Christopher K. Butler

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico

Christopher K. Butler left PRIO in 2012. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons. Christopher K. Butler is an External Associate at PRIO.

Research Interests

I study international conflict and cooperation, focusing on strategic behavior and bargaining. This includes bargaining in more general settings without the possibility of coercion. I examine strategic behavior to understand better why some agreements fall through even though they seem like socially beneficial outcomes and why conflict occurs even when decision-makers have mutually improving outcomes available. Much of my recent and future research examines different aspects of bargaining to address questions such as: How and why are different bargaining arrangements expected to produce different negotiated outcomes? What is the nature of bargaining power? How can different types of bargaining power be incorporated into formal models of bargaining and how do these different types produce different negotiated outcomes? Are some combinations of bargaining power between different actors more conducive to reaching an agreement while other combinations are more likely to lead to a breakdown of negotiations and a resumption of conflict?


Working experience:

The University of New Mexico, Assistant Professor, 2001 - present
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Participant at the Merriam Lab's Summer Workshop on Formal Political Modeling, 2000
Michigan State University, Visiting Instructor, 2000-01
Michigan State University, Teaching Assistant, 1996-2000
Michigan State University, Intern for the American
Political Science Review, 1995-97, 2000
Michigan State University, Graduate Assistant, 1994-95


Ph.D. in Political Science, Michigan State University, 2000;
M.A. in Political Science, Michigan State University, 1995;
B.A. in Political Science cum laude, University of Rochester, 1994.

External homepage: 

Please see the external homepage at the University of New Mexico for more information about this person.


PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.


The following publications are specific to the Centre for the Study of Civil War. A more complete list may be available at

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Gates, Scott & Christopher K. Butler (2012) African Range Wars: Climate, Conflict, and Property Rights, Journal of Peace Research 49(1): 23–34.
Gates, Scott & Christopher K. Butler (2009) Asymmetry, Parity, and (Civil) War: Can International Theories of Power Help Us Understand Civil War?, International Interactions 35(3): 330–340.
Butler, Christopher K. (2004) Modeling Compromise at the International Table, Conflict Management and Peace Science 21(3): 159–177.

Book Chapter

Butler, Christopher K. & Scott Gates (2010) The Technology of Terror: Accounting for the Strategic Use of Terrorism, in William R. Thompson, ed., Coping with Terrorism: Origins, Escalation, Counter Strategies and Responses. Buffalo, NY: State University of New York Press (53–73).

Conference Paper

Butler, Christopher K. & Scott Gates (2010) African Range WarsRoyal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters 250th Anniversary Conference.
Butler, Christopher K. & Scott Gates (2010) Property Rights and ConflictCentre for the study of equality, social organization, and performance.

Related pages