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 Triangle Institute for Security Studies and 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. “Blowback: Information warfare and the dynamics of coercion.” Security Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, Jan. 1998, pp. 88–120. Scopus, doi:10.1080/09636419808429359. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “Modeling Civil-Military Relations: A Reply to Burk and Bacevich.” Armed Forces &Amp; Society, vol. 24, no. 4, Jan. 1998, pp. 595–602. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0095327X9802400409. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “Crisis as shirking: An agency theory explanation of the souring of American civil-military relations.” Armed Forces and Society, vol. 24, no. 3, Jan. 1998, pp. 407–34. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0095327X9802400305. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “Correspondence: 'Proliferation Pessimisim and Emerging Nuclear Powers'.” International Security, vol. 22, no. 2, Oct. 1997.

Feaver, P. D. “Neooptimists and the enduring problem of nuclear proliferation.” Security Studies, vol. 6, no. 4, Jan. 1997, pp. 93–125. Scopus, doi:10.1080/09636419708429323. Full Text

Feaver, Peter D., et al. “Proliferation Pessimism and Emerging Nuclear Powers.” International Security, vol. 22, no. 2, JSTOR, 1997, pp. 185–185. Crossref, doi:10.2307/2539374. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “Review of The Nixon Administration and the Making of US Nuclear Strategy by Terry Terriff.” Journal of American History, June 1996.

Feaver, P. D. “The civil-military problematique: Huntington, Janowitz, and the question of civilian control.” Armed Forces and Society, vol. 23, no. 2, Jan. 1996, pp. 149–78. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0095327X9602300203. Full Text

Feaver, P. D., and E. M. S. Niou. “Managing nuclear proliferation: Condemn, strike, or assist?.” International Studies Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 2, Jan. 1996, pp. 209–34. Scopus, doi:10.2307/2600957. Full Text

Feaver, P. D. “An American Crisis in Civilian Control and Civil-Military Relations? Historical and Conceptual Roots.” The Tocqueville Review, vol. 17, no. 1, 1996.


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. The Public’s Expectations of National Security. Edited by Max G. Manwaring, Oct. 2000.

Feaver, P. D., and Edmund Malesky. “A Compassionate Foreign Policy?.” Weekly Standard, 2000, pp. 17–20.

Feaver, P. D., and Christopher Gelpi. “How Many Deaths are Acceptable? A Surprising Answer.” Washington Post, Nov. 1999, p. B-3.

Feaver, P. D., and Paul Gronke. “Don’t be Complacent about Public Confidence in the Military.” Contra Costa Times, 1999, pp. F05–F05.

Feaver, P. D. “I Love Zhu, Zhu Love Me: Clinton’s China Policy.” Weekly Standard, 1999, pp. 27–29.

Feaver, P. D. La Guerre de L’Information et le Controle Politique de la Coercition. Edited by Christopher Dandeker and Bernard Boene, Paris: La Decouverte, 1998.

Feaver, P. D. El Control Civil en Pequeñas democracias: La Contribució de las Ciencias Politicas. Edited by Kevin Casas, San José, Fundación Arias para la Paz y el Progreso Hmano, 1997.

Feaver, P. D. “Lessons From Desert Storm: Iraqi Style.” Inter University Seminar Newsletter, 1996.