Recent News and Activities -- Prof. Joshua S. Goldstein

   Updated August 2018

Climate Change:

After 30 years focused primarily on war and society, I shifted much of my attention to climate change. Along with war, climate change is now the overriding moral issue of our times, and the greatest threat to civilization. I think of it as the slow-motion equivalent of an asteroid heading for earth. We need to pull in people, money, ideas, etc. to work on this problem. I'm looking at political aspects of climate solutions such as energy R&D and nuclear power; global governance such as the 2015 Paris climate agreement; and discourses around the politics of climate activism.

My new book, A Bright Future, is about how to follow the success of Sweden and other countries in decarbonizing electricity generation using a combination of nuclear power and renewables (or "nuables"). This combination turns out to be the only way to reduce carbon emissions fast enough to have a reasonable chance of avoiding the worst outcomes of climate change. My coauthor is the Swedish energy engineer Staffan Qvist. Publication is set for January 8, 2019 (PublicAffairs Books). I've also been talking with relevant people, had an Op Ed in the Boston Globe with Steven Pinker (Nov. 2015), a radio interview (Dec. 2015), and a short academic article (Jan. 2015).


   My blog at is closed, but an archive of those posts is available at I blog occasionally on the Huffington Post.

Last Book:

I coauthored a new book about veterans and PTSD with a psychotherapist (Mark Nickerson, president of the EMDR International Association and an old friend of mine). The Wounds Within, Skyhorse Publishing, Jan. 2015. This book continues my work on war and society, and also was a chance to write a book focused on a core human narrative (one Iraq veteran, his family, and his therapist). The book website is at I learned a lot!

Previous Book:

   My book, Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide (Dutton/Penguin), is about the decreasing number and size of wars worldwide and the unsung successes of peacekeeping and other efforts for peace. Despite the gory headlines, the decade after 9/11 was the most peaceful period worldwide in the last century. However, we've backslid modestly in the past five years.

The book was co-winner (with Steven Pinker's book on the decline of violence) of the Book of the Year Award from the Conflict Research Society, based in the UK. I've had the chance to speak on the subject at a number of universities and other venues including various ISA panels, the Council on Foreign Relations (DC), a one-day workshop on the decline of war at ISA in Toronto in 2014, an Origins of Violence conference at Arizona State U., the One Earth Future Forum in Aspen (2014), and the Yoga for Peace Symposium in the Bahamas (2014). In Oct. 2015 I gave an audience talk after the off-Broadway musical "Futurity" (Soho Rep theater), which intersected some themes in the book and had some wonderful music.

   I wrote related articles in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs, and did a bunch of radio interviews including NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and BBC's "The World." Portuguese-speakers can read my recent interview on these subjects, especially humanitarian intervention, in the Brazilian paper, O Estado de Sao Paulo. This very short video discusses the prospects for peace in the 21st century. I've enjoyed interacting and debating in different venues with colleagues from my own and other disciplines, as well as visiting peace research centers in Sweden, Norway, Canada, and the USA.


    I've recently retired from writing my textbook International Relations (Pearson), and its Brief Edition. My able coauthor Jon Pevehouse is carrying them on. The insert section on "Global Challenges in 2030" containing eight original essays each written by an IR professor (Joe Nye, Beth Simmons, Shibley Telhami, John Ruggie, Charli Carpenter, Andy Moravcsik, Dan Drezner, and Michael Doyle), has migrated to I also put up the Careers in IR section there.

Other News:

   My article "On Asterisk Inflation" about standards of statistical significance in political science, is in PS, January 2010. I sent copies to the main political science journal editors.

   I had a chapter on Chicken games in international negotiations in a volume on cooperation edited by William Zartman and the late Saadia Touval (Cambridge U. Press). I'm toying with the idea of a book on Chicken games in daily life.

War and Gender:

   I've participated in occasional conferences on gender in war, most recently in Sweden at Lund University along with the foreign minister Margot Wallstrom [video of my talk on gender is here]. Another interesting conference was in Hamburg, Germany in 2015 with Susan Brownmiller on sexual violence in armed conflict. I spoke on women combatants through history at the Naval War College (2013) and the WREI conference at the women's memorial at Arlington Cemetery (2011), and participated in a 2014 conference on women in violent political organizations at Radcliffe. My radio interview for the PBS "Wide Angle" series was part of a podcast they produced in the run-up to a series on women in the military. I learned a lot giving keynote talks about gender to military conferences in Sweden (2007) and Norway (2010), and an EU conference in Hungary (2007). I'm not doing new research about gender but still keenly interested in the topic, which never loses relevance. I'll be on a couple of related panels at the 2016 ISA conference in Atlanta and a conference at American University later in 2016.

   During its first three years I served on the editorial board of the APSA journal, Politics and Gender.

Personal Life:

   I have two amazing children who have been a major focus of my attention for the last two decades -- Solomon Goldstein-Rose, finishing up as the State Representative from Amherst (full-time job), youngest legislator in Massachusetts, climate activist, graduated Brown in 2016 (Engineering and Public Policy). Ruth ("Fred") Goldstein-Rose, undergraduate at U. of Chicago, studying computer science, debate team, graduated Amherst Regional High School in 2016. My ex-spouse Andra Rose and I divorced amicably in 2015 after a productive 30-year marriage and are now close friends. I live with my partner, J. Alden Cox,a psychotherapist. Music, especially jazz, is important to me, and I like hiking in the little mountains nearby. I'm a 13th-generation resident of Massachusetts, born in Boston, though I grew up in California on Stanford campus.

Stress Reduction:

    But enough about me. Relax and take a few deep breaths while looking at a view from my office window. Living among nature and wildlife is an amazing privilege.

Back to Joshua Goldstein's Home Page