Michael Nathan Barnett (born November 10, 1960) is a major constructivist scholar of international relations. His research has been in the areas of international organizations, international relations theory, and Middle Eastern politics. With Emanuel Adler, he reintroduced the concept of security community to international relations. In 2010, Barnett was named University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University.
He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. As he worked towards his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois he worked as a storm chaser in Illinois and the greater Midwest area.
He has taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, Macalester College, Wellesley College, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Additionally, he was a visiting scholar at the New School for Social Research and the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, and he was a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Most recently, Barnett held the Harold Stassen Chair of International Affairs in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.
His most recent books are "Paternalism beyond Borders," Cambridge University Press, 2016; Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism, Cornell University Press, 2011; Humanitarianism Contested: Where Angels Fear to Tread, with Thomas G. Weiss, Routledge, 2011; and Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism, with Janice Stein (eds.) Oxford University Press, 2012. See also "Power in International Politics".
Barnett consistently ranks as one of the top-20 scholars "who has done the most interesting work in international relations in recent years" according to the yearly TRIP surveys.
He is currently a University Professor at George Washington University and lives in Maryland with his family.Barnett, Michael; Kim, Hunjoon; O'Donnell, Madalene; Sitea, Laura (January–March 2007). "Peacebuilding: What Is in a Name?". Global Governance. 13 (1): 35–58. JSTOR 27800641.
Barnett, Michael; Duvall, Raymond (Winter 2005). "Power in International Politics". International Organization. 59 (1): 39–75. JSTOR 3877878.
Barnett, Michael N.; Finnemore, Martha (Autumn 1999). "The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations". International Organization. 53 (4): 699–732. doi:10.1162/002081899551048.