Max Abrahms

Max Abrahms

Assistant Professor of Political Science
education Ph.D., 2010,
Political Science,
University of California-Los Angeles
Mailing address 215F RP
360 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Max Abrahms is an assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University. He researches and teaches on asymmetric conflict and international relations theory. His work on asymmetric conflict focuses on the study of civil war, insurgency, nonviolent protest, and terrorism. He is a frequent terrorism analyst in the media, especially on the consequences of terrorism, its motives, and the implications for counterterrorism strategy. His work in international relations theory focuses on the concepts of coercion, perception, misperception, rationality, and signaling in the international system. Abrahms is an active term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Selected Publications

“The Credibility Paradox: Violence as a Double-Edged Sword in International Politics,” International Studies Quarterly (December 2013).

“The Political Effectiveness of Non-State Violence: A Two-Level Framework to Transform a Deceptive Debate,” H-Diplo/ISSF Response to Peter Krause (July 2013).

“Bottom of the Barrel: Today’s Terrorists Aren’t Sophisticated,” Foreign Policy (April 2013).

“Few Bad Men: Why America Doesn’t Really Have a Terrorism Problem,” Foreign Policy (April 2013).

“The Political Effectiveness of Terrorism Revisited,” Comparative Political Studies (March 2012).

“Does Terrorism Really Work? Evolution in the Conventional Wisdom since 9/11,” Defence and Peace Economics (December 2011).

“What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy,” International Security, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Spring 2008).

[Reprinted in Patrick H. O’Neil and Ronald Rogowski, eds., Essential Readings in Comparative Politics, 4th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012); and

“Why Democracies Make Superior Counterterrorists,” Security Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring 2007).

“Why Terrorism Does Not Work,” International Security, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Fall 2006).

[Reprinted in Jack Snyder and Karen Mingst, eds., Essential Readings in World Politics, 3rd ed. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2007)].

“Al-Qaeda’s Scorecard: A Progress Report on Al-Qaeda’s Objectives,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 29, No. 5 (July-August 2006).

Professional Associations & Affiliations

Term Member at Council on Foreign Relations, 2013-2018