Jonathan Wilkenfeld

Founding Director, ICONS Project, START
Research Professor
University of Maryland

Jonathan Wilkenfeld is a Professor and prior Chair of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and Founding Director of the ICONS simulation project. He is currently a Research Professor at START.

He is a specialist in foreign policy decision-making, crisis behavior, and mediation, as well as in the use of simulation in political science. From 1977 to 2017, Wilkenfeld served as co-Director (with Michael Brecher) of the International Crisis Behavior Project, a cross-national study of international crises in the twentieth century. The project has served as the basis for systematic research into a range of crucial foreign-policy issues, including state motivations during times of crisis, conflict management practices, and protracted conflict trajectories.

Wilkenfeld served as Director of the International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS) Project until 2017. ICONS provides decision-makers with interactive training experiences in the fields of conflict behavior, negotiation, and crisis management. The development of the ICONS Project grew out of his long-term interest in integrating technology and simulation techniques into the teaching of negotiation and international politics. Under his direction, the ICONS Project won numerous awards for innovation and excellence, including in 1994, the Distinguished Program Award, presented by the Maryland Association for Higher Education for the ICONS instructional model, and in 2001 the University of Maryland Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology. He has also won awards from the International Studies Association as a Distinguished Scholar. In 2009, Wilkenfeld was designated by the University of Maryland as a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

His most recent books include A Study of Crisis (1997 and 2000, with Michael Brecher); Negotiating a Complex World (1999, 2005, 2010, 2015 with Brigid Starkey and Mark Boyer); Mediating International Crises (2005, with Victor Asal, David Quinn, and Kathleen Young); Peace and Conflict (2008, 2010, 2012 with Joseph Hewitt and Ted Gurr), Myth and Reality in International Politics (2016), and Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises (2019 with Kyle Beardsley and David Quinn). Wilkenfeld's current work focuses on mediation processes in intrastate conflicts and crises.



Indiana University, Ph.D., Political Science, 1969

Lead Investigator on START Research Projects

Researcher on START Projects

Selected Publications

The Reason We Don't Know (Journal Article)

News References