Michael Doyle

Michael W. Doyle

  • University Professor

Ph.D., Harvard University, 1977
B.A., Harvard University, 1970

Areas of Specialty

United Nations
Global Constitutionalism
Political Science
International Law and Ethics
International Relations Theory

Michael Doyle is a renowned scholar of global constitutionalism, international affairs, and democratic peace theory. The author of a dozen books, he specializes in international relations theory, international security, international organizations, and the global regime for migration.

Doyle, the former director of Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative, led the development of its Model International Mobility Convention with a commission working to create a model treaty for all aspects of international migration. He is also a member of Columbia University’s Committee on Global Thought.

In 2015, Doyle was named a University Professor, Columbia’s highest academic rank. He teaches at Columbia in the Law School, School of International Public Affairs, and the Department of Political Science. His observation that liberal democracies do not go to war has stimulated an extensive research program and provoked a wide policy debate. His most recent books are The Question of Intervention: John Stuart Mill and the Responsibility to Protect (Yale, 2015) and Liberal Peace: Selected Essays (Routledge, 2011). The latter collection includes his 1986 essay “Liberalism and World Politics,” the 16th-most-cited article in the first century of the American Political Science Review.

Doyle has received two career awards from the American Political Science Association for his scholarship and public service. He has also been elected to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He chaired the United Nations Democracy Fund from 2007 to 2013 and has been a board member and chair of the International Peace Institute.

Doyle came to Columbia in 2003 after serving as assistant secretary-general and special adviser for policy planning under United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In that post, he supported initiatives safeguarding human rights and combating extreme poverty, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Compact.

He was director of the Center of International Studies at Princeton University from 1997 to 2001, and vice president of the International Peace Academy (now the International Peace Institute) from 1993 to 1994. Doyle has taught at Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Warwick, which awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2014.

Honors and Awards

LL.D., honorary, University of Warwick


Inducted into the American Academy of Political and Social Science


Hubert Humphrey Award of the American Political Science Association


Charles Merriam Award of the American Political Science Association


Inducted into the American Philosophical Society


Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences