Graham T. Allison

Graham T. Allison

Graham T. Allison

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Graham Tillett Allison, Jr. (born 23 March 1940) is an American political scientist and professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is renowned for his contribution in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the bureaucratic analysis of decision making, especially during times of crisis. His book Remaking Foreign Policy: The Organizational Connection, co-written with Peter Szanton, was published in 1976 and had some influence on the foreign policy of the administration of President Jimmy Carter which took office in early 1977. Since the 1970s, Allison has also been a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy, with a special interest in nuclear weapons and terrorism.


A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Allison graduated from Harvard University in 1962 with an A.B., completed a B.A. and M.A. at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar in 1964, then returned to Harvard to earn a PhD degree in political science in 1968.

Allison has spent his entire academic career at Harvard, as an assistant professor (1968), associate professor (1970), then full professor (1972) in the department of government. He was dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1977 to 1989, during which time the School increased in size by 400% and its endowment increased by 700%. Allison is presently Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, and Director for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Allison has also been a fellow of...
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