Emerson S. Niou

Emerson S. Niou

Professor of Political Science

External Address: 
140 Science Drive, 273 Gross, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4307
Office Hours: 
On leave 2018-2019
Methods, Political Institutions, Security, Peace, Conflict

EMERSON M. S. NIOU (Ph.D., U. of Texas at Austin, 1987) is Professor of Political Science at Duke University.  He is the author and coauthor of four books (1) The Balance of Power, Cambridge University Press, 1989; (2) Bean Voting, Renmin University Press, 2014, (3) Community Compacts in China, Chinese Society Press, 2014; and (4) Strategy and Politics: An Introduction to Game Theory, Rutledge, 2015. His recent publications include: (1) “Strategic Voting in Plurality Elections,” with Daniel Kselman, Political Analysis, 2010; (2) “Protest Voting: A Theory of Voter Signaling,” with Daniel Kselman, Public Choice, 2011; (3) “Measuring Preferences for Divided Government: Some Americans Want Divided Government and Vote to Create It.” with Dean Lacy, Philip Paolino, and Robert A. Rein, Political Behavior, December:1-25, 2017; and (4) “External Threat, Internal Rivalry, and Alliance Formation” with Sean Zeigler, Journal of Politics, 2018. His current projects include studies of institutions and governance, theories of voting, and politics of alliance formation.


  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin 1987

Niou, E., and P. C. Ordeshook. “Stability in International Systems and The Costs of War.” Models of Strategic Choices in Politics, edited by P. C. Ordeshook, University of Michigan Press, 1989.


Kselman, D., and E. Niou. “Strategic voting in plurality elections.” Political Analysis, vol. 18, no. 2, Nov. 2009, pp. 227–44. Scopus, doi:10.1093/pan/mpp027. Full Text

Niou, E. “中國地方自治爲何總不成功 [Why Has the Self-Government Movement Not Been Successful in China? ].” Fudan Univeristy Political Science Review, no. 6, 2008.

Benson, Brett, and Emerson Niou. “Economic Interdependence and Peace: A Game-Theoretic Analysis.” Journal of East Asian Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, Mar. 2007, pp. 35–59.

Niou, E. “彭真与中國地方自治的再起 [Peng Zhen and the Reemergence of Self-Governance in China].” Zhejiang Academic Journal, no. 1, 2007, pp. 99–106.

Chu, C., and E. Niou. “The Strategy of Ambiguity in Electoral Competition.” Academia Economic Papers, vol. 33, no. 3, Sept. 2005, pp. 279–302.

Niou, E. M. S., and G. Tan. “External threat and collective action.” Economic Inquiry, vol. 43, no. 3, July 2005, pp. 519–30. Scopus, doi:10.1093/ei/cbi035. Full Text

Chen, K. P., and E. M. S. Niou. “Term limits as a response to incumbency advantage.” Journal of Politics, vol. 67, no. 2, May 2005, pp. 390–406. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1468-2508.2005.00322.x. Full Text

Hsieh, J. F. S., and E. M. S. Niou. “Measuring Taiwanese public opinion on Taiwanese independence.” China Quarterly, no. 181, Mar. 2005, pp. 158–68.


Selected Grants

(91-0421) Travel to Conduct Research on Security Issues in the Taiwan Straits awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1991

(89-0114) A Game-Theoretic Analysis of the Balance of Power and the Costs of War awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1989 to 1991

(89-0376) A Theory of the Balance of Power in the 20th Century awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1989