A scholar who investigates decision-making in social and political contexts,
Barry O’Neill is a professor of political science at the University of California at Los Angeles. His main focus is the use of game theory to study foreign policy decisions with a view to preventing war. He has worked on the resolution of disputes involving honor and is currently studying issues around group apologies, as well as the notion of good faith in negotiation and communication in general. He also is examining the relationship between perceptions of national prestige and a desire for weapons of mass destruction. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received both his B.A. and, in 1976, his Ph.D. in mathematical psychology, he began his teaching career at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 1979, he joined the faculty of Northwestern University as an assistant professor of industrial engineering and management science and was promoted to associate professor six years later. As the recipient of a SSRC/MacArthur Fellowship in International Security, he spent two years as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Maryland, and Yale University before moving on to York University in Toronto as an associate professor of political science and economics in 1989 and then, in 1992, to Yale University’s School of Management as an associate professor of politics. Dr. O’Neill was a visiting scholar at Bonn University in 1998 and subsequently a visiting professor in the study of international relations at the Center for Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He went to Stanford University in 1999 as a visiting and acting professor of political science and a visiting fellow in Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. He was named to his present position in 2001. Dr. O’Neill has recently been a visiting professor of economics at Yale and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. He serves as a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation. In addition to numerous articles published in scholarly journals, he is the author of Honor, Symbols and War (University of Michigan Press, 1999 and 2001), a book which uses game theory to analyze the symbolic nuances of words and actions in international negotiations and conflict resolution and won the American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award. He is currently preparing a manuscript on long standing myths about public policy.