back to all spotlights

Josh Kertzer

PhD, political science, 2013

Joshua Kertzer (PhD, political science, 2013), assistant professor of government at Harvard University, was awarded a 2014 Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, the nation’s highest honor for doctoral dissertations. Kertzer’s dissertation, “Resolve in International Politics,” was selected from 71 nominees representing 25 disciplines in the social sciences.

“I was so fortunate to have had my graduate training in at Ohio State,” said Kertzer. “The political science department there is one of the few places in the country where you can study both international relations and political psychology, with the top scholars in the fields.”

The graduate program in political science at Ohio State centers on five major fields of study: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political methodology and political theory. Three of these — American politics, international relations and political methodology, rank in the top 10 in the country.

That’s not surprising to Kertzer and other graduate students who compete for a coveted spot in one of the department’s graduate programs. 

“Ohio State’s political science faculty is like a fantasy football team,” said Kertzer. "Students know that the faculty in political science span an unprecedented wide range of expertise and that they will push you to develop methodological rigor and, at the same time, theoretical richness.”

Richard Herrmann, professor and chair of political science, was Kertzer’s advisor.

In addition to being selected for the nation’s highest honor for doctoral dissertations, Kertzer’s research has been recognized by the American Political Science Association for the best dissertation in international relations, law and politics (2014 Helen Dwight Reid Award) and the best dissertation in the field of international security and arms control (2014 Kenneth N. Waltz Dissertation Prize); and by the Peace Science Society for the best dissertation in peace science (2014 Walter Isard Award).

Kertzer teaches American foreign policy to undergraduates and international relations to graduate students at Harvard.