Matthew Bolton

Matthew Bolton

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science - NY

Matthew Bolton



Faculty Bio

Expert on the United Nations, peacebuilding and the humanitarian and environmental consequences of weapons. Part of nuclear disarmament advocacy campaign awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.


MS, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, 2025
Environmental Studies

PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2009

MS, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005
Development Studies (Research)

BA, Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa, 2001
History and Religion

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Dr. Matthew Breay Bolton is professor of political science and co-director of the International Disarmament Institute at Pace University, New York City. He was part of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) team awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Bolton has also worked for 20 years with UN and NGO efforts addressing the humanitarian impact of landmines, cluster munitions, military robotics and the arms trade. His field research has highlighted the concerns of communities affected by nuclear weapons, in the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, French Polynesia, Fiji and Cook Islands, as well as NYC. Earlier work investigated the political economy of landmine and cluster munition clearance in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Laos, South Sudan and Vietnam. His emerging research considers politics in a more-than-human world, from the role of islands in international relations to bear-human conflict in the Adirondack mountains. In 2023, Bolton was appointed by NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams to the city’s Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Advisory Committee and he represents Pace University in the NYC Climate Exchange’s On-Island Research Program Team. Bolton has published six books, including Political Minefields and Imagining Disarmament. His work has featured in BBC News, Newsweek, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Boston Globe, Gothamist, The Hill, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, El Pais, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jane’s Foreign Report, Radio New Zealand, The Japan Times, The Fiji Times and Marshall Islands Journal. Bolton has a PhD and Master’s from the London School of Economics and is currently enrolled in a Master’s at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Courses Taught

Past Courses

INT 198: Glbl Pltcs of Pce & Soc Jstce
INT 299: Us & Them in Lit & Politics
POL 114: Intro to Intrntl Relations
POL 202: Tpc: Intro to Intrntnl Orgnztn
POL 203: African Politic/Foreign Policy
POL 219: Intrn'l Political Eco & Global
POL 219: Intrn'l Political Eco and Global
POL 230: U.S. Foreign Relations
POL 297: Environmental Politics
POL 297: Glb Pltcs of Dsrmnt Arms Cntrl
POL 297: Topic: Ocean Politics
POL 303: Politics Workshop: U.N.
POL 303: Workshop: Int'l Organization
POL 325: Conflict Analysis
POL 330: Politics of the Global City
POL 395: Ind Study in Political Studies

Publications and Presentations


Do Humanitarian Disarmament Norms Offer Survivors Justice or Charity?: A Case Study of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’ Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation Provisions
Bolton, M. & Welty, E. E. (2024). Bagé , Brazil:Federal University of Pampa. , pages 37-49.

Nuclear-free NYC: How New Yorkers are disarming the legacies of the Manhattan Project
Bolton, M. (2024).

Environmental remediation as social archaeology: Excavating sites contaminated by early nuclear weapons activities in New York City, both literally and hermeneutically
Bolton, M. & Ketterer, K. (2023).

Human Rights Fallout of Nuclear Detonations: Reevaluating ‘Threshold Thinking’ in Assisting Victims of Nuclear Testing
Bolton, M. (2022). Vol 13 (Issue 1) , pages 76-90.

Addressing the Humanitarian and Environmental Consequences of Atmospheric Nuclear Weapon Tests: A Case Study of UK and US Test Programs at Kiritimati (Christmas) and Malden Islands, Republic of Kiribati
Alexis-Martin, B., Bolton, M., Hawkins, D., Tisch, S. & Mangioni, T. L. (2021). Vol 12 (Issue 1) , pages 106-121.

Addressing the Ongoing Humanitarian and Environmental Consequences of Nuclear Weapons: An Introductory Review
Bolton, M. & Minor, E. (2021). Vol 12 (Issue 1) , pages 81-99.

Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament
Bolton, M., Njeri, S. & Benjamin-Britton, T. (2020). Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament.New York : Palgrave Macmillan.

Imagining Disarmament, Enchanting International Relations
Bolton, M. (2020). Imagining Disarmament, Enchanting International Relations.New York : Palgrave Pivot.

Political Minefields: The Struggle against Automated Violence
Bolton, M. (2020). Political Minefields: The Struggle against Automated Violence.London : I.B. Tauris.

Related News and Stories

Faculty and Staff

Dyson faculty members Matthew Bolton, PhD, and Emily Welty, PhD, are at the forefront of nuclear disarmament advocacy on a local and global scale. As the founders of the Pace Disarmament Institute, they welcome the many students who express interest in their work to get involved through internships, activism, and speaking opportunities.

Faculty and Staff

We sat down with Professor Matthew Bolton and learned a little bit about international treaty research, Amy Winehouse, the International Disarmament Institute, and surfing history.