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Matthew Connelly

College positions:
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
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Professor Matthew Connelly

Matthew Connelly is a professor of international and global history at Columbia University, and director of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge.

Connelly is also the principal investigator of History Lab, a project that uses data science to analyze state secrecy, with a focus on intelligence, surveillance, and weapons of mass destruction. His publications include A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era, which won five prizes, and Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population, an Economist and Financial Times book of the year. His newest book, The Declassification Engine: What History Reveals about America’s Top Secrets, was just published by Random House. Connelly received his B.A. from Columbia in 1990 and earned his Ph.D. from Yale in 1997. Since then, he has been a professor at the University of Michigan and the London School of Economics, and has also held visiting positions at the University of Oslo, the University of Sydney, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, and the Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro. Connelly has written research articles in Nature-Human Behaviour, the Annals of Applied Statistics, Comparative Studies in Society and History, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, The American Historical Review, The Review française d’histoire d’Outre-mer, the Journal of Global History, and Past & Present.

Select publications

  • The Declassification Engine (Pantheon/Random House, Forthcoming, January 2023)
  • Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008)
  • A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • Yuanjun Gao, Jonathan Goetz, Matthew Connelly, and Rahul Mazumder “Automated Event Detection with Declassified Diplomatic Documents,” Annals of Applied Statistics (December 2020)
  • “Predicting History,” Joseph Risi, Amit Sharma, Rohan Shah, Matthew Connelly, Duncan J. Watts, Nature Human Behaviour, 3 (2019): 906–912.
  • Matthew Connelly, Matt Fay, Giulia Ferrini, Micki Kaufman, Will Leonard, Harrison Monsky, Ryan Musto, Taunton Paine, Nicholas Standish, and Lydia Walker, “‘General, I Have Fought Just as Many Nuclear Wars as You Have’:
    Forecasts, Future Scenarios, and the Politics of Armageddon,” The American Historical Review 117 (December 2012): 1431-1460
  • “Seeing Beyond the State: The Population Control Movement and the Problem of Sovereignty,” Past & Present 193 (December 2006): 197-233.
  • “Taking off the Cold War Lens: Visions of North-South Conflict During the Algerian War for Independence,” The American Historical Review 105 (June 2000): 739-769.

Select Awards

  • Guggenheim Fellowship, Guggenheim Foundation, 2003-2004
  • Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2003
  • George Louis Beer Book Prize for European international history since 1895, American Historical Association, 2003
  • Paul Birdsall Book Prize for European military and strategic history since 1870, American Historical Association, 2003