James Der Derian
Professor of International Studies (Research):
Watson Institute for International Studies
Phone: +1 401 863 1814
Phone 2: +1 401 863 7425
James Der Derian's research and teaching is in international security, information technology, international theory, and the media. His most recent books are 'Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network' and 'Critical Practices in International Theory', and he has produced three documentaries, "VirtualY2K', 'After 9/11', and 'Human Terrain'.
James Der Derian is a Watson Institute research professor of international studies. He was a director of the Institute's Global Security Program and founder of the Information Technology, War, and Peace Project and the Global Media Project.
He currently leads a research initiative, "Global Engagement through Innovative Media", that is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He is author most recently of Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network (Routledge, 2nd ed., 2009) and Critical Practices in International Theory (Routledge, 2009), and co-editor with Costas Constantinou of Sustainable Diplomacies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). He has produced three film documentaries with Udris Film, Virtual Y2K, After 9/11, and most recently, Human Terrain, which won the Audience Award at the 2009 Festival dei Popoli in Florence and has been an official selection at numerous international film festivals. He is also author of On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement and Antidiplomacy: Spies, Terror, Speed, and War; editor of International Theory: Critical Investigations and The Virilio Reader; and co-editor with Michael Shapiro of International/Intertextual Relations: Postmodern Readings of World Politics. His articles on international relations have appeared in the Review of International Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, International Affairs, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Harvard International Review, Millennium, Alternatives, Cultural Values, and Samtiden. His articles on war, technology, and the media have appeared in the New York Times, Nation, Washington Quarterly, Global Agenda, and Wired. Der Derian was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he completed a M.Phil. and D.Phil. in international relations. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California, MIT, Harvard, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Most recently he was awarded a Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin for Spring 2011.
Professor Der Derian is currently involved in 3 major projects underway at the Watson Institute:
-Information Technology, War, and Peace Project
In the twenty-first century, information technology (IT) has become an essential tool for the global circulation of power, waging of war, and imagining of peace. Since the 1990s, IT has taken a more potent role in the organization, execution, justification, and representation of violence worldwide as witnessed in the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo air campaign, and the terrorist attacks on September 11. The recent war in Iraq revealed an unprecedented infiltration of IT into all aspects of warmaking. Whether in military technology and intelligence capturing, embedded journalist and 24/7 newsmaking, or organizational strategies for peacemaking, the second Gulf War was the first, but certainly not the last, web war.
The Watson Institute's Information Technology, War, and Peace Project (InfoTechWarPeace) was created three years ago to track and analyze IT's influence on traditional statecraft and new forms of networked global politics. InfoTechWarPeace challenges the traditional discourse on world order, which is defined by state-centric, realist interpretations of power. Yet, in the past decade and especially since September 11, very different global actors have emerged ranging from fundamentalist terrorists to peace activists, who gain advantage through the broad bandwidth of information technology rather than through traditional state-centered sovereignty. The Project interrogates how these individuals and groups make use of IT to influence world politics. http://www.infopeace.org
-Global Media Project
In 2005, Watson Institute's Global Security Program developed a new crosscutting research initiative, the Global Media Project (GMP). The project is built upon three core assertions:
The mediafrom print and online journalism to cable and satellite news to cinematic film and video documentarieshave become increasingly interconnected and all the more powerful as global actors.
Since 9/11 the media are a critical component of global terrorism and the war against it.
In critical matters of war and peace there is an increased need not only to understand media in but also to create public media for international affairs.
In an age defined by networks of information and terror, getting the message right is no longer sufficient; understanding, producing and rapidly distributing global-interest media is also required.
-Cultural Awareness in the Military
In a range of deployments since the early 1990sto Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and now Iraq and Afghanistanthe U.S. military has been tasked with making peace as well as waging war. From the transformation of conventional war-fighting to counter-insurgency and stability operations, the military has been coming to terms with the importance of culture across a wide spectrum of social relationships. Since 2003, "cultural sensitivity" has become a key component of training for troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, having identified a "culture gap" in U.S. military capability, high-ranking military and congressional leaders have begun to advocate new training and educational programs to promote understanding of the "cultural terrain" navigated by the military.
All this raises new questions for social scientists concerned with the use (and potential abuse) of the concept of "culture" by the U.S. military. In 2004, the Politics, Culture and Identity Program launched a project with the Global Security Program, which set out to investigate the ethical, practical, and technological issues raised by the military's quest for greater cultural awareness.
B.A. , Joint First Class Honours in Political Science and History (McGill University), M.Phil. and D.Phil .in International Relations (Oxford University)
1993-1994 University Mentor for the Lilly Teaching Fellow Program
1991-1992 Social Science Research Council, Advanced Research Fellowship in Foreign
1991 Outstanding Faculty Lecturer Award, University of Massachusetts Residential
l979-l982 Rhodes Scholarship, Oxford University, Balliol College (third year for D.Phil.)
2005-Present International Political Sociology, Editorial Board
2005-Present Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Advisory Board
2003-Present International Relations, Advisory Board
2003-Present Cultural Politics, Editorial Board
2002-Present Citizen Lab, University of Toronto, Advisory Board
2002-Present Brown Journal of World Affairs, Advisory Board
2001-Present Security Dialogue, Editorial Board
1996-Present Theory and Event, Editorial Board
1995-Present Culture and Power in a Globalized World, Westview Press series, Editorial Board
1991-Present External Ph.d. examiner for University of Copenhagen, Limerick University (Ireland), Lancaster University (England), Australian National University, and Queens University (Canada)
1997-2005 Rhodes Scholar Selection Committee
2003 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Future of War: Aesthetics, Politics, Technologies, Conference Advisory Committee
2000-2002 Karl Deutsch Award Committee, International Studies Association
1997 Graduate Admissions of Political Science, Director
1992-1997 University of Massachusetts Press, Editorial Board
l986-1997 Five College Peace and World Security Studies Program, Steering Committee
l985-1997 Five College International Relations Programs, Steering Committee
1993 Millennium Journal of International Affairs, Advisory Board
1993 Mershon International Studies Review, Panel Review Board
1991-1993 Northeast International Studies Association, Governing Council
l986 Chair, Five College International Relations Program
2006-8 Principal Investigator, $300,000 Carnegie Corporation of New York grant for
Project on Beyond Terror: Innovationg Global Security
2005 Principal Investigator, $25,000 Carnegie Corporation of New York grant for
workshop on creating a new global security agenda
2005 Analytic Partner of Academy for Educational Development Consortium Grant, U.S. AID Instability, Crisis, and Recovery Program
2004-2005 Principal investigator, $90,000 renewal of Ford Foundation grant for Project on
Information Technology, War and Peace, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University (http://www.watsoninstitute.org/infopeace)
2004 Principal investigator, $24,500 Carnegie Corporation of New York grant for
research on information technology and international security
2004 Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Research in Culture and Media Studies, $30,000
grant for Power and Pathology of Networks symposium and exhibition
2004 Cisco Systems, $10,000 grant for Power and Pathology of Networks
symposium and exhibition
2001-2003 Principal investigator, $400,000 Ford Foundation grant for Project on
Information Technology, War and Peace, Watson Institute for International
Studies, Brown University (http://www.watsoninstitute.org/infopeace)
2000 Principal investigator, $45,000 Rockefeller Foundation grant for '911+1: The Art of War in the Information Age', a multimedia exhibition and forum on security and terror, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University (http://www.watsoninstitute.org/infopeace/911+1/)
2000-2001 Institute for Advanced Study, $40,000 fellowship, for leave and seminar on
'Information Technology, New Media, and the Social Sciences', Princeton, NJ
1999-2000 Principal investigator, $100,000 Ford Foundation grant for conference, research, and writing on virtual technology, war, and diplomacy, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University (http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Watson_Institute/programs/gs/VirtualY2K)
1998 Principal investigator, $6500 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
grant for workshop on virtual war, diplomacy, and media, Watson Institute for
International Studies, Brown University
1994 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Peace and International Cooperation Research Grant
1990 Faculty Curriculum Development Grant, for research in Eastern Europe, Five
College Peace and World Security Studies Program
l986-l987 Faculty Curriculum Development Grant, for research on security and media
studies, Five College Peace and World Security Studies Program
l979-l982 Rhodes Scholarship, Oxford University, Balliol College (third year for D.Phil.)