David N. Gibbs

Professor of History
University of Arizona
215 Social Sciences Building
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0027
Tel: 520-621-5416
Fax: 520-621-2422


Academic Positions:

University of Arizona
Professor of History, 2010-present
Associate Professor of History and Political Science, 2003-2010
Associate Professor of Political Science, 1996-2003
Assistant Professor of Political Science, 1990-1996   


Visiting Positions:

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
Udall Research Fellow, 1998

University of Wisconsin - Madison
MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-1990



Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD in Political Science, 1989

Georgetown University
MA in Government, 1983

George Washington University
BA in Political Science, 1979



First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009. See Amazon listing. Published in hardcover, Kindle, and paperback editions (currently in third printing).
Serbo-Croatian translation published in 2010, by Zorana Stojanovića Publishers.
Reviewed or discussed in New York Review of Books, Washington Post, Washington Times, Huffington Post, Politika (Serbia), Mladina (Slovenia), Croatian Political Science Review,  and C-SPAN’s Book TV series, among many other venues. See excerpts from reviews.

The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money, and US Policy in the Congo Crisis.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. See Amazon listing.


Academic Articles and Chapters:

          “Afghanistan and the Politics of Quagmire: A Retrospective Analysis of US Policy,” in Adenrele Awotona, ed., Rebuilding
. London: Routledge, forthcoming 2018.

"Yugoslav Wars," in Edward J. Blum, Cara Burnidge, Emily Conroy-Krutz, and David Kinkela, eds, Dictionary of American History, Supplement: America in the World, 1776 to the Present. Farmington Hills, MA: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2016. 

"The Principle of 'First Do No Harm,'" in Roger MacGinty and Jenny H. Peterson, eds., Routledge Companion to Humanitarian Action. London: Routledge, 2015. For full text, click here.

"How the Srebrenica Massacre Redefined US Foreign Policy," Class, Race, and Corporate Power 3, no. 2, 2015. For full text, click here. Responses by John Theis, Scott Laderman, Jean Bricmont, Latha Varadarajan, Kees van der Pijl, and John Feffer, click here. Final response by D. Gibbs, click here

"Replication, Qualitative Research, and Social Science Methodology," in Eric Wilson, ed., The Dual State: Parapolitics, Carl Schmitt, and the National Security Complex. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Press, 2012. For full text, click here.

"The Military-Industrial Complex in a Globalized Context," in Ronald W. Cox, ed., Corporate Power and Globalization in US Foreign Policy. London: Routledge, 2012. For full text, click here.

"Sigmund Freud as a Theorist of Government Secrecy," Research in Social Problems and Public Policy 19, 2011. Lead article in a special issue on government secrecy. For full text, click here.

"Cold War [in Africa]," in John Middleton and Joseph C.Miller, eds., New Encyclopedia of Africa. Detroit: Thomson-Gale, 2008. For full text, click here.

"The Question of Whitewashing in American History and Social Science [on the CIA and academia]," in Donald Trent Jacobs, ed., Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. For full text, click here.

"Reassessing Soviet Motives for Invading Afghanistan: A Declassified History," Critical Asian Studies 38, no. 2, 2006. For article full text, click here.

"Die Hintergründe der Sowjetischen Invasion in Afghanistan, 1979," in Bernd Greiner, Christian Müller, and Dierk Walter, eds., Heisse Kriege im Kalten Krieg. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2006. For full text, click here.

"Pretexts and US Foreign Policy: The War on Terrorism in Historical Perspective," New Political Science 26, no. 3, 2004. For full text, click here. Reprinted in Joseph Peschek, ed., The Politics of Empire: War, Terror, and Hegemony. New York: Routledge, 2006.

"Mauritania," in Joel Krieger, ed., Oxford Companion to Politics of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 (second edition). An earlier version was published in the first edition of the Oxford Companion in 1993.

 "The Origins of the Yugoslavia Conflict," published in Serbian translation in Sociološki Pregled [Sociological Review] 35, no. 3-4, 2001. For full text, click here

"Social Science as Propaganda? International Relations and the Question of Political Bias," International Studies Perspectives [journal of the International Studies Association] 2, no. 4, 2001. Full text of article and responses, available through EBSCO. ISP later published a series of responses to this debate in a special forum (click here for forum).

"Washington's New Interventionism: US Hegemony and Inter-Imperialist Rivalries," Monthly Review 53, no. 4, 2001. For English full text, click here. Translated into Dutch, click here.

"Is There Room for the Real World in the Postmodernist Universe?" in Neil Waters, ed., Beyond the Area Studies Wars: Toward a New International Studies. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001. Lead chapter. For full text, click here

"Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Retrospect [Review Essay]," International Politics 37, no. 2, 2000. For article full text, click here.

"The United Nations, International Peacekeeping, and the Question of ‘Impartiality’: Revisiting the Congo Operation," Journal of Modern African Studies [Cambridge University Press] 38, no. 3, 2000. Lead article. Full text available through JSTOR.

"Realpolitik and Humanitarian Intervention: The Case of Somalia," International Politics 37, no. 1, 2000. For article full text, click here. Reprinted in Daniel N. Nelson and Laura Neack, eds., Global Society in Transition: An International Politics Reader. The Hague: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002. 

"Is Peacekeeping a New Form of Imperialism? [Review Essay]," International Peacekeeping 4, no. 1, 1997. Fof full text, click here.  

"International Commercial Rivalries and the Zaïrian Copper Nationalization of 1967," Review of African Political Economy 24, no. 72, 1997. Lead article. Full text available through JSTOR. Translated into Danish and published in Gaia: Tidsskrift for International Solidaritet, Winter, 2006-2007 (click here for Danish translation).

"The 'Military-Industrial Complex,' Sectoral Conflict, and the Study of US Foreign Policy," in Ronald W. Cox, ed., Business and the State in International Relations. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997. For full text, click here.

"Misrepresenting the Congo Crisis [Review Essay]," African Affairs: Journal of the Royal African Society [Oxford University Press] 95, no. 380, 1996. Full text available through JSTOR.

"Secrecy and International Relations," Journal of Peace Research 32, no. 2, 1995. Full text available through JSTOR. Electronically reprinted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists, click here. Also reprinted in Susan L. Maret and Jan Goldman, eds., Government Secrecy: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. 

"Political Parties and International Relations: The United States and the Decolonization of Subsaharan Africa," International History Review [University of Toronto Press] 17, no. 2, 1995. Full text available through JSTOR.

"Let Us Forget Unpleasant Memories: The US State Department's Analysis of the Congo Crisis [Review Essay]," Journal of Modern African Studies [Cambridge University Press] 33, no. 1, 1995. Full text available through JSTOR.

"The Emperors' New Tautology: Reply to Krasner, Lake, Ikenberry - and also Skocpol," Contention [Indiana University Press] 3, no. 3, 1994. For full text, click here.

"Taking the State Back Out: Reflections on a Tautology," Contention 3, no. 3, 1994. Published with extended replies by Stephen Krasner, John Ikenberry, David Lake, and Jeffrey Frieden. For full text, click here.

"Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations, and the Congo Crisis of 1960-61: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Modern African Studies [Cambridge University Press] 31, no. 1, 1993. Full text available through JSTOR.

"International Influences on Third World Development: The Case of Mobutu’s Zaïre," Nytt från Nordiska Afrikainstitutet [Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Upssala, Sweden], no. 29, 1992. For full text, click here.

"Does the USSR Have a ‘Grand Strategy’? Reinterpreting the Invasion of Afghanistan," Journal of Peace Research 24, no. 4, 1987. Full text available through JSTOR.

"The Peasant as Counterrevolutionary: The Rural Origins of the Afghan Insurgency," Studies in Comparative International Development 21, no. 1, 1986. For full text, click here.

"The Politics of Economic Development: The Case of the Mauritanian Fishing Industry," African Studies Review [journal of the African Studies Association] 27, no. 4, 1984. Full text available through JSTOR.


Popular Articles:

"'Most of the World is Just Collapsing in Laughter' on Claims that Russia Intervened in the US Election: An Interview with Noam Chomsky," Class, Race, and Corporate Power 5, no. 1, 2017. For full text, click here. For French translation, click here. For Japanese translation, click here. Reprinted in Salon, Canadian DimensionCounterpunch, Sri Lankan Guardian, AlterNet, and Afrique-Asie.

Interview with Joan Brunwasser, "Trump Might Actually Be Right about NATO?" OpedNews, July 23, 2016. For full text click here.

"Why the Srebrenica Massacre Should not be Used as an Excuse for Intervention," History News Network, December 27, 2015. For full text, click here.

"The Srebrenica Precedent: The Srebrenica Massacre was a Tragic Event, but for the Last Twenty Years, It's been Used to Justify more War and US Intervention," Jacobin, July 6, 2015. For full text, click here.

"Not so Open and Shut [concerning JFK assassination]," letter to the editor, Economist, November 30, 2013. For full text, click here

"Celebrating French Intervention in Mali: Media Overlooked Role of 'War on Terror' in Sparking Crisis," Extra, April 1, 2013. For full text, click here.

"The Balkan Wars," lead letter to the editor, Economist, January 19, 2013. For full text, click here. The Economist ran a response to my letter, in a subsequent edition (click here for full text of response).

"Welcome to the Balkan Propaganda Machine,", June 11, 2012. For full text click here. For German translation, click here. For Czech translation, click here.   

"Libya and the New Warmongering," Foreign Policy in Focus, January 12, 2012. For full text, click here. For German translation, click here. For Spanish translation, click here. Published with reply by Michael Bérubé.

"The 'Decent Left' and the Libya Intervention: A Reply to Michael Bérubé," Counterpunch, November 25-27, 2011. Reprinted in Afrique-Asie (online edition). For full text, click here. For French translation, click here.

"Pompous Rhetoric and Realpolitik: Power Politics, NATO, and the Libyan Intervention," Counterpunch, September 15, 2011. Reprinted in  Cafrande Kültür Sanat ve Hayat. For full text, click here. For Turkish translation, click here.

"Kosovo, a Template for Disaster: The Idea that Kosovo is a Model for Humanitarian Intervention in Libya is Based on a Series of Myths," London Guardian, March 21, 2011. Reprinted in the Qatar Tribune, The Daily Star (Bangladesh), and De Staandard (Belgium). For full text click here. For Russian translation, click here. For Dutch translation, click here

"The Srebrenica Massacre After Fifteen Years," Foreign Policy in Focus, July 30, 2010. For full text, click here.

"Reassessing US Involvement in the Balkans," letter to the editor, Washington Post, August 22, 2009. For full text, click here

"Was Kosovo the Good War?" Tikkun, July/August 2009. For full text, click here. For Portuguese translation, click here. For Serbian translation, click here. For French translation, click here.

"Price of Burma Intervention," letter to the editor, Financial Times, May 21, 2008. For full text, click here.

"Reliability of Soviet Defector's Allegations Open to Question," letter to the editor, Financial Times, January 7, 2006. For full text, click here.

"Illiberal Arts [concerns issues of political bias in academia]," letter to the editor, Harper's, November 2005. For full text, click here.

"Spying, Secrecy, and the University: The CIA is Back on Campus," Counterpunch, April 7, 2003. Reprinted in Outlook India. For full text, click here. For Portuguese translation, click here

"Forgotten Coverage of Afghan 'Freedom Fighters': The Villains of Today's News were Heroes in the 1980s," Extra, January/February 2002. For full text, click here.

"US: Choose Allies Carefully – Remember Bin Laden Began his Career as a US Ally," Christian Science Monitor, September 25, 2001. Reprinted in nine other periodicals, including the Sacramento Bee. For Chinese translation, click here. For English,  click here

"Academics and Spies: The Silence that Roars," Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2001. Reprinted in ten other periodicals including Cleveland Plain Dealer, St Petersburg Times (Russia), Daily Yomiuri (Japan), Evrensel Gençlik, and O Estado de São Paulo. For English full text, click here. For German web translation, click here. Also translated into Portuguese and Turkish.

"US-Cuban Relations During the Cold War," letter to the editor, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19, 1999. For full text, click here

"US Created Mobutu," letter to the editor, New York Times, March 20, 1997. For full text, click here

"Scientific Expertise and Scholarly Language [debate on postmodernism]," letter to the editor, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2, 1996. For full text, click here.

"Comment fut scellé le destin d'un pays aux richesses convoitées [article on the Congo]," Le Monde Diplomatique, September 1993. For full text, click here.

"Don't Give Mobutu a Safety Net," Los Angeles Times, October 20, 1991. Reprinted in the Tulsa World. For full text click here.


Book Reviews:

Slavic Review (forthcoming)
Journal of Military History (2016)
Diplomatic History (2010, 2011, 2015)
Journal of Modern History (2014)
E-International Relations (2013)
H-Diplo Online (2013)
Presidential Studies Quarterly (2011)
International History Review (2005)
Perspectives on Politics (2003)
Journal of Politics (1996, 2003)
Journal of Modern African Studies (1994, 2001)
American Political Science Review (1995, 1997).


Short Comments:

Class, Race, and Corporate Power (2015)
Slavic Review (2011)
H-Diplo Online (2010)
Journal of Interdisciplinary History (1994).


Research in Progress:

"Evangelical Christianity, Big Business, and the Rise of American Conservatism during the 1970s," article under review. 

How America Became a Right-Wing Nation: Explaining the Political Shift of the 1970s, long-term book project; research in progress.  


Press Interviews and Citations (US):

Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Review of Books, Naked Capitalism,, New York ObserverChristian Science Monitor, Washington Times, Sacramento BeeHouston Chronicle, Arizona RepublicHuffington Post, UPI, AP, Bloomberg News, Pacifica Radio (Democracy Now), Vice News, Leatherneck Magazine (US Marine Corps), Foreign Affairs, Oil and Gas Industry Today, National Journal, Vanity Fair, Chronicle of Higher Education, Lingua Franca,  National Interest, C-SPAN.


Press Interviews and Citations (International):

Mainichi Shimbun (Tokyo), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zürich), Frankfurter Rundschau (Frankfurt), Le Monde Diplomatique (Paris), L'Express Online (Paris), Inter Press Service (Rome), Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki), Flamman (Stockholm), Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar), Keyhan (Tehran), IRNA (Tehran), Arab News (Jidda, Saudi Arabia), Britské Listy (Prague), Politika (Belgrade), Jutarnjilist (Zagreb), Dnevni Avaz (Sarajevo), Mladina (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Telegraf (Tirana, Albania), RT television news (Moscow), Itar-Tass (Moscow), Sputnik News Service (Moscow), Jamaican Radio (Kingston), El Colombiano (Medellín), La Prensa Latina (Havana), PubliMetro (Santiago), La Jornada (Mexico City), TeleSur (Caracas), Folha de São PauloAfrican Executive (Nairobi), Business Day (Johannesburg), Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Harare), Herald (Harare), Sri Lankan Guardian (Colombo), Indian Defence Review (New Delhi), Anninh Thudo (Hanoi), Radio Adelaide (Australia), Times Higher Education Supplement (London), Guardian (London), ITN Radio (London), Economist (London), BBC Radio ("Scotland at Ten").


Research Recognition:

In 2018, I was attacked in Campus Reform, click here

In 2016, I was attacked in Accuracy in Media, click here

In 2014, my book First Do No Harm elicited widespread discussion in the Croatian and Bosnian press. A petition was presented to the Croatian president, which criticized my book and also a top presidential aide who had written a positive review of the book; the petition urged that the aide should be fired for his review. For details, click here.

In 2013, the State Department's Office of the Historian published a new 900-page book of documents on the Congo Crisis, in response to my criticisms of previous State Department publications, which I claimed had whitewashed US covert operations in the Congo. The Federation of American Scientists's Secrecy News described the controversy, which led to State's new publication, click here.

In 2011, I was attacked at length on Breitbart News, click here

In 2002, I participated in a debate with Robert Jervis, former president of the American Political Science Association, regarding the influence of the CIA in academia. The debate took place on the radio and television show Democracy Now. For an audio file of the debate, click here

In 1999, I initiated a public debate in international relations theory, concerning the issue of political biases in favor of US hegemony. Articles on this debate have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lingua Franca, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. The debate elicited responses from Robert Keohane, Bruce Russett, Bruce Cumings, Irene Gendzier, Joseph Nye, Robert Jervis, Craig Murphy, and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. For link to this debate, click here.

Numerous interviews in the international media (see above for details). 



Popular and academic writings translated into twelve foreign languages, including Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Turkish.


Grants and Fellowships:

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, 2016
Earl H. Carroll Magellan Circle Fellow, 2010-2011
University of Arizona, Office of the Provost grant, 2008-2009
O'Donnell Research Grant, George H. W. Bush Foundation, 2006
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy Fellow, 1998
UA Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute grant, 1996
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-1990
Center for International Studies Fellow, U. of Southern California, 1988 (offered and declined)
Moody Research Grant, Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, 1987
Institute for the Study of World Politics Fellow, 1986-1987.


Directory Listings:

Who’s Who in America
Who's Who in the Humanities

Who’s Who in Finance and Industry
Who’s Who in American Education
Directory of American Scholars
Contemporary Authors
Writer’s Directory.


Editorial Board Memberships:

Secrecy Studies  - Editorial Board member, from 2014;
Class, Race, and Corporate Power - Associate Editor, from 2013;
Tikkun Magazine (Duke University Press) - Editorial Advisory Board member, 2009-2012.


Conference Presentations:

American Political Science Association
Midwest Political Science Association
Southern Political Science Association
Western Political Science Association
Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations
American Association for Environmental History
Pacific Sociological Association
African Studies Association
Middle East Studies Association
Socialist Scholars Conference
South Asia Conference
International Studies Association
International Studies Association - Midwest
British International Studies Association.


Invited Lectures and Conferences:

Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Germany
Department of International Relations, University of Sussex, UK
Institute for European Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada
Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands
Department of Politics, University of Warwick, UK
Department of Politics, University of Plymouth, UK
Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU), Finland
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Priština at Mitrovica, Kosovo
Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC
School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University
Department of International Relations, Florida International University
Department of Political Science, State University of New York, Albany
Lone Star College, Houston
Hansen Institute for World Peace, San Diego State University
Department of African Studies, Howard University
Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Department of Political Science, University of Georgia
Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.    


Manuscript Reviews - Books:

Cambridge University Press, Central European University Press, CQ Press, Harper-Collins Publishers, Longman Press, Lynne Rienner Press, Ohio University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge Press, University of North Carolina Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, Wadsworth-Cengage Publishing, Woodrow Wilson Center/Stanford University Press (joint publication).


Manuscript Reviews - Articles:

African Affairs, African Studies Review, Anthropology Today, Diplomacy & Statecraft, Diplomatic History, Disasters Journal, Europe-Asia Studies, Global Change, Peace, & Security, Global Governance, Global Society, The Historian, International Peacekeeping, International Politics, International Spectator, International Studies Perspectives, Journal of Cold War Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Politics, Millennium Journal of International Studies, New Political Science, Policy Studies Journal, Political Research Quarterly, Problems of Post Communism, Revista Dialéctica Libertadora, Review of International Studies, Security Studies, Social Studies of Science, South African Historical Journal, West European Politics.


Promotion and Tenure Reviews:

State University of New York, Albany; University of Louisville; University of Missouri, St. Louis.     


Other Reviews:

Grawemeyer World Order Book Award, Inter-Hemispheric Resource Center, National Science Foundation, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Antwerp Research Council, University of Arizona Authors' Support Fund.



Graduate and undergraduate courses on international relations, US foreign policy, comparative Third World politics, and social science methodology. For course syllabi, click here.      


Work with Graduate Students:

Served on approximately forty MA- and PhD-level graduate committees. Previous service on the University of Arizona Graduate Studies Council.    


External Examiner on Graduate Committees:

Florida International University; State University of New York, Albany; Monash University (Australia); Macquairie University (Australia).


Supervised Theses:

Dina Jadallah, "United States Economic Aid: Imperfect Hegemony in Egypt," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, School of Middle East and North African Studies, 2014.

Vilja Hulden, "Employers Unite! Organized Employer Reactions to the Labor Union Challenge of the Progressive Era," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of History, 2011 [served as dissertation committee chair].
Winner of the 2012 Labor History Dissertation Prize; and the 2013 Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Outstanding Dissertation.

Sean Duffy, "Shell Game: The US-Afghan Opium Relationship," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of History, 2011 [served as dissertation committee chair].

Shannon Rae Butler, "Into the Storm: American Covert Involvement in the Angolan Civil War, 1974-1975," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Department of History, 2008.

Mikhail E. Beznosov, "Political Markets of Post-Socialism: Anomalous Development or Evolutionary Trend?" PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Departmet of Political Science, 2007. 

Patrick McGovern, "A Three Ring Circus: The Disciplining and Commodification of Political Science," PhD thesis, University of Arizona, Departmet of Political Science, 2004. 


University-Level Service:

College-Level Peer Review Committee, College-Level Grade Appeals Committee, College-Level Sabbatical Committee, University Task Force on Salary Equity, University Graduate Studies Council, Faculty Senate.


Service to the Profession:

Committee on the Paul Birdsall Prize in European Military and Strategic History, American Historical Association, 2006-2008 (served as committee chair in 2008).

Created an online "Guide to Using Declassified Documents," with hundreds of hyperlinks to source material, for use by researchers and students. For access to this website, click here


Interdisciplinary Affiliations:

Center for Middle East Studies, University of Arizona; School of Government and Public Policy, UA.



French. Also basic knowledge of Hausa, Hebrew, and Portuguese.


Nonacademic Work Experience:

US Department of Commerce
Foreign Affairs Assistant, 1981-1982

Peace Corps Volunteer
Niger, West Africa, 1979-1980

Research Monitor (Washington, D.C.)
Reporter, 1978-1979



Dual US and German citizenship; married, with one child. 


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