Deborah Avant

Deborah Avant

Professor

  • Faculty
  • Josef Korbel School of International Studies

What I do

I teach courses on global governance, security studies, and civil-military relations, many with attention to human security, human rights, and the roles of non-state actors like companies and civil society groups in generating governance and security.
My research uses network and pragmatic theory to understand how security and governance are actually conducted - both historically and in the contemporary world.

Specialization(s)

Global governance, non-state actors, pragmatism, networks, security, Human Rights, environment, civil-military relations.

Professional Biography

Deborah Avant is the Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Her research (funded by the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation, among others) has focused on civil-military relations, and the roles of non-state actors in controlling violence and generating governance. She is author/editor of Civil Action and the Dynamics of Violence in Conflicts (with Marie Berry, Erica Chenoweth, Rachel Epstein, Cullen Hendrix, Oliver Kaplan, and Timothy Sisk), The New Power Politics: Networks and Transnational Security Governance (with Oliver Westerwinter); Who Governs the Globe? (with Martha Finnemore and Susan Sell); The Market for Force: the Consequences of Privatizing Security; and Political Institutions and Military Change: Lessons From Peripheral Wars, along with articles in such journals as International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, Perspectives on Politics, and Foreign Policy. She was the inaugural director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. Under her leadership the Sié Chéou-Kang Center launched the Private Security Monitor (http://psm.du.edu/), became a model for promoting engaged scholarship on the many different policy consequential organizations that affect peace, security, and governance, grew from one to nine affiliated faculty member, and became the first home to the International Studies Association’s newest journal: the Journal of Global Security Studies, for which she serves as editor in chief. She is an observer member of the ICoCA and, in 2013, was awarded an honorary doctorate from University of St.Gallen for her research and contribution toward regulating private military and security companies. Professor Avant regularly advises governments, companies, NGOs, and others on the roles that many play in contemporary global governance and serves on numerous governing and editorial boards.

Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 1991

Professional Affiliations

  • International Studies Association
  • American Political Science Association
  • Women in International Security

Research

My research uses network and pragmatic theory to understand how security and governance are actually conducted - both historically and in the contemporary world.

Key Projects

  • Inclusive Approaches to Violence Prevention and Reduction
  • Global Security for the 21st Century: Mitigating Violence and Fostering Resilience
  • Analysis of 2017 Country Reports of Human Rights Practices

Featured Publications

Avant, Deborah, and Virginia Haufler. “Public-Private Interactions In The Provision Of Security And Insecurity.” In Oxford Handbook Of International Security. edited by Alexandra Gheciu and William Wohlforth. Oxford University Press. 2018.
“Civil Action And The Dynamics Of Violence In Conflicts” in Civil Action And The Dynamics Of Violence In Conflicts. Edited by Deborah Avant, Erica Chenoweth, Rachel Epstein, Cullen Hendrix, Oliver Kaplan, and Timothy D. Sisk. 2019.
Avant, Deborah. “ Pragmatic Networks And Transnational Governance Of Private Military And Security Services .” International Studies Quarterly, (2016).
Avant, Deborah, and Oliver Westerwinter. The New Power Politics: Networks And Transnational Security Governance. New York, New York, United States: Oxford University Press. 2016.

Presentations

  • Can Company Strategy Help Avoid the Curse? CSR Strategies, Community Relations, and Development in Peru
  • Public Action and Global Governance
  • Pragmatism
  • Can Private Forces Serve the Public Good?
  • Civil action and the dynamics of violence

Awards

  • Honorary Doctorate, University of St Gallen