September 7, 2018

Colloquium Speaker: Justin Conrad


Justin Conrad is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Conrad studies international security issues, including terrorism and interstate conflict.

His research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, and his work has been published in leading academic journals, including International Organization, the Journal of Politics and the British Journal of Political Science.  Dr. Conrad has appeared in, and his research has been cited by, a variety of international media outlets, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Slate France and Voice of America.

Dr. Conrad is also a key researcher at the Resources and Conflict Project, and co-editor of the “Future of Global Security” book series at the U.S. Naval Institute Press.  Professor Conrad received his Ph.D. from Florida State University and a master’s degree from UCLA.




Colloquium Topic: Gambling and War: Risk, Reward, and Chance in International Conflict

To succeed in poker, it is not enough to simply anticipate the actions of other players and try to outsmart them. A successful player must also understand and appreciate the role of randomness. Additionally, players must confront the reality that all human beings are prone to errors in judgment, which cause them to make suboptimal choices under many circumstances. Taken together, these challenges make poker a fascinating and highly unpredictable game, much like the dynamics of international conflict. Any comprehensive analysis of why wars occur and how they are fought must consider a variety of factors including strategy, human error, and dumb luck.