Bio


Scott D. Sagan is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. He also serves as Project Chair for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Initiative on New Dilemmas in Ethics, Technology, and War. Before joining the Stanford faculty, Sagan was a lecturer in the Department of Government at Harvard University. From 1984 to 1985, he served as special assistant to the director of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. Sagan has also served as a consultant to the office of the Secretary of Defense and at the Sandia National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

Sagan is the author of Moving Targets: Nuclear Strategy and National Security (Princeton University Press, 1989); The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton University Press, 1993); and, with co-author Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate (W.W. Norton, 2012). He is the co-editor of Planning the Unthinkable (Cornell University Press, 2000) with Peter R. Lavoy and James L. Wirtz; the editor of Inside Nuclear South Asia (Stanford University Press, 2009); co-editor of Learning from a Disaster: Improving Nuclear Safety and Security after Fukushima (Stanford University Press, 2016) with Edward D. Blandford; and co-editor of Insider Threats (Cornell University Press, 2017) with Matthew Bunn.

Sagan is also the guest editor of a two-volume special issue of Daedalus, New Dilemmas in Ethics, Technology, and War (Fall 2016 and Winter 2017); co-editor of a two-volume special issue of Daedalus, On the Global Nuclear Future (Fall 2009 and Winter 2010), with Steven E. Miller. Other publications include “A Call for Global Nuclear Disarmament” in Nature (July 2012); “Atomic Aversion: Experimental Evidence on Taboos, Traditions, and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons” with Daryl G. Press and Benjamin A. Valentino in the American Political Science Review (February 2013); and, with Matthew Bunn, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences occasional paper, “A Worst Practices Guide to Insider Threats: Lessons from Past Mistakes” (2014).

In 2017, Scott Sagan received the International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Award. The award recognizes a person whose “singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and intellectual and organizational complacency" in the international studies community. Sagan was the recipient of the National Academy of Sciences William and Katherine Estes Award in 2015, for his pioneering work addressing the risks of nuclear weapons and the causes of nuclear proliferation. The award, which is granted triennially, recognizes “research in any field of cognitive or behavioral science that advances understanding of issues relating to the risk of nuclear war.” In 2013, Sagan received the International Studies Association's International Security Studies Section Distinguished Scholar Award. He has also won four teaching awards: Stanford’s 1998-99 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching; Stanford's 1996 Hoagland Prize for Undergraduate Teaching; the International Studies Association’s 2008 Innovative Teaching Award; and the Monterey Institute for International Studies’ Nonproliferation Education Award in 2009.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Susan Strange Award, International Studies Association (2017)
  • William and Katherine Estes Award, National Academy of Sciences (2015)
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, International Studies Association’s International Security Studies Section (ISSS) (April 2013)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Nonproliferation Education Award, Monterey Institute for International Studies (December 2009)
  • Deborah Misty Gerner Innovative Teaching Award, International Studies Association (2008)
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, Ohio Wesleyan University (May 2008)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Elected 2008)
  • Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Stanford University (1998-99)
  • Laurance and Naomi Hoagland Prize for Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford University (1996)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Chair of the Steering Committee, AAAS Initiative on Ethics, Technology, and War (2014 - Present)
  • Member, Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship Advisory Council (2012 - Present)
  • Member, Committee on Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles, National Academy of Sciences (2011 - Present)
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Improving the Assessment of Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles (2011 - 2013)
  • Board Member, Federation of American Scientists (2010 - 2015)
  • Expert Advisor, Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (2008 - 2009)
  • Co-Chair (with Steven Miller), AAAS Initiative on the Global Nuclear Future (2007 - 2014)
  • Consultant, National Intelligence Council “Global Expertise Reserve” (2006 - 2009)
  • Member of Steering Committee, American Assembly (2006 - 2008)
  • Member, Visiting Committee,, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley (2006 - 2006)
  • Member, CAC Subcommittee on Analysis and Policy Formulation, Council on Foreign Relations (2003 - 2005)
  • Member, Visiting Committee, Department of Government, Havard University (2003 - 2003)
  • Member, Distinguished Advisory Panel for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Sandia National Laboratory (2000 - Present)
  • Member, Undergraduate Advisory Council, Stanford University (2000 - 2011)
  • Member, National Board of Directors of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) (1999 - 2005)
  • Member, Advisory Panel on Investment Re sponsibility, Stanford University (1999 - 2000)
  • University Fellow, Stanford University (1996 - 1998)
  • Member, Asia/Pacific Scholars Program Faculty Committee, Stanford University (1996 - 1997)
  • Member of Advisory Board, Nuclear Weapons History Project, National Security Archives, Washington DC (1995 - 2000)
  • Member of the Committee on Science and International Security, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1995 - 1996)
  • Member, 1995 Selection Committee for the MacA rthur Foundation's Research and Writing Grants on Peace and International Cooperation (1995 - 1995)
  • Member of Steering Committee, Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction Project, Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington DC (1994 - 1997)
  • Co-director, NATO Advanced Research Workshop: “Improving Nuclear Weapons Safety and Security in the Post-Cold War Era" (1994 - 1994)
  • Member of Program Committee, Stanford in Washington (1992 - Present)
  • Consultant, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1989 - 1995)
  • Member, Advisory Group to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the Future of U.S.-Soviet Military Relations (1989 - 1990)
  • Consultant, the RAND Corporation (1987 - 1991)
  • Consultant, Office of the Secretary of Defense (1987 - 1991)

Program Affiliations


  • Science, Technology and Society

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Political Science (1983)
  • B.A., Oberlin College, Government (1977)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Just War Theory and the development of norms concerning the use of force; public attitudes about the use of nuclear weapons and non-combatant casualties; organizations and management of insider threats; the management of hazardous technology; security of nuclear materials, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Projects


  • Just War Doctrine in the Contemporary World

    In this project, Scott D. Sagan and Benjamin A. Valentino use experimental survey data to examine how the American public weighs key just war doctrine principles in decisions to support the use of force against military targets.

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • The Insider Threat: Why Organizations Underestimate Internal Risks

    Scott D. Sagan and Matthew Bunn draw on episodes across organizations and industries to abstract lessons for nuclear security operators on protecting against insider threats.

    Location

    Stanford, CA

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • The Changing Rules of War Daedalus Sagan, S. D. 2017; 146 (1): 6-10
  • The Face of Battle without the Rules of War: Lessons from Red Horse & the Battle of the Little Bighorn Daedalus Sagan, S. D. 2017; 146 (1): 24-43
  • The Nuclear Necessity Principle: Making US Targeting Policy Conform with Ethics & the Laws of War DAEDALUS Lewis, J. G., Sagan, S. D. 2016; 145 (4): 62-74
  • Ethics, Technology & War DAEDALUS Sagan, S. D. 2016; 145 (4): 6-11
  • Atomic Aversion: Experimental Evidence on Taboos, Traditions, and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Press, D. G., Sagan, S. D., Valentino, B. A. 2013; 107 (1): 188-206
  • The Future of the Nuclear Order Current History Sagan, S. D. 2014; 113 (759): 23-25
  • The Future of the Nuclear Order CURRENT HISTORY Sagan, S. D. 2014; 113 (759): 23-25
  • Political Scientists and Historians in Search of the Bomb JOURNAL OF STRATEGIC STUDIES Sagan, S. D., Waltz, K. N. 2013; 36 (1): 143-151
  • A call for global nuclear disarmament NATURE Sagan, S. D. 2012; 487 (7405): 30-32

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305982900016

    View details for PubMedID 22763534

  • Should the U.S. or International Community Ag gressively Pursue Nuclear Nonproliferation Policies? ‘Yes’ Argument Controversies in Globalizati on: Contending Approaches to International Relations , Second Edition, Sagan , S. D., Pauly, R. B. CQ Press . 2012
  • Introduction: Reviewing the Nuclear Posture Review The Nonproliferation Reivew Sagan , S. D., Vaynman , J. 2011; 18 (1)
  • Arms, Disarmament and Influence: the Internat ional Impact of the 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review , The Nonproliferation Review Special Issue edited by Sagan , S. D., Vaynman , J. Routledge Tayl or & Francis Group. 2011
  • The International Security Implications of U.S. Domestic Nuclear Power Decisions Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future Sagan , S. D. 2011
  • Lessons Learned from the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review The Nonproliferation review Sagan , S. D., Vaynman , J. 2011; 18 (1)
  • The Causes of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation ANNUAL REVIEW OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, VOL 14 Sagan, S. D. 2011; 14: 225-244
  • Alternative nuclear futures DAEDALUS Miller, S. E., Sagan, S. D. 2010; 139 (1): 126-137
  • Going Nuclear: Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century Sagan , S. D. MIT Press (International Security reader). 2010
  • Is Nuclear Zero the Best Option? (debate with Kenneth N. Waltz) The National Interest Sagan , S. D. 2010: 88-96
  • Nuclear Latency and Nuclear Proliferation Forecasting Nuclear Proliferation in the 21st Century Sagan, S. D. Stanford University Press . 2010
  • On the Global Nuclear Future Vol. 2 , Daedalus Special Issue Miller, S. E. edited by Sagan , S. MIT Press. 2010
  • Nuclear power without nuclear proliferation? DAEDALUS Miller, S. E., Sagan, S. D. 2009; 138 (4): 7-18
  • Shared responsibilities for nuclear disarmament DAEDALUS Sagan, S. D. 2009; 138 (4): 157-168
  • The Perils of Predicting Proliferation JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Montgomery, A. H., Sagan, S. D. 2009; 53 (2): 302-328
  • The Case for No First Use: An Exchange SURVIVAL Halperin, M. H., Tertrais, B., Payne, K. B., Subrahmanyam, K., Sagan, S. D. 2009; 51 (5): 17-46
  • Reply: Evidence, Logic, and Nuclear Doctrine Survival Sagan , S. D. 2009 : 36-46
  • Should the U.S. or International Community Ag gressively Pursue Nuclear Nonproliferation Policies? ‘Yes’ Argument Controversies in Globalizati on: Contending Approaches to International Relations Sagan , S. D., Weddle , J. A. CQ Press. 2009: 152–163
  • On the Global Nuclear Future Vol. 1 , Daedalus Special Issue edited by Sagan , S. D., Miller , S. E. MIT Press . 2009
  • Introduction: Inside Nuclear S outh Asia and The Evolution of Pakistani and Indian Doctrine Inside Nuclear South Asia Sagan , S. D. Stanford University Press . 2009 : 1–24 and 219–254
  • The Case for No First Use SURVIVAL Sagan, S. D. 2009; 51 (3): 163-181
  • Good Faith and Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Sagan , S. D. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 2009 : 203–212
  • Nuclear Iran, A: Promoting Stability or Courting Disaster Journal of International Affairs Sagan , S. D., Waltz , K. N. 2007; 60 (2)
  • How to keep the bomb from Iran FOREIGN AFFAIRS Sagan, S. D. 2006; 85 (5): 45-?
  • The problem of redundancy problem: Why more nuclear security forces may produce less nuclear security RISK ANALYSIS Sagan, S. D. 2004; 24 (4): 935-946

    View details for Web of Science ID 000224053900019

    View details for PubMedID 15357816

  • Learning from Normal Accidents ORGANIZATION & ENVIRONMENT Sagan, S. D. 2004; 17 (1): 15-19
  • Realist Perspectives on Ethical Norms and Weapons of Mass Destruction Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction Sagan , S. D. Cambridge University Press. 2004: 15–31
  • Nuclear Dangers in South Asia Forum on Physics & Society Sagan , S. D. 2004
  • The Madman nuclear alert - Secrecy, signaling, and safety in October 1969 Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Historians-of-American-Foreign-Relations SAGAN, S. D., Suri, J. M I T PRESS. 2003: 150–83
  • The perils of proliferation in south Asia ASIAN SURVEY SAGAN, S. D. 2001; 41 (6): 1064-1086
  • Responding to chemical and biological threats - Reply INTERNATIONAL SECURITY SAGAN, S. D. 2001; 25 (4): 196-198
  • The commitment trap - Why the United States should not use nuclear threats to deter biological and chemical weapons attacks INTERNATIONAL SECURITY SAGAN, S. D. 2000; 24 (4): 85-115
  • Origins of Military Doctrines and Command and Control Systems; and Conclusions: Planning the Unthinkable, The Planning the Unthinkable: How New Powers Will Use Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons Sagan, S. D. Cornell University Press . 2000: 16–45; 230–257
  • The causes of nuclear proliferation CURRENT HISTORY SAGAN, S. D. 1997; 96 (609): 151-156
  • Why do states build nuclear weapons? Three models in search of a bomb INTERNATIONAL SECURITY SAGAN, S. D. 1997; 21 (3): 54-86
  • THE PERILS OF PROLIFERATION - ORGANIZATION THEORY, DETERRENCE THEORY, AND THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR-WEAPONS INTERNATIONAL SECURITY SAGAN, S. D. 1994; 18 (4): 66-107
  • Civil Military Relations and Nuclear Weapons Sagan, S. D. Center for International Security and Arms Control, Stanford University. 1994
  • THE ORIGINS OF THE PACIFIC WAR JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY HISTORY SAGAN, S. D. 1988; 18 (4): 893-922
  • Living with Nuclear Weapons edited by Carnesale, A., Doty, P., Hoffman, S., Huntington, S. P., Nye, J. S., Sagan, S. D. Harvard University Press. 1983