Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs
Cold War, Diplomatic, Military, Technology
Aaron Bateman is an assistant professor of history and international affairs and a member of the Space Policy Institute within the Elliott School of International Affairs. His research explores the interplay of technology and international affairs during the 20th century. His work draws from archival collections in the United States, Western Europe, and the former Soviet Union. He has written extensively on intelligence, transatlantic relations, U.S. and European space policy, and the relationship between technology and defense strategy.
His forthcoming book, Weapons in Space: Technology, Politics, and the Rise and Fall of the Strategic Defense Initiative (MIT Press, 2024), investigates the origins, evolution, and enduring consequences of Ronald Reagan’s controversial missile defense program. He details SDI’s impact on U.S. relations with Western Europe and the Soviet Union. Moreover, he shows how SDI was inextricably linked to technological transformations in American and Soviet military space programs in the final two decades of the Cold War. His second book project focuses on the ways in which the emergence of new information technologies (e.g., submarine cables and communications satellites) shaped British foreign policy and defense strategy in the 20th century.
Aaron’s 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, and the Journal of Slavic Military Studies. 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.
Prior to graduate school, Aaron served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with assignments at the National Security Agency and the Pentagon. He has completed multiple intensive Russian- language courses in the United States and the Russian Federation.