Benjamin A. Valentino

Academic Appointments
  • Associate Dean for the Social Sciences

  • Professor of Government

  • Coordinator, War and Peace Studies Program, Dickey Center for International Understanding

Benjamin Valentino is a Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and Chair of the Department of Government. His research interests include the causes and consequences of violent conflict and American foreign and security policies. At Dartmouth he teaches courses on international relations, international security, American foreign policy, the causes and prevention of genocide and serves as co-director the Government Department Honors Program. He is also the faculty coordinator for the War and Peace Studies Program at Dartmouth's Dickey Center for International Understanding. Professor Valentino's book, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century, received the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award for making an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security. His work has appeared in outlets such as The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, Foreign AffairsThe American Political Science Review, Security StudiesInternational OrganizationPublic Opinion QuarterlyWorld Politics and The Journal of Politics. He is currently working on several research projects focusing on public opinion on the use of force and developing early warning models of large-scale violence against civilians.


Silsby, Room 208
HB 6108




The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding


  • B.A. Stanford University
  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Selected Publications

  • Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004).

    "Just War and Unjust Soldiers: American Public Opinion on the Moral Equality of Combatants," Ethics in International Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Winter 2019), pp. 411-444. With Scott Sagan. The same issue includes a symposium on the article with reactions by Michael Walzer, Jeff McMahon and Robert Keohane.

    "Animals Are People Too: Explaining Variation in Respect for Animal Rights," Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 1 (February 2019), pp. 39-65. With Yon Soo Park.

    "Not Just a War Theory: American Public Opinion on Ethics in Military Combat," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 62, Issue 3 (September 2018), pp. 548–561. With Scott Sagan.

    "Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran: American Attitudes about Nuclear Weapons and Non-Combatant Immunity," International Security, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Summer 2017), pp. 41–79. With Scott Sagan.

    "Atomic Aversion: Experimental Evidence on Taboos, Traditions, and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons." With Scott Sagan and Daryl Press. American Political Science Review, vol. 107, no. 1 (Winter 2013).

    "The True Costs of Humanitarian Intervention: The Hard Truth Behind a Noble Notion." Foreign Affairs, vol. 90, no. 6 (November/December 2011), pp. 60-73.

Selected Works & Activities

  • The Early Warning Project: A collaborative project with the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum designed to produce risk assessments of the potential for mass atrocities around the world by combining state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative analysis. The project aims to give governments, advocacy groups, and at-risk societies earlier and more reliable warning, and thus more opportunity to take action, before such killings occur.



      • Government 5: International Relations

      • Government 50: War and Peace in the Modern Age

      • Government 53: International Security

      • Government 85.16: The Causes and Prevention of Mass Killing and Genocide

      • Government 98-99: Senior Honors Thesis Seminar