John M. Owen IV

Faculty Senior Fellow

Fast Facts

  • Recipient of fellowships from the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and the Center of International Studies at Princeton
  • Member of the editorial board of International Security
  • Expertise on war, regime change, religion, and international security

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism
  • Religion

John M. Owen is a Miller Center faculty senior fellow and Ambassador Henry J. Taylor and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Professor of Politics. He is the author of Liberal Peace, Liberal War: American Politics and International Security (Cornell University Press, 1997) and The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change 1510-2010 (Princeton University Press, 2010). He is also co-editor of Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order (Columbia University Press, 2011).

Owen has published work in Foreign Affairs, International Politics, International OrganizationInternationale Politik und GesellschaftInternational SecurityInternational Studies QuarterlyPerspectives on PoliticsThe National Interest, and several edited volumes. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and the Center of International Studies at Princeton. His research has been funded by the MacArthur, Earhart, and Donchian Foundations. He is a member of the editorial board of International Security and a faculty fellow at the UVA Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. 

John M. Owen IV News Feed

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.
John M. Owen IV UVA Today
Is democracy an inevitability, or an achievement? Can we be confident, in America, that constitutional self-government is here to stay, regardless of how we pummel it? Or is it fragile, contingent, something to cherish, but never to take for granted? Two decades ago, as the twentieth century ended, democracy seemed permanent in the United States, and indeed a juggernaut elsewhere. The Soviet empire had recently collapsed; China was reforming its economy; there seemed no alternative.
John M. Owen IV The Hedgehog Review
While the United States spends 2020 drawing and quartering itself, China continues to solidify internally then view outward. It has thrown its weight around the South China Sea and poured plenty of capital into the Belt and Road Initiative, a multinational infrastructure project valued at seven times the Marshall Plan after the Second World War. It has subtly tried to remove the liberal democratic “bias” from international rules.
John M. Owen IV The Hill
How has the COVID-19 crisis affected the emerging rivalry between the United States and China? Has the pandemic sharpened great power competition, or highlighted the need for mutual cooperation? Miller Center experts Todd Sechser and John Owen join former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, Nanjing University China expert Zhu Feng, and and Cornell University China scholar Jessica Chen Weiss to consider how the international order has been reshuffled by the pandemic, and who could emerge in a stronger position once the crisis subsides.
John M. Owen IV Miller Center Presents
“He’s not a strategic thinker, but he has some instincts that have been consistent,” said John Owen, head of the University of Virginia’s Department of Politics. “One of those is that the U.S. has fought a lot of worthless wars, in particular Iraq and Afghanistan, and the second is that the U.S. is being exploited by freeriding allies. The problem he has is that very few in Congress agree with him.”
John M. Owen IV Defense One
Has the world gone mad? Or are we just in a period of heightened anxiety? Join us as two veteran diplomats, Ambassadors Nancy Soderberg and Eric Edelman (who is also a Miller Center senior fellow), offer their unique perspective on the state of the world and the U.S. role in it in a wide-ranging conversation with each other and audience members.
John Owen Miller Center Presents