Dr. Aaron Bateman

Faculty Headshot of Aaron Bateman
Assistant professor of history and international affairs
Suite 403
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

Areas of Expertise

  • Cold War
  • History of Science and Technology
  • American, Soviet, and European Space Programs
  • Diplomatic, Military, and Intelligence History 

Aaron Bateman’s research takes place at the intersection of science, technology, and national security during the Cold War. His research interests include technological cooperation and competition, military spaceflight, secrecy and knowledge regulation, arms control, technology and warfare, and the role of intelligence in statecraft. His work draws from archival collections in the United States, Western Europe, and the former Soviet Union. His first book project places Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative in the context of a more militarized American approach to space that had emerged in the 1970s, and shows how divergent views of space militarization influenced U.S. foreign relations and public diplomacy through the end of the Cold War. In other projects he explores the development of overseas American surveillance infrastructure and its impact on U.S. relations with host nations.


His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Diplomacy & Statecraft, Intelligence and National Security, the Oxford Handbook of Space Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Science & Diplomacy, Diplomacy and Statecraft, and the Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Since he believes that historians have a unique role to play in informing current policy debates, he also writes about contemporary defense and space topics in policy-focused publications including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Physics Today, and War on the Rocks.


During his doctoral studies, Aaron held a Guggenheim predoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Prior to graduate school, he served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with assignments at the National Security Agency and the Pentagon. As a staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, he supported intelligence and national security space efforts. He has also participated in international dialogues aimed at promoting stability in space.


PhD, Johns Hopkins University

MA, Saint Mary’s University

BA, Saint Joseph’s University

Certificate in Russian Language, Kazan Federal University (Russian Federation)