Dr James Johnson

Dr James Johnson

Lecturer

Overview
Dr James Johnson
Dr James Johnson

Contact Details


Biography

Dr James Johnson is a Lecturer in Strategic Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations. James is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Leicester, a Non-Resident Associate on the ERC-funded Towards a Third Nuclear Age Project, and a Mid-Career Cadre with the Center for Strategic Studies (CSIS) Project on Nuclear Issues. Previously, James was an Assistant Professor at Dublin City University, a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, CA. He holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of Leicester. Before entering academia, James worked in the financial sector, mainly in China, and is fluent in Mandarin.

James's research examines the intersection of nuclear weapons, deterrence, great power competition, strategic stability, and emerging technology – especially artificial intelligence. His work has featured in Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, Strategic Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Security, Asian Security, Pacific Review, Defense and Security Analysis, RUSI Journal, Journal of Cyber Policy, War on the Rocks, and other outlets.

James is the author of The US-China Military & Defense Relationship During the Obama Presidency (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare: USA, China & Strategic Stability (Manchester University Press, 2021). His latest book project is entitled Artificial Intelligence & the Bomb: Nuclear Strategy and Risk in the Digital Age (under contract with Oxford University Press).

 


Latest Publications

  • Does the United States face a multipolar future? Washington's response through the lens of technology

    Johnson, J.

  • Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare: The USA, China, and strategic stability

    Johnson, J.

  • ‘Catalytic nuclear war’ in the age of artificial intelligence & autonomy: Emerging military technology and escalation risk between nuclear-armed states

    Johnson, J.

  • Inadvertent Escalation in the Age of Intelligence Machines: A new model for nuclear risk in the digital age

    Johnson, J.

  • The US, Indo-Pacific, AI and Emerging Security Technologies

    Johnson, J.

View all Publications
Research

Research Overview

  • Strategic studies
  • Artificial intelligence & future warfare
  • Great power strategic competition
  • Deterrence theory & strategic stability
  • Political & cognitive psychology
  • Nuclear weapons policy
  • Nuclear non-proliferation & arms control issues

 

Current Research

Latest book projectArtificial Intelligence & the Bomb: Nuclear strategy and risk in the digital age – under contract with Oxford University Press. 

Abstract: Will AI make accidental nuclear war more likely? If so, how might these risks be reduced? This research provides a coherent, innovative, and multidisciplinary examination of the potential effects of AI technology on nuclear strategy and escalation risk. The project addresses a gap in the international relations and strategic studies literature that considers how AI might influence nuclear security and future warfare. Its findings will have important theoretical and policy implications about the strategic ramifications of using AI technology in the nuclear enterprise. The research advances an innovative theoretical framework to consider AI technology and atomic risk, drawing on insights from political psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and strategic studies. This multidisciplinary research unpacks the seminal cognitive-psychological features of the Cold War-era scholarship, offering a novel explanation for why these matter for AI applications and nuclear strategic thinking. Thus, ensuring the research's policy relevance and contribution to the literature that considers the impact of military force and technological change.

 

Teaching

Courses


Teaching Responsibilities

Co-Director of Strategic Studies

Publications

Publications 

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  • ‘Catalytic nuclear war’ in the age of artificial intelligence & autonomy: Emerging military technology and escalation risk between nuclear-armed states

    Johnson, J.

    The Journal of Strategic Studies

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The US, Indo-Pacific, AI and Emerging Security Technologies

    Johnson, J.

    Routledge Handbook of US policy in the Indo-Pacific. Turner, O., Aslam, W., Nymalm, N. (eds.). Routledge

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • Artificial intelligence in nuclear warfare: a perfect storm of instability?

    Johnson, J.

    The Washington Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 197

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Delegating strategic decision-making to machines: Dr. Strangelove redux?

    Johnson, J.

    The Journal of Strategic Studies

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Artificial intelligence: drone swarming and escalation risks in future warfare

    Johnson, J.

    RUSI Journal, vol. 165, no. 2, pp. 26

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Artificial intelligence: a threat to strategic stability

    Johnson, J.

    Strategic Studies Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 16

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Deterrence in the age of artificial intelligence and autonomy: a paradigm shift in nuclear deterrence theory and practice?

    Johnson, J.

    Defense & Security Analysis, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 422

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

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