Holding the Line: Political Violence in America and the Implications for Democracy

November 12th,2021 | 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Robert Pape

University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape is the 2021 Thomas B. Hagen Dignitas Award recipient. Dr. Pape, an Erie, Pennsylvania native, is a specialist in international security affairs. He has specialized in air power, suicide terrorism, and economic sanctions. A founder and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST), Pape is considered one of the world's foremost experts on strategic air power and terrorism studies.

Pape helped to found CPOST in 2004 to support his research into the causes, conduct, and consequences of suicide terrorism campaigns and to establish, maintain, and update the first-of-its-kind Suicide Attack Database, which remains the most comprehensive database to this date.  

Pape's has also authored a number of books about terrorism, including Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War (1996); Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005); and Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (2010).


All attendees will be required to wear masks if Erie County is in the "substantial" or "high" transmission rate of community spread on the day of an event. Attendees must also provide proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Please see our FULL Covid-19 policy here.


This event will be located at Gannon University in the Yehl Ballroom. 

Waldron Campus Center

628 Peach St.

Erie, PA 16501

Robert Pape

Dr. Robert A. Pape is the founding Director of CPOST and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Specializing in international security affairs, he is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on strategic air power and terrorism studies. His research efforts has also led him to study the effectiveness of economic sanctions, humanitarian intervention policy, U.S.-China Relations, and American Grand Strategy. He strongly believes these fields are inexorably linked. His more than 30 years of experience in studying air power as a tool for coercion, which grew out of his dissertation project, has informed his opinions on U.S. action (or lack thereof) in Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. He has also advised major policymakers in Washington, and served on the Presidential campaigns of Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Barack Obama.

Dr. Pape is a proud graduate of the University of Chicago with a PhD in Political Science (1988). Dr. Pape also obtained a B.A./M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was the state of Pennsylvania’s Harry S. Truman Scholar. Dr. Pape taught at the United States Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies and Dartmouth College before returning to the University of Chicago in 1999, where he is now tenured.

Dr. Pape’s publications include Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (Chicago 2010, with James Feldman); Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House 2005); Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War (Cornell 1996), “Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,” (International Security 1997), “The Determinants of International Moral Action,” (International Organization 1999); “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” (American Political Science Review 2003); “Soft Balancing against the United States,” (International Security 2005), and “When Duty Calls: A Pragmatic Standard of Humanitarian Intervention,” (International Security 2012). His commentary policy has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.