Jacques Hymans

Associate Professor of International Relations

Contact Information
E-mail: hymans@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-8837
Office: VKC 330

Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website
Course Information
amazon.com author page

Biographical Sketch

Jacques E.C. Hymans is associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on international security affairs and on national identity. His most recent book, Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation (Cambridge University Press, 2012) was honored with the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, the APSA Don K. Price Award for best book on science, technology and environmental politics, and the NAPA Louis Brownlow Award for best book on public administration. Hymans’ first book, The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2006) was honored with the ISPP Alexander L. George Award for best book on political psychology, and the Ohio State Mershon Center's Edgar S. Furniss Award for best first book on national and international security. Hymans has also published journal articles in such outlets as Foreign Affairs, International Security, Security Studies, and the European Journal of International Relations. He is an editorial board member of several journals including International Studies Quarterly. He has received grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the SSRC and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, and other research funding organizations. He has wide-ranging geographical interests and has conducted in-depth case study research in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. For more information on Professor Hymans, please consult his website: www-rcf.usc.edu/~hymans


  • A.B. Social Studies, Harvard College, 6/1994
  • M.A. Government, Harvard University, 11/1996
  • Ph.D. Government, Harvard University, 11/2001

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Associate Professor, USC School of International Relations, 05/2011-  
    • Assistant Professor, USC School of International Relations, 06/2008-05/2011  
    • Assistant Professor, Smith College Department of Government, 07/2003-06/2008  

    PostDoctoral Appointments
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Ohio State University Mershon Center, 2002-2003   
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, 2001-2002   

    Other Employment
    • Predoctoral Fellow, Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation, 2000-2001   

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    International security and comparative foreign policy. Special interests: (1) nuclear proliferation; (2) national and other identities.
    Research Keywords
    International relations, International security, Comparative foreign policy, Nuclear proliferation, Big science, Professionalism, National identity, Supranational identity
    Detailed Statement of Research Interests
    I am working to build a logically consistent, empirically valid theoretical framework for understanding nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation. My developing research agenda on proliferation tackles five main questions. First, why do only some state leaders desire the bomb? Second, what domestic institutional contexts may block such nuclear bomb desires from hardening into state policy? Third, how soon do the top leadership’s nuclear weapons intentions bear fruit, and how can we know it? Fourth, how can the international community rein in proliferation? And finally, under what conditions can we expect nuclear-armed states to fire their weapons? I find that the answers to many of these questions are influenced by actors' conceptions of their identities. This finding leads me to ask further questions: where do different collective identity conceptions come from? When and how they should be expected to impact political actions, whether in the nuclear area or outside it?

    Funded Research

    Contracts and Grants Awarded
    • The Politics and Technology of Nuclear Proliferation (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Jacques E. C. Hymans, $212,000, 08/2011-08/2013  
    • The development of the non-nuclear weapon state club (Social Science Research Council (Abe Fellowship)), Jacques Hymans, $76,269, 2008-2009   

    USC Funding
    • Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Japanese Nuclear Energy After Fukushima: The Fukushima nuclear disaster has produced more than 18 months of nuclear policy confusion and political tension in Japan. Why, and what will come next?, $11,700, 2012-2013  

    Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

    • USC East Asian Studies Center, Affiliated faculty, 2010-present, http://dornsife.usc.edu/eascenter/affiliatedfaculty/
    • USC Korean Studies Institute, Affiliated Faculty, 2009-present, http://dornsife.usc.edu/ksi/ksi-directory/


    • Hymans, J. E. (2012). Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. amazon.com
    • Hymans, J. E. (2006). The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. amazon.com

    Book Chapter
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). Nuclear Proliferation and Non-Proliferation. International Studies Encyclopedia pp. 5447-5466. London: International Studies Encyclopedia/Blackwell.

    Journal Article
    • Hymans, J. E. (2014). Why Recognize? Explaining Victorian Britain’s Decision to Recognize the Sovereignty of Imperial Japan. Korean Journal of International Studies. Vol. 12 (S1), pp. 49-78.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2014). No Cause for Panic: Key Lessons from the Political Science Literature on Nuclear Proliferation. International Journal. Vol. 69 (1), pp. 85-93.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2013). The Threat of Nuclear Proliferation: Perception and Reality. Ethics and International Affairs. Vol. 27 (3), pp. 281-298.
    • Hymans, J. E., Gratias, M. S. (2013). Iran and the Nuclear Threshold: Where is the Line?. Nonproliferation Review/Taylor&Francis. Vol. 20 (1), pp. 13-38.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2012). Botching the Bomb: Why Many Nuclear Weapons Programs Fail--And Why Iran's Might, Too. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 91 (3), pp. 44-53.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2011). Veto Players, Nuclear Energy, and Nonproliferation: Domestic Institutional Barriers to a Japanese Nuclear Bomb. International Security/MIT Press. Vol. 36 (2), pp. 154-189.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2011). Proliferation Implications of Civil Nuclear Cooperation: Theory and a Case Study of Tito's Yugoslavia. Security Studies/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 20 (1), pp. 73-104.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). The Arrival of Psychological Constructivism. International Theory/Cambridge University Press. Vol. 2 (3), pp. 461-467.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). When Does a State Become a Nuclear Weapons State? An Exercise in Measurement Validation. The Nonproliferation Review/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 17 (1), pp. 161-180.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). East is East, and West, is West? Currency Iconography as Nation-Branding in the Wider Europe. Political Geography/Elsevier. Vol. 29 (2), pp. 97-108.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2009). India's Soft Power and Vulnerability. India Review/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 8 (3), pp. 234-265.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2009). Britain and Hiroshima. Journal of Strategic Studies/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 32 (5), pp. 769-797.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2008). Assessing the DPRK’s Nuclear Intentions and Capacities: A New Approach. Journal of East Asian Studies. Vol. 8 (2), pp. 259-292.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2007). North Korea's Nuclear Neurosis. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Vol. 63 (3), pp. 44-49.

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • Jim Bohannon Radio Show, I was interviewed about my book Achieving Nuclear Ambitions for a full hour on the nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon Radio Show, aired on 500+ stations nationwide on April 20, 2012. http://www.jimbotalk.net/programhighlights?date=20120420, Spring 2012   
    • Radio interview, I gave a long interview about the arguments in my book Achieving Nuclear Ambitions to Owen Bennett Jones on the BBC World Service Newshour, broadcast worldwide., 01/10/2014-01/11/2014  

    Honors and Awards

    • Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow, 8/2012-8/2014  
    • Recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, APSA Don K. Price Award for Best Book in Science, Technology and Politics published in the past three years, 2013-2014   
    • Recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, 2013 Louis Brownlow Award for best book in public administration, from the National Academy of Public Administration, 2013-2014   
    • Recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order ($100,000 prize), 2013-2014   
    • Social Science Research Council Abe Fellow, 2008-2009   
    • Recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, Alexander L. George Award for Best Book in Political Psychology published in the year 2006, 2007-2008   
    • Recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, Edgar S. Furniss Award for Best First Book in International Security Studies published in the year 2006, 2007-2008   
    • Luce Foundation-EAI Fellow on Peace, Governance, and Development in East Asia, 2006-2007   

  • School of International Relations
  • 3518 Trousdale Parkway
  • Von KleinSmid Center 330
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0043
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2136