Matthew Bolton

Matthew Bolton

Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science

Matthew Bolton

NYC

Biography

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.

Education

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

PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2009
Government

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

Publications

Nuclear-free NYC: How New Yorkers are disarming the legacies of the Manhattan Project
(2024, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). https://thebulletin.org/premium/2024-01/nuclear-free-nyc-how-new-yorkers-are-disarming-the-legacies-of-the-manhattan-project/

Environmental remediation as social archaeology: Excavating sites contaminated by early nuclear weapons activities in New York City, both literally and hermeneutically
(2023). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.13197

Human Rights Fallout of Nuclear Detonations: Reevaluating ‘Threshold Thinking’ in Assisting Victims of Nuclear Testing
(2022). Vol 13 (Issue 1) , pages 76-90. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1758-5899.13042

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
(2021). Vol 12 (Issue 1) , pages 106-121. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12913

Addressing the Ongoing Humanitarian and Environmental Consequences of Nuclear Weapons: An Introductory Review
(2021). Vol 12 (Issue 1) , pages 81-99. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12892

Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament
(2020). Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament.New York : Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.dpbolvw.net/click-9158866-12898971?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.springer.com%2Fus%2Fbook%2F9783030276102

Imagining Disarmament, Enchanting International Relations
(2020). Imagining Disarmament, Enchanting International Relations.New York : Palgrave Pivot. https://www.dpbolvw.net/click-9158866-12898971?url=www.springer.com/us/book/9783030177157

Political Minefields: The Struggle against Automated Violence
(2020, September). Political Minefields: The Struggle against Automated Violence.London : I.B. Tauris. https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/political-minefields-9781780761596/

Local Peacebuilding in East Africa: The Role of Customary Norms and Institutions in Addressing Pastoralist Conflict in Kenya and Uganda
(2019). Lanham :Rowman & Littlefield. , pages 61-72.

"Related to the lives and concerns of the learners": Revitalizing undergraduate disarmament education through Model UN simulations and service learning
(2018). New York :UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. https://disarmament.unoda.org/publications/occasionalpapers/unoda-occasional-papers-no-31-december-2017/

The Nuclear Taboo and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
(2018). e-International Relations.

The ‘-Pacific’ part of ‘Asia-Pacific’: Oceanic diplomacy in the 2017 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
(2018). Asian Journal of Political Science. Vol 26 (Issue 3) , pages 371-389. https://bit.ly/2TOEhMg

How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Armed Violence in Pastoralist Communities
(2017). https://bit.ly/2GwAZKL

How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Wildlife Crime
(2017). https://bit.ly/2UUzrgo

Humanitarian and Environmental Action to Address Nuclear Harm: The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a Normative Framework for Assisting Victims of Nuclear Weapons Use and Testing and Remediating Contaminated Environments
(2017). https://bit.ly/2X3GfKM

Maridhiano Mashinani (Reconciliation at the Grassroots): Reflections on the Role of the Church in Building Sustainable Peace in the North Rift Region of Kenya
(2017). https://bit.ly/2GrLFu4

The Humanitarian Impact of Drones
(2017). https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/publications-and-research/publications/11960-the-humanitarian-impact-of-drones

The Role of Short Term Volunteers in Responding to Humanitarian Crises: Lessons from the 2010 Haiti Earthquake
(2017). Michael Holenweger, Michael Karl and Jager Franz Kernic (Eds.), Zurich :Springer. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-55059-6_7

The Discursive Turn Arrives in Turtle Bay: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ Operationalization of Critical IR Theories
(2016). Global Policy.

The Humanitarian Initiative on Nuclear Weapons: An Introduction to Global Policy's Special Section
(2016). Global Policy.

Time for a discursive rehabilitation: A brief history of general and complete disarmament
(2016). New York :UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. https://disarmament.unoda.org/publications/occasionalpapers/no-28

“Go get a job right after you take a bath”: Occupy Wall Street as Matter Out of Place
(2016). Antipode.

From minefields to minespace: An archeology of the changing architecture of autonomous killing in US Army field manuals on landmines, booby traps and IEDs
(2015). Political Geography. Vol 46 , pages 41-53. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629814001218

Using the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Wildlife Poaching in East Africa: A Human Security Approach
(2015, November).

Exit Strategy: Human Security, the Social Contract and Liquid Governance in Haiti's Post-Earthquake Reconstruction
(2014). New York :Routledge. https://books.google.ba/books?id=LEYsAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA140&ots=ztlD_9u5lW&dq=info:9i1hVl1r7PwJ:scholar.google.com&lr&pg=PA140#v=onepage&q&f=false

The Arms Trade Treaty from a Global Civil Society Perspective: Introducing Global Policy's Special Section
(2014, November). Global Policy. Vol 5 (Issue 4) , pages 433-458.

Occupying Political Science: The Occupy Wall Street Movement from New York to the World
(2013, February). Occupying Political Science: The Occupy Wall Street Movement from New York to the World.New York : Palgrave Macmillan.

Occupying Political Science: from New York City to the World
(2013, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Occupying Political Science: from New York City to the World.Welty, Bolton, Nayak, Malone (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. , pages 306.

“An Occupied Political Science: concluding reflections on downtown political thinking”
(2013, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Welty, Bolton, Nayak, Malone (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. , pages 275-282.

“Occupy Wall Street as a Palimpset: overview of a dynamic movement”
(2013, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Welty, Bolton, Nayak, Malone (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. , pages 25-57.

“We had a Front Row Seat to a Downtown Revolution”
(2013, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Welty, Bolton, Nayak, Malone (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. , pages 1-24.

“Globalization and the Kalashnikov: Public-Private Networks in the Proliferation and Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons”
(2012, February). Global Policy. Vol 3 (Issue 3) , pages 303-313.

“Technocratic Responses to the Politicization of Risk: Underwater Munitions in New York City’s Gravesend Bay and Narrows.”
(2012, February). Marine Technology Society Journal. Vol 46 (Issue 1) , pages 17-27.. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mts/mtsj/2012/00000046/00000001/art00005

“Human Security after State Collapse: Global Governance in Post-Earthquake Haiti”
(2011). https://eprints.lse.ac.uk/32167/

Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance: Governance, Politics and Security in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan
(2010). Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance: Governance, Politics and Security in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan.London : I.B. Tauris.

“The Role of Middle Power-NGO Coalitions in Global Policy: The Case of the Cluster Munitions Ban.”
(2010). .

“Coping with Clandestine Structures in International Intervention: Landmine Clearance Agencies in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan.”
(2008). .

“The politics of NGO registration in international protectorates: The cases of Bosnia and Iraq.”
(2008). .

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.