John Mitton is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. He completed his PhD in Political Science at Dalhousie University in 2018 with a dissertation entitled “Rivalry Intervention: Why International Rivals Intervene in Civil Conflicts”. Born and raised in Halifax, John completed his BA at Bishop’s University in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, and then his MA in Political Science at Dalhousie. In 2016/17, John was a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern California. In 2017/18, he was a visiting Lecturer in Political Science at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
John’s research interests include international relations theory, international security, American & Canadian foreign and defence policy, rivalry, deterrence, and diplomatic history. His doctoral work focused on the influence of history and reputations in competing civil conflict interventions by international rivals. His 2017 book Fighting for Credibility: US Reputations and International Politics (co-authored with Frank P. Harvey) examined the importance of reputations in the context of American foreign policy and coercive diplomacy. His 2015 article “Selling Schelling Short: Reputations and American Coercive Diplomacy after Syria,” re-examined the logic and theory of Thomas Schelling’s work on deterrence and won the 2015 Bernard Brodie Prize. John has published scholarly work in Contemporary Security Policy, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, International Journal, and the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies. He has also contributed policy pieces to various think tanks and policy journals including the MacDonald-Laurier Institute, the Conference of Defence Associates Institute, and OpenCanada.org, among others.
2017 Fighting for Credibility: US Reputation and International Politics (with Frank P. Harvey). University of Toronto Press.
2017 “Rivalry Intervention in Civil Conflicts: Afghanistan (India-Pakistan), Angola (USSR-USA), Lebanon (Israel-Syria),” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 23 (3): 277-291.
2016 “History, Science, and the Study of International Rivalry,” Journal of Military and Strategic Studies 17 (1): 61-82.
2015 “Fighting for Credibility: US Reputation Building in Asymmetric Conflicts from the Gulf War to Syria (1991-2013)” (with Frank P. Harvey) Canadian Journal of Political Science 48 (3): 503-530.
2015 “Selling Schelling Short: Reputations and American Coercive Diplomacy after Syria,” Contemporary Security Policy 36 (3): 408-431.