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Ryan Griffiths

(Pronouns: He, Him)

Contact Information:


331 Eggers Hall


  • 2024 Spring
    • PSC 300 Selected Topics - Nationalism & World Politics
    • PSC 400 Selected Topics - Theories of Nationalism
  • 2023 Fall
    • PSC 124 International Relations
    • PSC 700 Selected Topics - Order & Change in IR
  • 2023 Spring
    • PSC 300 Selected Topics - Nationalism & World Politics
    • PSC 400 Selected Topics - Theories of Nationalism
  • 2022 Summer
    • PAI 670 Experience Credit
  • 2022 Spring
    • PSC 400 Selected Topics - Revolutions
    • PSC 357 U.S. Foreign Policy

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Department of Political Science, Columbia University, 2010


Ryan Griffiths focuses on the dynamics of secession and the study of sovereignty, state systems, and international orders. He teaches a variety of courses from revolution to international order. His most recent book is titled "Secession and the Sovereignty Game: Strategy and Tactics for Aspiring Nations" (Cornell University Press, 2021). Previously, he taught at both the University of Sydney in Australia and at John Hopkins University. He also served as a visiting assistant professor at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies and as a visiting fellow at Yale University’s Macmillan Center. He earned a Ph.D. in international relations and comparative politics at Columbia University in 2010.

Areas of Expertise

International relations, comparative politics

Research Grant Awards and Projects

"Global Patterns in Interstate and Intrastate War Since 1750", Sponsored by National Science Foundation.

"States Since 1750", Sponsored by European Research Council.

"Historical States and Systems", Sponsored by Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship.

Selected Publications

  • Books
    • Griffiths, R. D., Secession and the Sovereignty Game: Strategy and Tactics for Aspiring Nations. Cornell University Press, 2021.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Age of Secession: The International and Domestic Determinants of State Birth. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Journal Articles
    • Griffiths, R. D., Waters , K., Are Secessionists Making the Right Arguments for Independence?" Nations and Nationalism. , 2023.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Butcher , C., "Toward a Theory of Heteronomy." International Studies Quarterly, 2022.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Der Drang Zum Eigenen Staat." Welt-Sichten, 2021.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Milagros Martinez , A., "Local Conditions and the Demand for Independence: A Dataset of Secessionist Grievances." Nations and Nationalism, 2021.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Secessionist Strategy and Tactical Variation in the Pursuit of Independence." Journal of Global Security Studies, 2021.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Butcher , C., "War, Interaction Capacity, and the Structures of State Systems." International Theory, 2021.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Butcher , C., "States and their International Relations Since 1816: Introducing Version 2 of the International System(s) Dataset (ISD)." International Interactions, 2020.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Wasser, L., "Does Violent Secessionism Work." Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2019.
  • Book Chapter
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Secession and the Strategic Playing Field." In The Routledge Handbook on Self-determination and Secession. Routledge, 2023.
  • Book Reviews
    • Griffiths, R. D., Zarakol, A., "Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders." H- Diplo, 2023.
    • Griffiths, R. D., William Waters , T., "Boxing Pandora: Rethinking Borders, States, and Secession in a Democratic World." Political Science Quarterly, 2020.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Ahram, A., "Break All the Borders: Separatism and the Reshaping of the Middle East." Perspectives on Politics, 2019.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Coggins , B., "Power Politics and State Formation in the Twentieth Century: The Dynamics of Recognition." H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews, 2015.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Atzili, B., "Good Fences, Bad Neighbors: Border Fixity and International Conflict." Australian Army Journal, 2012.
  • Chapter in Edited Volumes
    • Griffiths, R. D., Butcher, C., "Quantitative Approaches to Historical International Relations." In The Routledge Handbook of Historical International Relations. de Carvalho, B., Costa Lopez , J. and Leira , H. (eds.) Routledge, 2021.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Dynamics of Secession and State Birth." In The Routledge Handbook of State Recognition. Visoka, G., Doyle , J. and Newman, E. (eds.) Routledge, 2019.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Kurdistan, the International Recognition Regime, and the Strategy of Secession." In Federalism, Secession and the International Regime of Recognition: Iraqi Kurdistan at a Crossroads. Danilovich, A. (ed.) Routledge, 2018.
    • Griffiths, R. D., Butcher , C., "War and Variation in the Structure of Historical International Systems: A Theoretical Model." In De-Centering State-Making: Historical and Geographical Perspectives. Hall, M., Bartelson , J. and Teorell, J. (eds.) Edward Elgar, 2018.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Admission to the Sovereignty Club: The Past, Present, and Future of the International Recognition Regime." In Territorial Designs and International Politics: Inside-Out and Outside-In. Atzili, B., Kadercan, B. (eds.) Routledge, 2017.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Kurdistan´s Independence and the International System of Sovereign States." In Iraqi Kurdistan in Middle Eastern Politics. Danilovich, A. (ed.) Ashgate, 2016.
    • Griffiths, R. D., "Secession." In Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Gibbons , M., Coole, D. (eds.) Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
  • Edited Volumes
    • Routledge Handbook on Self-Determination and Secession. Griffiths, R. D., Radan, P. and Pavkovic, A. (eds.) Routledge, 2023.
    • Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession. Griffiths, R. D., Muro, D. (eds.) Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.

Presentations and Events

"International Studies Association" (2023)

Peace Science Society, "Revisiting the COW State Member List" (2023)

Hertie School (September 22, 2022)

Department of Political Science, Syracuse University (March 11, 2022)

Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) (2022)

Annual Conference , European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) (2022)

Department of Political Science, Syracuse University (December 3, 2021)

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Western Region (November 12, 2021)

Annual Conference , International Studies Association (ISA) (2021)

Annual Conference, American Political Science Association (APSA) (2021)

University of Groningen , "Secession and (Post)-Liberal International Order" (2021)

Lund University, "State Making and Global Order in Historical Perspective" (2021)

University of Edinburgh (October 21, 2020)

Annual Conference, American Political Science Association (APSA) (2020)

Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland (March 11, 2019)

Century Club Series (February 7, 2019)

Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) (2019)

Annual Conference , International Studies Association (ISA) (2019)

Honors and Accolades

Research Grant, National Science Foundation (2023 - 2026)

IEA Best Book Award (2021)

International Interactions Best Data Paper Award (2020)

Australian Research Council (ARC)/ Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) (2015 - 2017)

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Small Grant Award, Sydney University (2012 - 2013)