invasion has already imposed on both his military and his nation.
Miller Center
Vladimir Putin has got himself into a terrible mess. Aside from setting most of the world against him and reinvigorating the very alliance, NATO, which he claims he is acting to thwart, his actions in Ukraine have placed his own country on the brink of economic collapse. Such a collapse would not only endanger Russia’s position as a middle power between the economic superpowers of the United States and China, but it might even bring about his downfall. Putin’s original plans – of taking Ukraine quickly, installing a puppet regime in Kyiv, and perhaps lopping off the eastern half of Ukraine as parts of a reconstituted Russian empire – have been thrown out the window.
Dale Copeland Miller Center Russia-Ukraine blog
Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press discuss their new book, The Myth of the Nuclear Revolution, which tackles the central puzzle of the nuclear age: the persistence of intense geopolitical competition in the shadow of nuclear weapons. They explain why the Cold War superpowers raced so feverishly against each other; why the creation of "mutual assured destruction" does not ensure peace; and why the rapid technological changes of the 21st century will weaken deterrence in hotspots around the world. Ultimately, Lieber and Press discover answers to critical questions: how much capability is required for a reliable nuclear deterrent, how conventional conflicts may become nuclear wars, and how to prevent new technology from ushering in an age of nuclear instability.
Dale Copeland Miller Center Presents
We asked three faculty members in the University of Virginia’s Democratic Statecraft Lab to weigh in on the geopolitical concerns. The Democratic Statecraft Lab is part of UVA’s Democracy Initiative and examines global threats to democracy, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the rise of authoritarian populism or instances of regime change like the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Politics professor Todd Sechser, who studies coercive diplomacy, nuclear security and political violence, directs the lab. He is joined here by politics professors Dale Copeland, who focuses on international relations theory, and John Owen, who studies American influence around the world and has written about political Islam. All three are also senior fellows at UVA's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
Dale Copeland UVA Today