photo: Michael Barnett

Michael N. Barnett

University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science
Suite 605
Address: Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW
Phone: 202-994-9301
Fax: 202-994-5477

Areas of Expertise

International affairs, global governance, humanitarianism, and the Middle East


Michael Barnett is University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University. His research interests include the Middle East, humanitarian action, global governance, global ethics, and the United Nations. Among his many books are Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda; Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order; Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism; Rules for the World: International Organizations in World Politics (with Martha Finnemore); Security Communities (co-edited with Emanuel Adler); Sacred Aid (co-edited with Janice Stein); Power and Global Governance (co-edited with Raymond Duvall); and Humanitarianism in Question (co-edited with Thomas Weiss). 
Currently, he is an Associate Editor of International Organization.  His current research projects range from international paternalism, the changing architecture of global governance, to the relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. His most recent book is The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of the American Jews (Princeton University Press).

He previously taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, Macalester College, Wellesley College, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; was a visiting scholar at the New School for Social Research and the Dayan Center at Tel-Aviv University; and was a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.  Professor Barnett is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of many grants and awards for his research.


Ph.D., University of Minnesota


Professor Barnett has published extensively on international relations theory, global governance, humanitarian action, and the Middle East. He is the author of many books, including a history of humanitarianism, The Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism.

Classes Taught

HONR 2175 Honors Special Topics – Humanitarianism