Jacques Hymans

Associate Professor of International Relations
Email hymans@usc.edu Office VKC 330 Office Phone (213) 740-8837

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • University of Tokyo Faculty of Law, Visiting Researcher, 2015-2016
  • USC East Asian Studies Center, Affiliated faculty, 2010-present
  • USC Korean Studies Institute, Affiliated Faculty, 2009-present


Jacques E.C. Hymans is an associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California. His research has focused on the politics of nuclear weapons, nuclear and renewable energies, and national identities around the world. Hymans’ most recent book, Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation (Cambridge University Press, 2012) was awarded the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, the American Political Science Association Don K. Price Award for best book on science, technology and environmental politics, and the National Academy for Public Administration Louis Brownlow Award for best book on public administration. His first book, The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2006) was awarded the International Society of Political Psychology Alexander L. George Book Award for best book on political psychology and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies Edgar S. Furniss Book Award for best first book on national and international security. Hymans has also published articles in many publications including Foreign Affairs, International Security, and European Journal of International Relations. He has received major research grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and other research funding organizations. He is an editorial board member of Journal of Global Security Studies, Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, Korean Journal of International Studies, and The Nonproliferation Review, and formerly International Studies Quarterly. He received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D degrees from Harvard University.


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

    Most of my research has focused on nuclear topics: weapons, diplomacy, energy. I also have a longstanding research agenda on the construction and representation of national identities, especially as expressed in the iconography of banknotes. More recently, I have developed a research agenda on renewable energies, notably geothermal energy.

    Research Keywords

    International security,
    Comparative foreign policy,
    Nuclear proliferation, Nuclear energy, Renewable energy, Science policy, Science diplomacy, National identity, Japan, Money, Power.

  • Contracts and Grants Awarded

    • Text analysis of hibakusha testimonials, (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), Jacques E. C. Hymans $50,000, 2021-2022
    • Japan’s Geothermal Energy Policy, (Japan Foundation Fellowship (short-term)), Jacques E. C. Hymans $12,000, 2018-2019
    • Japan’s Geothermal Energy Policy, (Association of Asian Studies Northeast Asia Counci), Jacques E. C. Hymans $5,000, 2017-2018
    • Britain’s recognition of the sovereignty of Meiji Japan, (The Strathmartine Trust, Scotland, UK), Jacques Hymans $1,500, 2015-2016
    • The international recognition of Japan, (National Endowment for the Humanities), Jacques Hymans $50,400, 2015-2016
    • The Politics and Technology of Nuclear Proliferation, (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Jacques E. C. Hymans $212,000, 2011-2013
    • 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 $11,700, 2011-2013
  • Book

    • Hymans, J. E. (2012). Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation. pp. 328 pp.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  amazon.com 
    • Hymans, J. E. (2006). The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy. pp. 286 pp.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  amazon.com 

    Book Chapter

    • Hymans, J. E. (2015). The Dynamics of Nuclear Politics: Lessons from Latin America. Routledge Handbook on Latin America and the World pp. 362-375. New York: Routledge.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2015). After Fukushima: Veto Players and Japanese Nuclear Policy. Japan: The Precarious Years Ahead pp. 110-138. New York, NY: NYU Press.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). Nuclear Proliferation and Non-Proliferation. International Studies Encyclopedia pp. 5447-5466. London: International Studies Encyclopedia/Blackwell.

    Book Review

    • Hymans, J. E. (2019). Do Nuclear Crises Vaccinate Against Nuclear War? Review of Cohen, When Proliferation Causes Peace. pp. 373-376.The Nonproliferation Review. Vol. 26,

    Journal Article

    • Hymans, J. E., Uchikoshi, F. (2021). To drill or not to drill: determinants of geothermal energy siting in Japan. Environmental Politics/Taylor & Francis.
    • Higuchi, T., Hymans, J. E. (2021). Materialized Internationalism: How the IAEA Made the Vinca Dosimetry Experiment, and How the Experiment Made the IAEA. Centaurus: Official Journal of the European Society for the History of Science.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2021). Losing Steam: Why Does Japan Produce So Little Geothermal Power?. Social Science Japan Journal/Oxford.
    • Hymans, J. E. (2020). The Concept of Protean Power: Change We Can Believe In?. International Theory.
    • (2020). Symposium on Katzenstein and Seybert’s Protean Power: Exploring the Uncertain and Unexpected in World Politics. International Theory.
    • Hymans, J. E., Fu, R. T. (2017). The diffusion of international norms of banknote iconography: A case study of the New Taiwan Dollar. pp. 49-59.Political Geography. Vol. 57,  ScienceDirect 
    • Hymans, J. E. (2014). Why Recognize? Explaining Victorian Britain’s Decision to Recognize the Sovereignty of Imperial Japan. S1 pp. 49-78.Korean Journal of International Studies. Vol. 12 (S1),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2014). No Cause for Panic: Key Lessons from the Political Science Literature on Nuclear Proliferation. 1 pp. 85-93. Toronto, ON/Canadian International Council: International Journal. Vol. 69 (1),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2013). The Threat of Nuclear Proliferation: Perception and Reality. 3 pp. 281-298. New York, NY/Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs: Ethics and International Affairs. Vol. 27 (3),
    • Hymans, J. E., Gratias, M. S. (2013). Iran and the Nuclear Threshold: Where is the Line?. 1 pp. 13-38. Abingdon, Oxford: Nonproliferation Review/Taylor&Francis. Vol. 20 (1),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2011). Veto Players, Nuclear Energy, and Nonproliferation: Domestic Institutional Barriers to a Japanese Nuclear Bomb. 2 pp. 154-189.International Security/MIT Press. Vol. 36 (2),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2011). Proliferation Implications of Civil Nuclear Cooperation: Theory and a Case Study of Tito’s Yugoslavia. 1 pp. 73-104.Security Studies/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 20 (1),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). The Arrival of Psychological Constructivism. 3 pp. 461-467. Cambridge: International Theory/Cambridge University Press. Vol. 2 (3),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). When Does a State Become a Nuclear Weapons State? An Exercise in Measurement Validation. 1 pp. 161-180. London: The Nonproliferation Review/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 17 (1),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2010). East is East, and West, is West? Currency Iconography as Nation-Branding in the Wider Europe. 2 pp. 97-108.Political Geography/Elsevier. Vol. 29 (2),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2009). India’s Soft Power and Vulnerability. 3 pp. 234-265. London: India Review/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 8 (3),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2009). Britain and Hiroshima. 5 pp. 769-797. London: Journal of Strategic Studies/Taylor and Francis. Vol. 32 (5),
    • Hymans, J. E. (2008). Assessing the DPRK’s Nuclear Intentions and Capacities: A New Approach. 2 pp. 259-292. Boulder, CO (Lynne Rienner): Journal of East Asian Studies. Vol. 8 (2),
    • 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.
    • 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
    • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan (Long-Term), 2021-2022
    • Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship, Fall 2018
    • Fellowship for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan, 2015-2016
    • Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow, 2012/08-2014/08
    • APSA Don K. Price Award for Best Book in Science, Technology and Politics published in the past three years, 2013-2014
    • 2013 Louis Brownlow Award for best book in public administration, from the National Academy of Public Administration, 2013-2014
    • Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order ($100,000 prize), 2013-2014
    • Social Science Research Council Abe Fellow, 2008-2009
    • Alexander L. George Award for Best Book in Political Psychology published in the year 2006, 2007-2008
    • 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
  • Administrative Appointments

    • School of International Relations Honors Program Coordinator, 2019-2020