Allan Stam headshot

Allan C. Stam

Unit: Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Department: Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy
Office location and address
Garrett 107
235 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Ph.D., Political Science, University of Michigan, 1993
M.A., Political Science, University of Michigan, 1991
B.A., Government, Cornell University, 1988

Allan C. Stam is University Professor of Public Policy and Politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Previously he was Director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and Senior research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.  Prior to moving to Michigan in 2007 he was the Daniel Webster Professor at Dartmouth College (2000-2007) and was Assistant Professor at Yale University (1996-2000). His research focuses on the dynamics of armed conflict between and within states. Before completing his undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 1988 where he earned a varsity letter in heavyweight crew, he served as a communications specialist on an ‘A’ detachment in the U.S. Army Special Forces and later as an armor officer in the US Army Reserves. He holds an MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Stam’s work on war outcomes, war durations, mediation, and alliance politics appears in numerous political science journals including the American Political Science ReviewInternational Security, and the British Journal of Political Science.  He has received several grants supporting his work, including five from the National Science Foundation.  His books include Win Lose or Draw (University of Michigan Press, 1996) and Democracies at War (Princeton University Press, 2002), The Behavioral Origins of War (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and Why Leaders Fight (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2007 he was a residential fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.  He is the recipient of the 2004 Karl Deutsch award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under the age of 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the study of international politics. He has worked on several consulting projects for the Department of Defense and the US Navy’s Joint Warfare Analysis Center.

Stam has also worked on several survey-based projects including surveys conducted in Russia, Rwanda, India and the United States. His work on the Rwandan genocide overturns the conventional wisdom and has been featured in numerous accounts including a BBC documentary on the subject.  In Gujarat, India, they assisted the Navsarjin trust in conducting a community attitude census of roughly 120,000 households in approximately 1,800 rural villages.  Their work allows the NGO to track discrimination and violent behaviors directed towards members of the sub-caste population. 

LPPS 3040: US National Security Policy
Credits: 3
This course examines the problems and issues confronting American national security policymakers and the factors that influence the policies that emerge. Types of questions we will address include: What threatens those interests? How should the U.S. defend those interests? What kind of military should we build? Should the U.S. enter alliances with other countries? The course is organized along an historical time line.
LPPS 3095: Human Security
Credits: 3
This course focuses on the things that threaten and empower individuals and their families. As noted in UN resolution 66/290, "human security is an approach to assist States in identifying and addressing widespread and cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of their people." Questions will include: What threatens human survival? What are the sources of human disability? What leads to personal satisfaction and wellness?
LPPP 4991: Capstone Seminar
Credits: 3
Students will produce a report providing an analysis of the problem, the policy options available, and their action recommendations. Students will improve their ability to work in teams and hone their written and oral presentation skills.
LPPP 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent study in the field of public policy and leadership.
PPOL 7300: Principles of Net Assessment
Credits: 3
Net assessment is a way of determining where one stands as a nation compared with an adversary. Course explores historical & contemporary approaches to the measurement of military & economic capabilities. Capabilities are informed by the cultural, organizational, & bureaucratic context that shapes how states perceive, draw on, & apply them. Class brings these strands together through case studies illustrating the principles of net assessment.
LPPP 7750: Applied Policy Project II
Credits: 3
The Applied Policy Project (APP) is the capstone event of the MPP program, an independent analytical project for each student. During APP II, students produce a final report of approximately 50 single-spaced, professionally bound pages. The report is presented to both the faculty member and to the client.
PPOL 7993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Student will perform independent projects under close faculty supervision.
LPPP 7993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Student will perform independent projects under close faculty supervision.