Peter D. Feaver

Peter D. Feaver

Professor of Political Science

External Address: 
287 Gross Hall, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4331
International Relations, Security, Peace, Conflict

Peter D. Feaver (Ph.D., Harvard, 1990) is a Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University.  He is Director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy. Feaver is author of Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations (Harvard Press, 2003) and of Guarding the Guardians: Civilian Control of Nuclear Weapons in the United States (Cornell University Press, 1992). He is co-author: with Christopher Gelpi and Jason Reifler, of Paying the Human Costs of War (Princeton Press, 2009); with Susan Wasiolek and Anne Crossman, of Getting the Best Out of College (Ten Speed Press, 2008, 2nd edition 2012); and with Christopher Gelpi, of Choosing Your Battles: American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force (Princeton Press, 2004). He is co-editor, with Richard H. Kohn, of Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security (MIT Press, 2001).  He has published numerous other monographs, scholarly articles, book chapters, and policy pieces on grand strategy, American foreign policy, public opinion, nuclear proliferation, civil-military relations, and cybersecurity.
From June 2005 to July 2007, Feaver served as Special Advisor for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform on the National Security Council Staff at the White House where his responsibilities included the national security strategy, regional strategy reviews, and other political-military issues. In 1993-94, Feaver served as Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council at the White House where his responsibilities included the national security strategy review, counterproliferation policy, regional nuclear arms control, and other defense policy issues.  He is an emeritus member of the Aspen Strategy Group, blogs at “Elephants in the Room” at, and is a Contributing Editor to Foreign Policy magazine.  


  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1990
  • B.A., Lehigh University 1983

Feaver, P. D., and R. H. Kohn. “Overview.” Armed Forces &Amp; Society, vol. 27, no. 2, Jan. 2001, pp. 177–82. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0095327X0102700201. Full Text

Feaver, P. D., et al. “The Risks of a Networked Military.” Orbis, vol. 44, no. 1, Dec. 2000.

Feaver, P. D., and Richard H. Kohn. “The Gap: Soldiers, Civilians and Their Mutual Misunderstanding.” National Interest, vol. 61, Oct. 2000.

Feaver, P. D. “Correspondence: Is Anybody Still a Realist?International Security, vol. 25, no. 1, July 2000.

Feaver, Peter D., et al. “Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm? (Or Was Anybody Ever a Realist?).” International Security, vol. 25, no. 1, MIT Press - Journals, July 2000, pp. 165–93. Crossref, doi:10.1162/016228800560426. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “Review of Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment by Michael C Desch.” American Political Science Review, June 2000.

Feaver, P. D., and R. H. Kohn. “Corps politics.” New Republic, vol. 221, no. 25, NEW REPUBLIC INC, Dec. 1999, pp. 6–6.

Feaver, P. D. “The Theory-Policy Debate in Political Science and Nuclear Proliferations.” National Security Studies Quarterly, vol. 5, no. 3, July 1999.

Feaver, P. D. “Civil-military relations.” Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 2, Jan. 1999, pp. 211–41. Scopus, doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.211. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “The domestication of foreign policy.” American Foreign Policy Interests, vol. 20, no. 1, Feb. 1998. Scopus, doi:10.1080/10803920.1998.10391945. Full Text


Feaver, P. D. “Allies in War, Not in Perspective.” Washington Post, Dec. 2001.

Feaver, P. D. “No More Mocking the President.” Parliamentary Brief, Dec. 2001, pp. 4–6.

Feaver, P. D., and Richard Kohn. “Civilian Control to the Forefront.” Raleigh News and Observer, Oct. 2001.

Feaver, P. D. “To Maintain that Support, Show Us What Success Means.” Washington Post, Oct. 2001, pp. B1–B1.

Feaver, P. D. “Cold War II.” Weekly Standard, Oct. 2001, pp. 18–19.

Feaver, P. D. “The Brits are All Right: Except for their Wobbly Elites.” Weekly Standard, Sept. 2001.

Feaver, P. D. “There’s a Good Reason Those Civilians Were on the Sub.” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2001.

Feaver, P. D., and Paul Gronke. Uncertain Confidence: Civilian and Military Attitudes About Civil-Military Relations. Edited by Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn, Cambridge, 2001.

Feaver, P. D., and Richard H. Kohn. Conclusion: The Gap and What it Means for American National Security. Edited by Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001.

Feaver, P. D. “Gore Steps on a Land Mine.” Washington Post, Jan. 2001, pp. 19–19.