David Welch

Co-Director, PhD in Global Governance (UW)   University Research Chair and Professor, Political Science  

David Welch



David Welch

Co-Director, PhD in Global Governance (UW)

University Research Chair and Professor, Political Science

(226) 772-3077

[email protected]

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BSIA Office: BSIA 301

  University Profile

David A. Welch is University Research Chair and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His 2005 book Painful Choices: A Theory of Foreign Policy Change (Princeton University Press) is the inaugural winner of the International Studies Association ISSS Book Award for the best book published in 2005 or 2006, and his 1993 book Justice and the Genesis of War (Cambridge University Press) is the winner of the 1994 Edgar S. Furniss Award for an Outstanding Contribution to National Security Studies.

Welch is also co-author of Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation 10th ed. (Pearson Longman, 2016); Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy had Lived (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009); The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 2011); On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis (2nd ed., Noonday 1990); and Cuba on the Brink: Castro, The Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse (2nd ed., Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).

Welch is also co-editor of Japan as a ‘Normal Country’? A Nation In Search of Its Place in the World (University of Toronto Press, 2011) and Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Frank Cass, 1998).  His articles have appeared in Asian Perspective, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Ethics and International Affairs, Foreign Affairs, The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Intelligence and National Security, International Security, International Journal, International Negotiation, International Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Mershon International Studies Review, The Review of International Studies, and Security Studies.


  • Outstanding Performance Award for Scholarship and Teaching, University of Waterloo (2010).
  • American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society Award for Outstanding Teaching in Political Science (2008).
  • Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Toronto (2008).
  • Inaugural International Studies Association ISSS Best Book Award for 2005 and 2006; for “Painful Choices: A Theory of Foreign Policy Change” (2008).
  • 1994 Edgar S. Furniss Book Award for an Outstanding Contribution to National Security Studies, Mershon Centre, Ohio State University; for “Justice and the Genesis of War” (1996).

Select Publications

  • Welch, David. Security: A Philosophical Investigation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.
  • Welch, David. “What’s Really Going on in the South China Sea?” (with Mark Raymond). Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 41:2 (August 2022), 214-239.
  • Welch, David. “Confidence, Trust, and Empathy: Threat Perception and the Prospects for Peace in Korea and the South China Sea.” in Balazs Kiglics, Patrick Koellner, and Robert G. Patman, eds., From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Diplomacy in a Contested Region. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022, pp. 257–279.
  • Welch, David. “The Ontology of International Crisis.” In Eric Stern, ed., Oxford Encyclopedia of Crisis Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • Welch, David. “China, the United States, and ‘Thucydides’s Trap’,” in Kai He and Huiyun Feng, eds., China’s Challenges and International Order Transition. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2020, 47–70.
  • Welch, David. “It’s time to think boldly about Canada–Japan security cooperation.” International Journal 74:3 (September 2019), 445–452.
  • Welch, David. “The Justice Motive in East Asia’s Territorial Disputes.” Group Decision and Negotiation 26:1 (January 2017), 71–92.


  • Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University, 1990
  • A.M., Political Science, Harvard University, 1985
  • Honours B.A. (with Highest Distinction), simultaneous Specialist programs in International Relations and Philosophy, Trinity College, University of Toronto, 1983
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