Anne E. Sartori


Associate Professor of Political Science and (by courtesy) of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences

Northwestern University



Mailing address:

Department of Political Science

Scott Hall

601 University Place

Evanston, IL 60208


email: a-sartori at northwestern dot edu

phone: (847) 491-4017*

fax: (847) 491-8985


*I am on leave for the 2012-13 academic year.  The best way to contact me is by email.


My CV is available here.


Research Interests


Most of my research uses game-theoretic and statistical methods to understand international relations, with particular attention to when and how countries resolve (or fail to resolve) international conflict and to communication between countries. My book, Deterrence by Diplomacy (Princeton University Press, September, 2005) explains why states often are able to use diplomacy to resolve their differences, though diplomacy is only “cheap-talk.”  A mostly-completed project investigates the formation of reputations for willingness to fight when that willingness may differ between situations. New projects investigate the relationships between famine and both international and civil war, and strategies for stabilizing the nuclear relationship between India and Pakistan.



Current Research


·         Famine and War. A new project investigates the links between famine and war, both international and civil.


·         Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century. A second new project investigates nuclear politics in the 21st century. “Nuclear Weapons Policy in the 21st Century,” coauthored with Leo Sartori, is a policy paper written for the Program on Strategic Stability Evaluation at Georgia Tech. In the next step in the project, I apply theories of strategic stability to assess the stability of the nuclear weapons held by India and Pakistan (i.e., how the force structure affects the likelihood that the countries will use the weapons) and to propose changes to the force structure that would increase stability.







Deterrence by Diplomacy. Princeton University Press, September, 2005. Why are countries often able to communicate critical information using diplomacy, despite incentives to bluff? Why are they often able to deter attacks using verbal threats to use force? International-relations theory is largely pessimistic about the prospects for effective diplomacy, yet leaders nevertheless expend a great deal of time and energy trying to resolve conflicts through verbal negotiations and public statements. This book challenges standard approaches to deterrence by studying it as a form of talk. It stresses the importance of reputation and of honesty in establishing effective diplomacy.  The book argues that diplomacy often is effective precisely because it is so valuable.  States take pains to use diplomacy honestly most of the time because doing so allows them to maintain reputations for honesty, which enhance their ability to resolve future disputes using diplomacy rather than force. To do so, however, they pay a cost: they sometimes acquiesce to others' demands when they might have been able to attain their goals through successful bluffs.  The book develops its arguments about effective diplomacy through a game-theoretic argument, illustrates them using a case from the Korean War, and tests the resulting implications using statistical analyses.


Journal Articles







Book Chapters and Shorter Publications



·         “Selection Bias,” in Bernard Badie, Dirk BergSchlosser, and Leonardo Morlino, eds., International Encyclopedia of Political Science, Sage Publications, 2011.


·         “Who Wants War?” in Gary King, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Norman Nie, eds. The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives, Routledge, 2009.


·          Book review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, by Andrew H. Kydd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).  Journal of Peace Research 43:3 (May, 2006) 356.




Older Working Papers Available for Download




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Last revised: 09/12