I am the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago, where I have taught since 1982.

Above all else, I am an international relations theorist. More specifically, I am a realist, which means that I believe that the great powers dominate the international system and they constantly engage in security competition with each other, which sometimes leads to war.

Although I have dedicated my life to scholarship, I have also tried to engage in the policy debates of the day. For example, I was one of the most outspoken opponents of the 2003 Iraq War before it happened. I firmly believe that social science theories are invaluable for making and analyzing foreign policy.

Recent Work

May 12, 2022

Munk Debate: Russia-Ukraine War | Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer v Michael McFaul, Radosław Sikorski

Munk Debate

July 30, 2023

Ukraine war is a long-term danger

The Grayzone

June 24, 2023. John’s Substack.

The Darkness Ahead: Where The Ukraine War Is Headed

John J. Mearsheimer

August 2, 2023. Le Monde Diplomatique.

Great power rivalries: the case for realism

John J. Mearsheimer