Philip B. K. Potter

Fast Facts

  • Professor of politics, UVA Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Founding director, National Security Policy Center at the Batten School
  • Expertise on national security, China, war and international conflict

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism
  • Asia
  • Politics

Philip B. K. Potter is professor of politics and founding director of the National Security Policy Center in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He is also a university expert with the National Ground Intelligence Center, US Army INSCOM.

Potter’s latest book with Chen Wang, Zero Tolerance: Repression and Political Violence on China’s New Silk Road, was released by Cambridge University Press in October 2022. Drawing on extensive original data, Potter and Wang demonstrate that China’s harsh policies are driven by deep insecurities about the stability of the regime and its claim to legitimacy. These perceived threats to core interests drive the ferocity of the official response to Uyghur aspirations. The result is harsh repression, sophisticated media control, and selective international military cooperation. The implications of the regional conflict are, however, global.

Potter’s 2015 book with Matthew Baum, War and Democratic Constraint, was named a CHOICE academic title. Potter has published in a wide array of peer-reviewed and popular outlets. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Politics and the Journal of Global Security Studies and is an associate principal investigator for Time-Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS). Potter has been a fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Philip B. K. Potter News Feed

"I think that was a necessity. We had to do something to prevent Ukraine from losing. Because of our own political issues, we put them in a tough spot. They ended up ceding ground because they didn’t have the munitions they needed to hold the lines. The proximity of Russia to Kharkiv means that once you give up that ground, you’re in a lot of trouble. This shift in targeting rules reestablishes a bit of equilibrium," said Potter.
Philip Potter UVA Today
The 2024 Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium on American Diplomacy assesses U.S. deterrence posture in the aftermath of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and in the face of profound technological change.
Admiral Charles A. Richard, Mara Rudman, and Philip Potter Miller Center Presents
In this live webinar discussion convened by UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, experts in history, political science, economics, law, and diplomacy from across the University of Virginia join veteran government practitioners to discuss the array of world crises now challenging American policymakers.
Aynne Kokas, Eric Edelman, Harry Harding, John Owen, Mara Rudman, Phil Potter, Spencer Bakich, Stephen Mull, Syaru Shirley Lin, William Antholis Miller Center Presents
Admiral Charles Richard, the former Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, joins Miller Center Senior Faculty Fellow and Director of the National Security Policy Center Philip Potter to discuss nuclear strategic deterrence in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the rise of China, and the particular risks associated with conflicts involving an authoritarian state. What is the state of U.S. readiness? How can we best prepare for and avoid a potential nuclear threat?
Admiral Charles Richard, Philip Potter Miller Center Presents
A group of nations known as “BRICS” – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – advertise themselves as an alternative to Western alliances, but a University of Virginia scholar does not see them as much of a rival to the United States.
Philip Potter UVA Today
China's mistreatment of its Uyghur minority has drawn international condemnation and sanctions. This repression and other domestic security policies are hugely costly to China. Yet the Chinese Communist Party persists in its policies while also investing in public diplomacy efforts. Why? This wide-ranging conversation examines the intersection of repression in China, Chinese domestic and international security and diplomatic considerations, and U.S. policy perspectives.
Philip Potter Miller Center Presents