Political Science

Faculty and Staff

Michael Boyle

Michael Boyle, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair



Olney Hall 365

Michael Boyle is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at La Salle University in Philadelphia. He was previously a Lecturer in International Relations and Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews. He is also an alumnus of the Political Science Department at La Salle. 

His research interests are on terrorism and political violence, with particular reference to the strategic use of violence in insurgencies and civil wars. He has also published more broadly on security studies and American foreign policy. His writings have appeared in a range of scholarly journals and popular outlets, including regular columns for the Guardian (UK).  His most recent book, Violence after War: Explaining Instability in Post-Conflict States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in March 2014.

Areas of Expertise

  • Terrorism and Political Violence

  • Strategic Studies

  • U.S. Foreign Policy


  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge, 2005

  • M.P.P., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2001

  • M.Phil, University of Cambridge, 1999

  • BA, La Salle University, 1998


  • POL 151: Principles of American Government
  • POL 377: Security Studies
  • HON 350: The Return of Great Power Politics
  • HON 355: Revolutions, Violence and Terror
  • POL 480/481: Senior Seminar

Fellowships & Experience

  • Lecturer and Research Fellow, Center for Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), University of St. Andrews (2006-2010)

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, (2005-2006)

  • Fulbright Postgraduate Fellowship, Australian National University (2004-2005)

  • Hamburg Fellow in Conflict Prevention, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University (2003-2004)


  • “Is the US Drone War Effective?”, Current History 113:762 (April 2014) p. 137-143
  • “The Legal and Ethical Implications of Drone Warfare,” International Journal of Human Rights 19:2 (2015) p. 105-126

  • “The Race for Drones,” Orbis 59:1 (2015) p. 76-94

  • Violence after War: Explaining Instability in Post-Conflict States (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014)
  • “The Costs and Consequences of Drone Warfare,” International Affairs 89:1 (2013).

  • “Progress and Pitfalls in the Study of Political Violence,” Terrorism and Political Violence 24:4 (2012).

  • “Between Freedom and Fear: Explaining the Consensus Between Democracy and Terrorism in U.S. Foreign Policy” International Politics, 48 (March/May 2011).

  • “Do Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency Go Together?” International Affairs 86:2 (March 2010)

  • “Revenge and Reprisal Killings in Kosovo” Conflict Security and Development 10:2 (May 2010). 

  • “Bargaining, Fear and Denial: The Logic of Violence in Iraq 2004-2007”Terrorism and Political Violence 21:2(2009).

  • “Explaining Strategic Violence after Wars,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism32:3(March 2009)

  • ”A War in Search of a Rationale,” International Affairs 84:5 (September 2008)

  • “A Case against Critical Terrorism Studies,” co-authored with John Horgan,Critical Studies on Terrorism (April 2008)

  • ”The War on Terror in American Grand Strategy,” International Affairs (March 2008)


  • “The Normalization of Extrajudicial Murder,” International Studies Association, New Orleans, 21 February 2015

  • “Weapon of Choice: Explaining Terrorist Bombings in Armed Conflict,” International Studies Association, New Orleans, 19 February 2015

  • “Weapon of Choice: The Use of Bombings in Armed Conflict,” International Studies Association, San Francisco, 3 April 2013

  • “Explaining Violence after Wars,” International Studies Association, Montreal, Canada, 16 March 2011

  • “The American Way of Intervention,” with Anthony F. Lang, American Political Science Association, 2 September 2010.

  • “When is a State a Terrorist?” Terrorism from a Multi-Disciplinary Perspective workshop, University of St. Andrews, 30 September 2009.

  • “The Logic of Violence in Post-Conflict States” International Studies Association, New York City, 16 February 2009.

  • “Killing with Kindness: the Impact of IO/NGO Activity on Violence in Wartime” (co-authored with Kelly Greenhill), American Political Science Association, Boston, 1 September 2008.

  • “Bargaining, Fear and Denial: Explaining the Dynamic of Violence in Iraq” International Studies Association, San Francisco, 28 March 2008.

  • “War Crimes Indictments and Conflict Strategies” (co-authored with William W. Burke-White, University of Pennsylvania), International Studies Association, San Francisco, 30 March 2008.

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