Pierre M. Atlas, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
Director of the Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies 

(317) 955-6336

Pierre Atlas

Pierre Atlas is a Professor of Political Science and Director of 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 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 US Army in the 1980s, where he studied Arabic.

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 three peer-reviewed articles on the subject: "Frontier Violence and Law and Order: Historical and Geographical Variance in the Great Plains of the North American West" (International Journal of Canadian Studies, forthcoming); "Of Peaceable Kingdoms and Lawless Frontiers: Exploring the Relationship between History, Mythology and Gun Culture in the North American West" (American Review of Canadian Studies, February 2019); and "Constructing and Enforcing the 'Medicine Line': A Comparative Analysis of Indian Policy on the North American Frontier,"in 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) 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 490 Senior Seminar
  • 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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