Jonathan Caverley's research identifies incentives at the international and domestic levels for increased defense effort and militarized conflict. He is currently examining how states use the international arms trade and training of foreign militaries as tools of influence. His newest project explores civil-military relations during small wars.

His forthcoming book Democratic Militarism: Voting, Wealth, and War, examines the distribution of the costs of security within democracies, and its contribution to military aggressiveness.

He co-chairs the Working Group on Security Studies at the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies.
For the Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 quarter year he served as a residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, DC.

His research has been supported by the Kellogg Dispute Resolution Research Center, the Buffett Center's Crown Family Middle East Research Fund; the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University; the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; and the Program in International Security Policy, University of Chicago.
Professor Caverley previously served as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at Northwestern University, where he taught undergraduate classes in Naval Engineering and in Leadership and Management.  He has consulted for the RAND Corporation, where he helped develop scenarios for responding to a biological weapons attack in East Asia.
His Ph.D. and M.P.P. are from the University of Chicago, and he received his A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard College. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.