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John Odell

Professor Emeritus of International Relations

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-4298
Office: VKC 330

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website

Biographical Sketch

John Odell is also Senior Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.   He was born in San Antonio, Texas. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, he completed a Ph.D. in political science in 1976 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a member of Harvard University’s faculty from 1976 through 1982. Since 1982 Odell has taught and written at the University of Southern California, where he is Professor of International Relations Emeritus today. From 2009 to 2012 he was Director of the School of International Relations.  From 1992 through 1996 he served as Editor of International Organization, regarded by many as the leading scholarly journal of international relations in the world. From 1989 to 1992, he directed USC’s Center for International Studies.  His research and teaching have concentrated on the governance of the world economy--why governments and international organizations do what they do in international economic relations. He has written extensively about negotiations among states on issues such as trade, exchange rates and debt. He has published about negotiations in the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. He has a special interest in qualitative research methods. His interests have drawn him from political science into economics, psychology, sociology and history as well, and have taken him back and forth between academia and practice. He has conducted field research in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as well as the United States. He has spent a year working as a visiting fellow in the office of the US Trade Representative, the top US trade negotiator. Odell has been a visiting fellow at Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Institute for International Economics in Washington, and the Graduate Institute for International Studies, Geneva. He is the author or co-author of 3 books, co-editor of 3 others, and author of many research articles and book chapters. His 1987 book Anti-Protection was translated into Japanese. His Negotiating the World Economy (2000) was translated into Chinese and Spanish. Six institutions have supported Odell’s work with fellowships or grants. Many institutions have invited him to lecture--in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, China, Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador as well as the United States. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State, the Ford Foundation, the Asia Foundation, and the Council of the Americas. In Mexico he helped train diplomats for effective economic negotiation. Odell is a member of Council on Foreign Relations, American Political Science Association, and the International Studies Association. More information can be found at his web page at March 2013.


Ph.D. Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1/1976
M.A. Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1/1968
B.A. Government, University of Texas, Austin, 1/1967

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor, University of Southern California, 09/01/1989-  
Director, School of International Relations, University of Southern California, 08/2009-08/2012  
Director, Political Economy and Public Policy Program, University of Southern California, 08/01/2004-08/01/2008  
Visiting Fellow, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, 09/01/2002-12/15/2002  
Director, Center for International Studies, University of Southern California, 07/01/1989-06/30/1992  
Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 09/01/1982-08/31/1989  
Visiting Fellow, Research Institute of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Tokyo, 05/15/1989-06/15/1989  
Visiting Fellow, Institute for International Economics, Washington, 05/01/1985-12/31/1987  
Director, Latin American Policy Devvelopment, Office of U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, 09/01/1984-04/30/1985  
Assistant Professor of Government, Harvard University, 09/01/1976-08/31/1982  

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Lecturer, Southwest Texas State University, 08/15/1968-06/15/1969  

Other Employment

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 06/01/1969-05/31/1971  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Odell's primary research interest is in the politics of the world economy. He tries to illuminate why governments and other players do what they do in world trade and financial relations and related international organizations. Specifically he has written extensively about the processes of negotiation and conflict among states on issues such as trade, exchange rates and debt. He has published about developments in the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. He has a secondary interest in qualitative research methods for theory development. He has conducted field research in and written about Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and Switzerland as well as the U.S.

Research Specialties

International political economy; International bargaining & negotiating

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Discussant", Negotiating Climate Change, Talk/Oral Presentation, Zurich, Switzerland, ETH Zurich, University of Zurich, Invited, Fall 2011   
"Negotiating from Weakness in International Trade Relations", International Studies Associations of Brazil and the USA, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Rio de Janeiro, Invited, Spring 2009   
"Three Islands of Knowledge about Negotiation in International Organizations", Negotiation Theory and the EU: the state of the art, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Dublin, University College Dublin, Invited, Fall 2008   

Other Presentations

"Negotiating from Weakness in International Trade Relations", Invited Lecture, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, Spring 2009   
"Negotiating from Weakness in International Trade Relations", Invited Lecture, University of California Irvine, Irvine, Spring 2009   
"The History of IPE: Contributions of B. J. Cohen", Invited Lecture, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Spring 2009   



Odell, J. S. (2006). Negotiating Trade: Developing Countries in the WTO and NAFTA. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Odell, J. S. (2000). Negotiating the World Economy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Odell, J. S., Willett, T. D. (1990). International Trade Policies : Gains from Exchange between Economics and Political Science. The University of Michigan.
Odell, J. S., Willett, T. D. (1988). International Monetary Cooperation, Domestic Politics, and Policy Ideas. Journal of Public Policy, double special issue.
Destler, I. M., Odell, J. S. (1987). Anti-Protection: Changing Forces in U.S. Trade Politics. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics.
Odell, J. S. (1982). U.S. International Monetary Policy: Markets, Power, and Ideas as Sources of Change. Princeton University Press.

Book Chapter

Odell, J. S., Tingley, D. (2013). Negotiating Agreements in International Relations. Negotiating Agreement in Politics pp. 144-82.
Odell, J. S. (2012). Negotiation and Bargaining. Handbook of International Relations, 2d. ed. pp. 379-400. Sage.
Odell, J. S. (2007). Growing Power Meets Frustration in the Doha Round’s First Four Years, in Developing Countries and Global Trade Negotiations. Routledge.
Narlikar, A., Odell, J. S. (2006). The Strict Distributive Strategy for a Bargaining Coalition: The Like Minded Group in the World Trade Organization, 1998-2001. (Vol. 115-144). Cambridge, UK: Negotiating Trade: Developing Countries in the WTO and NAFTA/Cambridge University Press.
Odell, J. S., Sell, S. K. (2006). Reframing the Issue: The WTO Coalition on Intellectual Property and the Public Health, 2001. pp. p.85-114. Cambridge, UK: Negotiating Trade: Developing Countries in the WTO and NAFTA/Cambridge University Press.
Odell, J. S. (2005). Chairing a WTO Negotiation. pp. p.469-496. Reforming the World Trade System: Legitimacy, Efficiency, and Democratic Governance/Oxford University Press.
Odell, J. S. (2002). The Seattle Impasse and Its Implications for The World Trade Organization. pp. p.. Cambridge, UK: The Political Economy of International Trade Law/Cambridge University Press.
Odell, J. S. (2002). Bounded Rationality and the World Political Economy. pp. p.. Ithaca, NY: Governing the World's Money/Cornell University Press.
Odell, J. S. (2000). Market Conditions and International Economic Negotiation: Japan and the United States in 1971, in International Economic Negotiations: Models versus Reality. Edward Elgar.
Odell, J. S., Eichengreen, B. (1998). The United States, the ITO, and the WTO: Exit Options, Agent Slack, and Presidential Leadership. pp. p.. The WTO as an International Organization/University of Chicago Press.
Odell, J. S. (1993). International Threats and Internal Politics: Brazil, the European Community, and the United States, 1985 1987, in Double Edged Diplomacy: International Bargaining and Domestic Politics. University of California Press.
Odell, J. S. (1969). Political Public Relations in Texas Campaining. pp. 138-145. Documents and Readings in American and Texas Government.

Book Review

Crump, L., Odell, J. S. (2008). Analyzing Complex U.S. Trade Negotiations. Negotiation Journal. pp. 355-370.
Odell, J. S. (2006). A Major Milestone with One Major Limitation: A Comment on George and Bennett 2006. Qualitative Methods. pp. 37-40.

Encyclopedia Article

Odell, J. S. (2008). Trade Policy, in Encyclopedia of U.S. Political History. (Vallely, Richard, Ed.). Vol. 7. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Journal Article

Odell, J. S., Pang, H. Understanding Change in International Organizations and other Regimes.
Odell, J. S. (2010). Three Islands of Knowledge about Negotiations in International Organizations. Journal of European Public Policy. Vol. 17 (5), pp. 621-34.
Odell, J. S. (2010). Negotiating from Weakness in International Trade Relations. Journal of World Trade. Vol. 44 (3), pp. 545-66.
Odell, J. S. (2009). "Breaking Deadlocks in International Institutional Negotiations: The WTO, Seattle, and Doha". International Studies Quarterly.
Odell, J. S. (2005). Chairing a WTO Negotiation. Journal of International Economic Law/Oxford University Press. pp. p.425-48.
Odell, J. S. (2003). La OMC, otra vez en punto muerto [The WTO, deadlocked again]. Foreign Affairs en Espanol/Instituto Tecnologico Autonoma de Mexico. pp. p.111-118.
Odell, J. S. (2002). Creating Data on International Negotiation Strategies, Alternatives, and Outcomes. International Negotiation/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Vol. volume # 7, pp. page 39-52.
Odell, J. S. (2001). Case Study Methods in International Political Economy. International Studies Perspectives. pp. p.161-76.
Odell, J. S. (1997). International Economic Negotiation, Strategy Choice and Policy Beliefs. Leviathan (in Japanese).
Odell, J. S. (1990). Understanding International Trade Policies: An Emerging Synthesis. World Politics. Vol. 43 (1), pp. 139-167.
Odell, J. S. (1988). From London to Bretton Woods: Sources of Change in Bargaining Strategies and Outcomes. Journal of Public Policy. Vol. 8, pp. 287-316.
Odell, J. S. (1985). The Outcomes of International Trade Conflicts: The U.S. and South Korea, 1960-1981. International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 29 (3), pp. 263-86.
Odell, J. S. (1980). Latin American Trade Negotiations with the United States. International Organization. Vol. 34, pp. 207-28.
Odell, J. S. (1979). The U.S. and the Emergence of Flexible Exchange Rates: An Analysis of Foreign Policy Change. International Organization. Vol. 33, pp. 57-82.

Honors and Awards

Smuts Commonwealth Lecture, University of Cambridge, Spring 2009   
USC Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Spring 2009   
Grant from USC Center for International Studies, 2001-2002   
Visiting Fellowship, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, 1994-1995  
Ford Foundation, Grant to Study International Trade, International Organizations and Negotiations, 1989-1990  
Social Science Research Council, Advanced Research Fellowship in Foreign Policy Studies, 1987-1989  
Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, 1984-1985  
Harvard University, Center for International Affairs, Fellowship, 1975-1976  
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Research grant, 1975  
The Brookings Institution, Guest Scholar, 1975  

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Director, School of International Relations, 08/2009-08/2012  
Director, Political Economy and Public Policy doctoral program, 2005-2008  
Director, Center for International Studies, 1989-1992  


Chair, Dockson Chair Search Committee, 2011-2012   
Chair, McCone Chair Search Committee, 2007-2011  
Co-Chair, POIR Doctoral Program task force, 08/15/2009-12/31/2010  
Chair, School of IR Director's Advisory Committee and merit review panel, 1998-2009  
Chair, College Personnel Committee, Social Sciences, 2008-2009   
Member, College Faculty Council, 2006-2007  
Member, University Benefits Advisory Committee, 2003-2007  
Member, University Committee on the Social Sciences and Humanities Initiative , 2006-2007   
Member, Member and chair, University Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure, social sciences panel, 1996-1999  
Chair, McCone Chair Search Committee, 1994-1997  

Service to the Profession


Member, International Studies Association publications committee, 2007-2010  
Chair, American Political Science Association, Qualitative Methods Section, Alexander George Award Committee, 04/2009-05/2009  
Chair, American Political Science Association, Hubert Humphrey Award committee, 1998-1999   
Member, Harvard University, JF Kennedy School, selection board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship, 1989-1994  

Conferences Organized

Co-chair, US Air Force West Coast Scholars Conference, USC, Secretary of the US Air Force Michael Donley invited the School of International Relations to co-host this meeting of west coast scholars of international security and engineering to advise him and five top Air Force generals., Spring 2011   
Chief organizer, Developing countries' trade negotiations, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 2002-2003  

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Senior advisor to the Editor and Board, International Organization, 01/2006-  
Editorial board member, International Studies Quarterly, 2009-2012  
Member of editorial board, International Organization, 1984-2003  
Editor, International Organization, 1992-1996  

Professional Memberships

Council on Foreign Relations, 1985-  
American Political Science Association, 1975-  
International Studies Association, 1975-  
Pacific Council on International Policy, 1995-2010  

Review Panels

Swiss National Science Foundation, National Center for Research on World Trade Regulation, Univ. of Bern, 2006-2017  
University of Oxford, external examiner of doctoral candidates, 2006-2011  
University of Toronto, External review of Centre for International Studies, Spring 2008   
Pomona College, International Relations Review Panel, 1995-1996   
Harvard University, Pew Faculty Fellowship Selection Board, 1989-1994  
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