Watson Institute for International Studies

Thomas J. Biersteker

Adjunct Professor of International Studies


Thomas J. Biersteker, former director of the Watson Institute for International Studies and former Henry R. Luce Professor of Transnational Organizations at Brown University, is now professor of political science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Biersteker's research focuses primarily on international relations theory and international political economy. His recent activities include work with the UN Secretariat and the governments of Switzerland, Sweden, and Germany on targeting sanctions, and membership on the Council on Foreign Relations' Independent Taskforce on Terrorist Financing.

He is author, editor, co-editor, or co-author of nine books. His most recent work, co-edited with Watson Institute Senior Fellow Sue Eckert, is titled Countering the Financing of Global Terrorism (Routledge, 2007). His other recent books include International Law and International Relations, co-edited with Veronica Raffo, Peter Sprio, and Chandra Sriram (Routledge , 2006), The Re-Bordering North America, co-edited with Peter Andreas (Routledge, 2003), The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance, co-edited with Rodney B. Hall (Cambridge University Press, 2002); Argument without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy (PublicAffairs Press, 1999) in which he co-authored the concluding chapter, "Lessons of Vietnam for the 21st Century," with Robert S. McNamara; and State Sovereignty As Social Construct, co-edited with Cynthia Weber (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

He currently serves on editorial advisory boards for the European Journal of International Relations, the Japanese Journal of International Studies, the Journal of Peace Research, and as North American Editor for Oxford Development Studies.

He received his PhD and MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his BA from the University of Chicago.

News|Recent News

There's an App for That

July 3, 2013

In late June, Senior Fellow Sue Eckert (above, second from right) and Adjunct Professor of International Studies Thomas Biersteker (above, left) launched the SanctionsApp at the Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York. The free application, designed for mobile phones and tablets, is based on the research of the international Targeted Sanctions Consortium (TSC), which Eckert and Biersteker co-direct.


Sue Eckert Presents Report on Targeted Sanctions and Individual Rights

December 11, 2012

Sue Eckert, senior fellow at the Watson Institute, presented a new update of the "Watson Report" at an event co-hosted by the German Ambassador to the United Nations and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The side event — "Targeted sanctions, human rights and due process - The future of the Ombudsperson's mandate under the 1267/1989 Al Qaeda sanctions regime" — took place on December 4th in New York.


Eckert Advises G8 on Terrorist Sanctions

March 15, 2010

Institute Senior Fellow Sue Eckert has seen “lots of discussion but not much visible progress” since the UN Security Council voted in December to reform its procedures for imposing sanctions on terrorists and rogue nations, she recently told policymakers preparing for the G8 Summit in June.