I teach international conflict and religion. I am a recipient of the Berkeley Undergraduate Political Science Association’s “Distinguished Teaching Award”, the Berkeley Division of Social Sciences’ “Distinguished Teaching Award”, Berkeley’s campus-wide “Distinguished Teaching Award”, and the American Political Science Association’s “Outstanding Teaching in Political Science Award”.
I am the editor-in-chief of the journal Security Studies and the editor of the Cornell University Press book series "Religion and Conflict". In 2023, I received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the "Religion and International Relations" section of the International Studies Association. Later that year, I received the Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar in Religion and Politics Award from the American Political Science Association.
I am a faculty director of the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. I hold the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies at U.C. Berkeley.
My research explores the role of ideas, practices and symbols in international security with particular attention to the relationship between religion and violence. My published work focuses on territorial disputes, religion in the military, conflicts over holy places, the pervasive role of religion on the modern battlefield, and on the politics of interrogational torture.
Anatomy of Torture (Cornell University Press, 2022) draws on manuscripts from the archives of the Spanish Inquisition to explore the causes and effects of interrogational torture. Religion on the Battlefield (Cornell University Press, 2016) examines the impact of religious ideas, symbols and practices on military decision making in 20th century interstate wars. Religion and International Relations (with Isaac Svensson, Sage, 2016) offers an edited collection of significant scholarly texts organized into four volumes. Religion in the Military Worldwide (Cambridge, 2013), is a collection of essays on religion in contemporary armed forces. War on Sacred Grounds (Cornell, 2009) analyzes the causes and characteristics of disputes over sacred places around the globe and the conditions under which these conflicts can be managed. I have published on religion and conflict in the journals Security Studies, International Security, Terrorism and Political Violence, Politics and Religion, Civil Wars and others and I have contributed chapters on similar themes to numerous volumes.