Rodger A. Payne, PhD




Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science and an Associated Faculty member with the Film Studies and Production minor. His primary areas of interest are American foreign policy, global environmental politics, international relations theory, international security politics, and world politics and popular culture. His current work focuses on threat construction in international security with a focus on various U.S. cases. 

Payne is the coauthor of Democratizing Global Politics (State University of New York Press, 2004) and the author of nearly 50 academic journal articles and book chapters. His most recent publications have explored the "narrative turn" in international relations, examined the political implications of the "America First" agenda, addressed the domestic U.S. and global politics of climate change, and evaluated the political deception undergirding United States entry into the Iraq War.

During fall 2018, Payne was Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Canadian-U.S. relations at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. From 1994-2011, Payne was the Director of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He also served as Department Chair for eight years, with the most recent term concluding in December 2017. He previously taught at Northwestern University for two years and was a visiting research fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, and the University of Chicago's Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security. Payne received a Dissertation Fellowship from the International Peace and Security Studies Program co-sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and MacArthur Foundation and was a member of the two-person 1983 National Debate Tournament championship team from the University of Kansas.

    Honors and Awards

    Founders Award, Sustainability Council, University of Louisville, March 2023.

    Distinguished Faculty Award for Service - Career Achievement, College of Arts & Science, University of Louisville, May 2021. 

    Visiting Global Scholar, Institute for Social Sciences Research University of Dundee (Scotland), Spring 2019. 

    Fulbright Canada Research Chair, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Fall 2018.

    College of Arts & Sciences Research Grant, "Can the Military Convince the Public about the Veracity of Climate Science?" 2018-19. With Jason Gainous.

    Debate Hall of Fame, University of Kansas, 2017. 

    Center for Asian Democracy, Research Support Fund, 2011-12. “Cooperative Security as US Grand Strategy in the Indian Ocean Region.”

    Research Fellow, Harvard University, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 2005.

    President’s Research Initiative (Project Initiation) Grant “Divergent Concepts of World Order and Western Security Cooperation,” 2004-05

    Honorary Kentucky Colonel, Commonwealth of Kentucky, 2004

    College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grants "Environmental Security Frames & Global Climate Change Norms," 1998-99. "Transnational Environmentalism," 1997-98. "Democracy and the Environment," 1994-95.

    President's Research Initiative (Project Completion) Grant "Transnational Environmental Politics," 1995-96.

    Dean's Initiative for Professional Development (junior faculty), College of Arts and Sciences, "Public Opinion and Foreign Policy," 1991-92.

    U.S. Institute for Peace, Faculty Seminar, "Conflict and Peacemaking," Washington, D.C., July 1995.

    Social Science Research Council (SSRC)-MacArthur Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, International Peace and Security Studies, 1987-89.

    Doctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security, (PIPES), 1988-89.

    Visiting Doctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Center for International Security and Cooperation, 1987-88.

    American Forensics Association, National Debate Champion, 1983. See transcript, "1983 National Debate Tournament Final Debate," Journal of the American Forensics Association, 20 (Summer 1983): 23-61. Edited by John K. Boaz.

    Research Areas and Projects

      American Unilateralism and Multilateral Relations
      Comedic and Satirical Narratives in Global Politics
      Deliberative Democracy
      Global Environmental Politics
      Global Politics and Popular Film
      International Security
      Nuclear Weapons Policy and Deterrence
      Politics of Climate Change

        Professional Memberships

        Midwest Political Science Association (2024-2026)
        American Political Science Association (1983-2017)
        International Studies Association (1996-present)
        Society for American Baseball Research (1997-present)


          Member, Sustainability Council's University-Wide Committee on Investor Responsibility, 2020-present. Provost appointment.

          Member, University of Louisville Sustainability Council, 2009-2017. Chair Planning & Administration Committee, 2012-2017. Provost appointment.

          Member, Provost's University-Wide Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, 2010-2011.

          Member, Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Program Development & Advisory Group, 2010-2017.

          Executive Committee, Environmental Studies Section, International Studies Association, 2002-2003 and 2008-2011.

          Member, EVPRI Internal Grants Advisory Committee, University of Louisville, 2010-present.

          Member, Utility Regulations, Policies and Practices Subcommittee of the Partnership for a Green City's Climate Change Committee, Louisville, KY, 2007-2009.

          Editorial Board, International Studies Perspectives (Blackwell), 2000-2006.