Pierre Atlas, Ph.D.


Pierre Atlas is a Professor of Political Science and directs The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies (which includes the minor in Global Studies, the Lugar Fellow scholarship program, and the annual Global Studies Speaker Series). Dr. Atlas also writes a monthly opinion column for The Indianapolis Star and organizes and leads the biennial Lugar Fellow spring break trip to Washington, DC.

Atlas obtained his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University in 2000 and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political science from the University of Arizona and the University of Toronto, respectively. A native of Texas, Dr. Atlas grew up in California; he served in the United States Army in the 1980s, where he studied Arabic.

While living in Tucson, Arizona in his years between college and graduate school, Dr. Atlas held various jobs, including writer for a public relations agency; car rental agent; gun department manager at a sporting goods store; United States census crew leader; long-distance courier; and briefly, copper miner at 2,615’ below ground.

Research Interests

Dr. Atlas’ current research concerns how the legacy of the North American frontier helps to explain political differences between the United States and Canada today. He has presented conference papers on comparative frontier history, mythology and gun culture, and is author of “Constructing and Enforcing the ‘Medicine Line’: A Comparative Analysis of Indian Policy on the North American Frontier,” in The American Review of Canadian Studies (September 2016)

Dr. Atlas is a comparative political scientist who devoted much of his career to studying and writing about the Middle East. He has written articles and book reviews, and presented numerous conference papers on Middle East politics. He is author of “US Foreign Policy and the Arab Spring: Balancing Values and Interests,” in Digest of Middle East Studies (2012), is the co-author of a book chapter on Israeli politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has authored entries for the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa and the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Courses Taught

POL 102 Introduction to American Politics

POL 155 Introduction to Peace Studies

POL 210 Introduction to Comparative Politics

POL 347 American Foreign Policy

POL 355 Politics of the Middle East

POL 357 Civil Wars and Ethnic Conflicts

POL/GLS 361 Politics of the Global Economy

GLS 101 Global Perspectives

FYS 110 When the West was Wild: American Politics and the Mythology of the Frontier

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