David N. Gibbs

Professor of History
University of Arizona
215 Social Sciences Building
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0027
Tel: 520-621-5416
Fax: 520-621-2422


Academic Positions:

University of Arizona
Professor of History, 2010-present
Associate Professor of History and Political Science, 2003-2010
Associate Professor of Political Science, 1996-2003
Assistant Professor of Political Science, 1990-1996   


Visiting Positions:

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
Udall Research Fellow, 1998

University of Wisconsin - Madison
MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-1990



Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD in Political Science, 1989

Georgetown University
MA in Government, 1983

George Washington University
BA in Political Science, 1979



How America Became a Right-Wing Nation: Lessons from the 1970s.
Book almost completed; likely publication date, 2023.

First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia.
Vanderbilt University Press, 2009. See Amazon listing. Hardcover and paperback (third printing).
Serbo-Croatian translation published in 2010, by Zorana Stojanovića Publishers.

The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money, and US Policy in the Congo Crisis. 
University of Chicago Press, 1991. See Amazon listing.


Academic Articles and Chapters:

"Evangelical Christianity, Big Business, and the Resurgence of American Conservatism during the 1970s," in Leerom Medovoi and Elizabeth Bentley, eds., Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2021. Full text available through JSTOR, click here

"Afghanistan and the Politics of Quagmire: A Retrospective Analysis of US Policy,” in Adenrele Awotona, ed., Rebuilding Afghanistan in Times of Crisis: A Global Response. London: Routledge, 2019. For full text, click here

"The Principle of 'First Do No Harm' [in humanitarian intervention]," in Roger MacGinty and Jenny H. Peterson, eds., Routledge Companion to Humanitarian Action. London: Routledge, 2015. For full text, click here.

"How the Srebrenica Massacre Redefined US Foreign Policy," Class, Race, and Corporate Power 3, no. 2, 2015. For full text, click here. Published with six responses, including ones by Jean Bricmont, Kees van der Pijl, and John Feffer, click here. Final response by D. Gibbs, click here

"Replication, Qualitative Research, and Social Science Methodology," in Eric Wilson, ed., The Dual State: Parapolitics, Carl Schmitt, and the National Security Complex. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Press, 2012. For full text, click here.

"The Military-Industrial Complex in a Globalized Context," in Ronald W. Cox, ed., Corporate Power and Globalization in US Foreign Policy. London: Routledge, 2012. For full text, click here.

"Sigmund Freud as a Theorist of Government Secrecy," Research in Social Problems and Public Policy 19, 2011. Lead article in a special issue on government secrecy. For full text, click here.

"The Question of Whitewashing in American History and Social Science [on the CIA and academia]," in Donald Trent Jacobs, ed., Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. For full text, click here.

"Reassessing Soviet Motives for Invading Afghanistan: A Declassified History," Critical Asian Studies 38, no. 2, 2006. For article full text, click here.

"Die Hintergründe der Sowjetischen Invasion in Afghanistan, 1979," in Bernd Greiner, Christian Müller, and Dierk Walter, eds., Heisse Kriege im Kalten Krieg. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2006. For full text, click here.

"Pretexts and US Foreign Policy: The War on Terrorism in Historical Perspective," New Political Science 26, no. 3, 2004. For full text, click here. Reprinted in Joseph Peschek, ed., The Politics of Empire: War, Terror, and Hegemony. New York: Routledge, 2006.

"The Origins of the Yugoslavia Conflict," published in Serbian translation in Sociološki Pregled [Sociological Review] 35, no. 3-4, 2001. For full text, click here

"Social Science as Propaganda? International Relations and the Question of Political Bias," International Studies Perspectives [journal of the International Studies Association] 2, no. 4, 2001. For full text, click here.  ISP published a series of responses to this debate in a special forum.

"Washington's New Interventionism: US Hegemony and Inter-Imperialist Rivalries," Monthly Review 53, no. 4, 2001. For English full text, click here. Translated into Dutch, click here.

"Is There Room for the Real World in the Postmodernist Universe?" in Neil Waters, ed., Beyond the Area Studies Wars: Toward a New International Studies. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001. Lead chapter. For full text, click here

"Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Retrospect [Review Essay]," International Politics 37, no. 2, 2000. For article full text, click here.

"The United Nations, International Peacekeeping, and the Question of ‘Impartiality’: Revisiting the Congo Operation," Journal of Modern African Studies [Cambridge University Press] 38, no. 3, 2000. Lead article. For full text, click here

"Realpolitik and Humanitarian Intervention: The Case of Somalia," International Politics 37, no. 1, 2000. For article full text, click here. Reprinted in Daniel N. Nelson and Laura Neack, eds., Global Society in Transition: An International Politics Reader. The Hague: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002. 

"Is Peacekeeping a New Form of Imperialism? [Review Essay]," International Peacekeeping 4, no. 1, 1997. For full text, click here.  

"International Commercial Rivalries and the Zaïrian Copper Nationalization of 1967," Review of African Political Economy 24, no. 72, 1997. Lead article. For full text, click here.

"The 'Military-Industrial Complex,' Sectoral Conflict, and the Study of US Foreign Policy," in Ronald W. Cox, ed., Business and the State in International Relations. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997. For full text, click here.

"Misrepresenting the Congo Crisis [Review Essay]," African Affairs: Journal of the Royal African Society [Oxford University Press] 95, no. 380, 1996. For full text, click here

"Secrecy and International Relations," Journal of Peace Research 32, no. 2, 1995. For full text, click here. Reprinted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists; and also in Susan L. Maret and Jan Goldman, eds., Government Secrecy: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. 

"Political Parties and International Relations: The United States and the Decolonization of Subsaharan Africa," International History Review [University of Toronto Press] 17, no. 2, 1995. For full text, click here.

"Let Us Forget Unpleasant Memories: The US State Department's Analysis of the Congo Crisis [Review Essay]," Journal of Modern African Studies [Cambridge University Press] 33, no. 1, 1995. For full text, click here

"The Emperors' New Tautology: Reply to Krasner, Lake, Ikenberry - and also Skocpol," Contention [Indiana University Press] 3, no. 3, 1994. For full text, click here.

"Taking the State Back Out: Reflections on a Tautology," Contention 3, no. 3, 1994. Published with extended replies by Stephen Krasner, John Ikenberry, David Lake, and Jeffrey Frieden. For full text, click here.

"Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations, and the Congo Crisis of 1960-61: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Modern African Studies [Cambridge University Press] 31, no. 1, 1993. For full text click here

"International Influences on Third World Development: The Case of Mobutu’s Zaïre," Nytt från Nordiska Afrikainstitutet [Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Upssala, Sweden], no. 29, 1992. For full text, click here.

"Does the USSR Have a ‘Grand Strategy’? Reinterpreting the Invasion of Afghanistan," Journal of Peace Research 24, no. 4, 1987. For full text, click here.

"The Peasant as Counterrevolutionary: The Rural Origins of the Afghan Insurgency," Studies in Comparative International Development 21, no. 1, 1986. For full text, click here.

"The Politics of Economic Development: The Case of the Mauritanian Fishing Industry," African Studies Review [journal of the African Studies Association] 27, no. 4, 1984. For full text, click here.


Encyclopediae Contributions: 

"Yugoslav Wars," in Edward J. Blum, Cara Burnidge, Emily Conroy-Krutz, and David Kinkela, eds, Dictionary of American History, Supplement: America in the World, 1776 to the Present. Farmington Hills, MA: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2016. 

"Cold War [in Africa]," in John Middleton and Joseph C. Miller, eds., New Encyclopedia of Africa. Detroit: Thomson-Gale, 2008. For full text, click here.

"Mauritania," in Joel Krieger, ed., Oxford Companion to Politics of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 (second edition). An earlier version was published in the first edition of the Oxford Companion in 1993.


Popular Articles:

"Claims over Broken Promises about NATO Simmer at the Heart of Ukraine Crisis," Truthout, February 6, 2022. Full full text, click here.

"Student Demands at Sarah Lawrence Will Have Negative Impact," letter to the editor, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2019. For full text, click here.

"Interview with Noam Chomsky: Why Donald Trump is Pushing the Doomsday Clock to the Brink of Midnight," Salon, April 3, 2017. For full text, click here. For French translation, click here. For Japanese translation, click here. Also appeared in Canadian DimensionCounterpunch, Sri Lankan Guardian, AlterNet, Class, Race, and Corporate Power, and Afrique-Asie.

"Why the Srebrenica Massacre Should not be Used as an Excuse for Intervention," History News Network, December 27, 2015. For full text, click here.

"The Srebrenica Precedent: The Srebrenica Massacre was a Tragic Event, but for the Last Twenty Years, It's been Used to Justify more War and US Intervention," Jacobin, July 6, 2015. For full text, click here.

"Not so Open and Shut [concerning JFK assassination]," letter to the editor, Economist, November 30, 2013. For full text, click here

"Celebrating French Intervention in Mali: Media Overlooked Role of 'War on Terror' in Sparking Crisis," Extra, April 1, 2013. For full text, click here.

"The Balkan Wars," lead letter to the editor, Economist, January 19, 2013. For full text, click here. The Economist ran a response to my letter, in a subsequent edition (click here for full text of response).

"Welcome to the Balkan Propaganda Machine,", June 11, 2012. For full text click here. For German translation, click here. For Czech translation, click here.   

"Libya and the New Warmongering," Foreign Policy in Focus, January 12, 2012. For full text, click here. For German translation, click here. For Spanish translation, click here. Published with reply by Michael Bérubé.

"The 'Decent Left' and the Libya Intervention: A Reply to Michael Bérubé," Counterpunch, November 25-27, 2011. Reprinted in Afrique-Asie (online edition). For full text, click here. For French translation, click here.

"Pompous Rhetoric and Realpolitik: Power Politics, NATO, and the Libyan Intervention," Counterpunch, September 15, 2011. Reprinted in Cafrande Kültür Sanat ve Hayat. For full text, click here. For Turkish translation, click here.

"Kosovo, a Template for Disaster: The Idea that Kosovo is a Model for Humanitarian Intervention in Libya is Based on a Series of Myths," London Guardian, March 21, 2011. Reprinted in the Qatar Tribune, The Daily Star (Bangladesh), and De Staandard (Belgium). For full text click here. For Russian translation, click here. For Dutch translation, click here

"The Srebrenica Massacre After Fifteen Years," Foreign Policy in Focus, July 30, 2010. For full text, click here.

"Reassessing US Involvement in the Balkans," letter to the editor, Washington Post, August 22, 2009. For full text, click here

"Was Kosovo the Good War?" Tikkun, July/August 2009. For full text, click here. For Portuguese translation, click here. For Serbian translation, click here. For French translation, click here.

"Price of Burma Intervention," letter to the editor, Financial Times, May 21, 2008. For full text, click here.

"Reliability of Soviet Defector's Allegations Open to Question," letter to the editor, Financial Times, January 7, 2006. For full text, click here.

"Illiberal Arts [concerns issues of political bias in academia]," letter to the editor, Harper's, November 2005. For full text, click here.

"Spying, Secrecy, and the University: The CIA is Back on Campus," Counterpunch, April 7, 2003. Reprinted in Outlook India. For full text, click here. For Portuguese translation, click here

"Forgotten Coverage of Afghan 'Freedom Fighters': The Villains of Today's News were Heroes in the 1980s," Extra, January/February 2002. For full text, click here.

"US: Choose Allies Carefully – Remember Bin Laden Began his Career as a US Ally," Christian Science Monitor, September 25, 2001. Reprinted in nine other periodicals, including the Sacramento Bee. For Chinese translation, click here. For English, click here

"Academics and Spies: The Silence that Roars," Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2001. Reprinted in ten other periodicals including Cleveland Plain Dealer, St Petersburg Times (Russia), Daily Yomiuri (Japan), Evrensel Gençlik, and O Estado de São Paulo. For English full text, click here. For German web translation, click here. Also translated into Portuguese and Turkish.

"US-Cuban Relations During the Cold War," letter to the editor, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19, 1999. For full text, click here

"US Created Mobutu," letter to the editor, New York Times, March 20, 1997. For full text, click here

"Scientific Expertise and Scholarly Language [debate on postmodernism]," letter to the editor, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2, 1996. For full text, click here.

"Comment fut scellé le destin d'un pays aux richesses convoitées [article on the Congo]," Le Monde Diplomatique, September 1993. For full text, click here.

"Don't Give Mobutu a Safety Net," Los Angeles Times, October 20, 1991. Reprinted in the Tulsa World. For full text click here.


Book Reviews:

Slavic Review (2018)
Journal of Military History (2016)
Diplomatic History (2010, 2011, 2015)
Journal of Modern History (2014)
E-International Relations (2013)
H-Diplo Online (2013)
Presidential Studies Quarterly (2011)
International History Review (2005)
Perspectives on Politics (2003)
Journal of Politics (1996, 2003)
Journal of Modern African Studies (1994, 2001)
American Political Science Review (1995, 1997).


Short Comments:

Class, Race, and Corporate Power (2015)
Slavic Review (2011)
H-Diplo Online (2010)
Journal of Interdisciplinary History (1994).


Research in Progress:

How America Became a Right-Wing Nation, long-term book project.



Debate on humanitarian intervention, David Gibbs with Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security and coauthor of the USA Patriot Act; sponsored by Oxford Union Society, Oxford University, 2019. For debate description, click here. For video, click here. For debate transcript, click here. For Turkish translation of debate transcript, click here

Debate on NATO intervention in Libya, David Gibbs with Michael Bérubé, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University and former President, Modern Languages Association; hosted by Foreign Policy in Focus, 2012, click here.

Debate on CIA influence in academia, David Gibbs with Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University and former President, American Political Science Association; hosted by Democracy Now radio program, 2002, click here

In 1999, I initiated an extended debate in international relations theory, concerning the issue of political biases in favor of US hegemony. Articles on this debate have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lingua Franca, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. The debate elicited responses from Robert Keohane, Bruce Russett, Bruce Cumings, Irene Gendzier, Joseph Nye, Robert Jervis, Craig Murphy, and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. For link to this debate, click here.


Press Interviews and Citations (US):

Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Review of Books, Naked Capitalism,, New York ObserverChristian Science Monitor, Washington Times, Sacramento BeeHouston Chronicle, Arizona RepublicMiami Herald, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteSan Diego Union-TribuneHuffington Post, UPI, AP, Bloomberg News, Pacifica Radio (Democracy Now), Vice News, Leatherneck Magazine (US Marine Corps), Foreign Affairs, Oil and Gas Industry Today, National Journal, Vanity Fair, Chronicle of Higher Education, Lingua Franca,  National Interest, C-SPAN.


Press Interviews and Citations (International):

Mainichi Shimbun (Tokyo), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zürich), Frankfurter Rundschau (Frankfurt), Le Monde Diplomatique (Paris), L'Express Online (Paris), Inter Press Service (Rome), Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki), Flamman (Stockholm), Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar), Arab News (Jidda, Saudi Arabia), Britské Listy (Prague), Politika (Belgrade), Jutarnjilist (Zagreb), Dnevni Avaz (Sarajevo), Mladina (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Telegraf (Tirana, Albania), Jamaican Radio (Kingston), El Colombiano (Medellín), PubliMetro (Santiago), La Jornada (Mexico City), TeleSur (Caracas), Folha de São PauloAfrican Executive (Nairobi), Business Day (Johannesburg), Herald (Harare), La Prosperité [Kinshasa], Sri Lankan Guardian (Colombo), Indian Defence Review (New Delhi), Anninh Thudo (Hanoi), Radio Adelaide (Australia), New Zealand Herald (Auckland), Times Higher Education Supplement (London), Guardian (London), ITN Radio (London), Economist (London), BBC Radio ("Scotland at Ten").


Research Recognition:

In 2013, the State Department's Office of the Historian published a new 900-page book of documents on the Congo Crisis, in response to my criticisms of previous State Department publications, which I claimed had whitewashed US covert operations in the Congo. The Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News described the controversy, which led to State's new publication, click here.

In 2011, I was attacked at length on Breitbart News, click here

Numerous interviews in the international media (see above for details). 

Debates on public issues, including at the Oxford Union Society.



Popular and academic writings translated into eleven foreign languages, including Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Turkish.


Grants and Fellowships:

Harry S Truman Foundation, 2019
Gerald R. Ford Foundation, 2016
Earl H. Carroll Magellan Circle Fellow, 2010-2011
University of Arizona, Office of the Provost grant, 2008-2009
O'Donnell Research Grant, George H. W. Bush Foundation, 2006
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy Fellow, 1998
UA Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute grant, 1996
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-1990
Center for International Studies Fellow, U. of Southern California, 1988 (offered and declined)
Moody Research Grant, Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, 1987
Institute for the Study of World Politics Fellow, 1986-1987.


Ongoing Grant Project:

Co-Principal Investigator, "Sawyer Seminar: Neoliberalism at the Neopopulist Crossroads," multidisciplinary project funded with $225,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2019-2021. For project description, click here


Directory Listings:

Who’s Who in America
Who's Who in the Humanities

Who’s Who in Finance and Industry
Who’s Who in American Education
Directory of American Scholars
Contemporary Authors
Writer’s Directory.


Editorial Board Memberships:

Secrecy Studies  - Editorial Board member, from 2014;
Class, Race, and Corporate Power - Associate Editor, from 2013;
Tikkun Magazine (Duke University Press) - Editorial Advisory Board member, 2009-2012.


Conference Presentations:

American Political Science Association
Midwest Political Science Association
Southern Political Science Association
Western Political Science Association
Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations
American Association for Environmental History
Pacific Sociological Association
African Studies Association
Middle East Studies Association
Socialist Scholars Conference
South Asia Conference
International Studies Association
International Studies Association - Midwest
British International Studies Association.


Invited Lectures and Conferences:

Oxford Union Society, Oxford University
Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Germany
Department of International Relations, University of Sussex, UK
Institute for European Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada
Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands
Department of Politics, University of Warwick, UK
Department of Politics, University of Plymouth, UK
Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU), Finland
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Priština at Mitrovica, Kosovo
Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC
School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University
Department of International Relations, Florida International University
Department of Political Science, State University of New York, Albany
Lone Star College, Houston
Hansen Institute for World Peace, San Diego State University
Department of African Studies, Howard University
Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Department of Political Science, University of Georgia
Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.    


Manuscript Reviews - Books:

Cambridge University Press, Central European University Press, CQ Press, Harper-Collins Publishers, Lexington Books, Longman Press, Lynne Rienner Press, Ohio University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge Press, Stanford University Press/Woodrow Wilson Center (joint publication), University of North Carolina Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, Wadsworth-Cengage Publishing.


Manuscript Reviews - Articles:

African Affairs; African Studies Review; Anthropology Today; Diplomacy & Statecraft; Diplomatic History; Disasters Journal; Europe-Asia Studies; Global Change, Peace, & Security; Global Governance; Global Society; The Historian; International Peacekeeping; International Politics; International Spectator; International Studies Perspectives; Journal of Cold War Studies; Journal of Contemporary History; Journal of Peace Research; Journal of Politics; Millennium Journal of International Studies; New Political Science; Policy Studies Journal; Political Research Quarterly; Problems of Post Communism; Revista Dialéctica Libertadora; Review of International Studies; Security Studies; Social Studies of Science; South African Historical Journal; West European Politics.


Promotion and Tenure Reviews:

State University of New York, Albany; University of Louisville; University of Missouri, St. Louis.     


Other Reviews:

Grawemeyer World Order Book Award, Inter-Hemispheric Resource Center, National Science Foundation, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Antwerp Research Council.



Graduate and undergraduate courses on international relations, US foreign policy, comparative Third World politics, economic history, introduction to political history, and social science methodology. For course syllabi, click here.      


Work with Graduate Students:

Served on approximately forty MA- and PhD-level graduate committees. Previous service on the University of Arizona Graduate Studies Council.    


External Examiner on Graduate Committees:

Florida International University; State University of New York, Albany; Monash University (Australia); Macquairie University (Australia).


Supervised Theses:

Dina Jadallah, "United States Economic Aid: Imperfect Hegemony in Egypt," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, School of Middle East and North African Studies, 2014.

Vilja Hulden, "Employers Unite! Organized Employer Reactions to the Labor Union Challenge of the Progressive Era," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of History, 2011 [served as dissertation committee chair].
Winner of the 2012 Labor History Dissertation Prize; and the 2013 Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Outstanding Dissertation.

Sean Duffy, "Shell Game: The US-Afghan Opium Relationship," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of History, 2011 [served as dissertation committee chair].

Shannon Rae Butler, "Into the Storm: American Covert Involvement in the Angolan Civil War, 1974-1975," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of History, 2008.

Mikhail E. Beznosov, "Political Markets of Post-Socialism: Anomalous Development or Evolutionary Trend?" PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of Political Science, 2007. 

Patrick McGovern, "A Three Ring Circus: The Disciplining and Commodification of Political Science," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of Political Science, 2004. 


University-Level Service:

College-Level Peer Review Committee, College-Level Grade Appeals Committee, College-Level Sabbatical Committee, University Task Force on Salary Equity, University Graduate Studies Council, Faculty Senate.


Service to the Profession:

Committee on the Paul Birdsall Prize in European Military and Strategic History, American Historical Association, 2006-2008 (served as committee chair in 2008).

Created an online "Guide to Using Declassified Documents," with hundreds of hyperlinks to source material, for use by researchers and students. For access to this website, click here


Interdisciplinary Affiliations:

Center for Middle East Studies, University of Arizona; School of Government and Public Policy, UA.


Research Languages:



Nonacademic Work Experience:

US Department of Commerce
Foreign Affairs Assistant, 1981-1982

Peace Corps Volunteer
Niger, West Africa, 1979-1980

Research Monitor (Washington, D.C.)
Reporter, 1978-1979



Dual US and German citizenship; married, with one child. 


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