Members of NAS are elected in recognition of noteworthy and ongoing research achievements in one of six scientific areas, including the behavorial and social sciences.
A political scientist by training, Jervis specializes in international politics in general and security policy, decision making, and theories of conflict and cooperation in particular. He is the author or editor of 18 books — including How Statesmen Think: The Political Psychology of International Politics (Princeton 2017) — and hundreds of articles.
“I’m deeply gratified by this honor,” Jervis said. “The National Academy is a very important institution, and I’ve always admired the people in it and the work it does.”
“I’m delighted to recognize Robert Jervis for this wonderful achievement,” said Dean Merit E. Janow of SIPA. “Membership in the National Academy of Sciences is among the most significant honors that a scholar can receive, and it is a fitting tribute for one of SIPA’s most distinguished professors, a mainstay of our faculty for four decades, and a true leader in his field.”
Jervis is a standout even among SIPA’s faculty: For a 2014 study, academics and policymakers were asked to identify the four most influential scholars—nationwide—in the field of international relations; Jervis was one of only three figures to make the top ten for both groups.
“President Bollinger has talked about the fourth purpose of a university—to share knowledge with people and institutions who can bring about change,” Jervis added. “At a school of public policy like SIPA, this is an especially meaningful notion. And I think the National Academy embodies the same ideas of recognizing scholarly merit for its own sake but also pursuing and applying knowledge in the service of the country to make a better world.”
Jervis is also fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as the president of the American Political Science Association. After earning his PhD at Berkeley in 1968, he taught primarily at Harvard and then UCLA before moving to Columbia in 1980. From 1998 to 2018 he chaired the CIA’s Historical Review Panel.
NAS now counts 2,461 active members, who must be U.S. citizens, and another 511 international (nonvoting) members. Approximately 190 have received Nobel prizes. Other NAS members currently on the SIPA faculty are Jagdish Bhagwati, Geoffrey Heal, and Joseph Stiglitz.
“I am pleased to welcome all of our new members,” said National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt, “and I look forward to engaging with them in the work of the National Academies.”