James Johnson, PhD
Welcome! I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Strategic Studies in the Department of Politics & International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. I am also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Leicester, a Non-Resident Associate on the Towards a Third Nuclear Age ERC-funded project, and a Mid-Career Cadre with the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues. I was previously 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 Non-Proliferation Studies in Monterey, CA.
My research examines the intersection of nuclear weapons, deterrence, strategic stability, great power competition, and emerging technology – especially artificial intelligence. My work has been featured in The Journal of Strategic Studies, Pacific Review, Asian Security, RUSI Journal, Strategic Studies Quarterly, The Washington Quarterly, European Journal of International Security, Defence Studies, Journal for Peace & Nuclear Disarmament, Journal of Military Ethics, War on the Rocks, and other outlets. I am the author of Artificial Intelligence & the Future of Warfare: USA, China, and strategic stability (Manchester University Press, 2021) and The US-China Military & Defense Relationship during the Obama Presidency (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). My latest book is AI and the Bomb: Nuclear strategy and risk in the digital age (Oxford University Press, 2023).
I hold a PhD in Politics & International Relations from the University of Leicester. Before entering academia, I worked in the financial sector for two decades, mostly in China. I am fluent in Mandarin.
'Inadvertent Escalation in the Age of Intelligence Machines: A new model for nuclear risk in the digital age'
'Catalytic Nuclear War in the Age of AI and Autonomy: New military technology and inadvertent escalation risk between nuclear powers'
'Automating the OODA loop in the age of intelligent machines: Reaffirming the role of humans in command-and-control decision-making in the digital age'
'Counterfactual Thinking & Nuclear Risk in the Digital Age: The role of uncertainty, complexity, chance, and human psychology'
'The AI Commander Problem: Ethical, political, and psychological dilemmas of human-machine interactions in AI-enabled warfare'
'The End of Military-Technological Pax Americana? US-China strategic competition in artificial intelligence enabling technologies'