Allan C. Stam

Fast Facts

  • Former dean, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Former director, International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Expertise on war outcomes, war durations, mediation, alliance politics

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism
  • Governance
  • Leadership

Allan C. Stam is a University Professor, professor of public policy and politics, and former dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Previously, he was director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and professor of political science and senior research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Prior to moving to Michigan in 2007, he was the Daniel Webster Professor at Dartmouth College (2000-2007) and was assistant professor at Yale University (1996-2000). His research focuses on the dynamics of armed conflict between and within states. Before completing his undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 1988, where he earned a varsity letter in heavyweight crew, he served as a communications specialist on an ‘A’ detachment in the U.S. Army Special Forces and later as an armor officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. He holds an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Michigan.

Stam’s work on war outcomes, war durations, mediation, and alliance politics appears in numerous political science journals including the American Political Science ReviewInternational Security, and the British Journal of Political Science. He has received several grants supporting his work, including five from the National Science Foundation. His books include Win, Lose, or Draw (University of Michigan Press, 1996), Democracies at War (Princeton University Press, 2002), The Behavioral Origins of War (University of Michigan Press, 2004), and Why Leaders Fight (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2007 he was a residential fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is the recipient of the 2004 Karl Deutsch Award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under the age of 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the study of international politics. He has worked on several consulting projects for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy’s Joint Warfare Analysis Center.

Allan C. Stam News Feed

Leading up to the Miller Center’s 50th anniversary in 2025, this conference shares new ideas and best practices to support a more responsible and effective presidency.
Miller Center Presents
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.”
Allan C. Stam Miller Center Presents
As the war in Ukraine grinds into its third month, it is not too early to start asking what lessons we might take from the conflict. One set of lessons focuses on the tactical—how man-portable precision-guided munitions appear to have reduced the value of large-scale armor formations. Another perspective focuses on the lessons flowing from the risks and rewards of NATO expansion over the past two decades. Pulling further back, looking at the conflict from the perspective of the entire international system, the Russo-Ukrainian war provides essential information about the likely emergence of a new Cold War.
Allan C. Stam Miller Center
Like Putin, dictators tend to start risky wars, our research shows.
Allan Stam and Dan Reiter The Washington Post
The naval war for Ukraine has received relatively little attention in the open press.
Allan C. Stam and Andrew Bennett Miller Center
The University’s Miller Center of Public Affairs hosted a webinar Monday evening to discuss the possible futures of the ongoing war in Ukraine, consequences of continued escalation and the possible effects of an extended conflict. The conflict between the two countries stems from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, when Ukraine gained independence — the country has long been divided between Ukrainians who see Ukraine as part of Europe and those who feel it is linked to Russia. In 2014, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, and tensions have risen since. Belarus has supported Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, while the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk publicly stated their intent to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, which became part of the pretense for Russia’s invasion.
Allan C. Stam The Cavalier Daily