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. “An Experimental Test of a Theory of the Balance of Power.” Simulation and Games, Dec. 1988.

Niou, E. M. S., and P. C. Ordeshook. “Preventive War and the Balance of Power: A game-theoretic approach.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 31, no. 3, Jan. 1987, pp. 387–419. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0022002787031003001. Full Text

Niou, E. M. S. “A note on Nanson's rule.” Public Choice, vol. 54, no. 2, Jan. 1987, pp. 191–93. Scopus, doi:10.1007/BF00123006. Full Text

Niou, E., and P. C. Ordeshook. “A Theory of the Balance of Power.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Dec. 1986.

Niou, E. M. S., and P. C. Ordeshook. “A Theory of the Balance of Power in International Systems.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 30, no. 4, Jan. 1986, pp. 685–715. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0022002786030004005. Full Text

Niou, E., and P. C. Ordeshook. “Universalism in Congress.” American Journal of Political Science, May 1985.