Jesse Kirkpatrick PhD

Research Assistant Professor, George Mason University

Assistant Director, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy

Fellow, New America



Jesse Kirkpatrick is a Research Assistant Professor, the Assistant Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University, a Politico-Military Analyst, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, and International Security Fellow, New America. Jesse received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the Institute, Jesse was an Assistant Professor at Radford University and a Research Fellow at the US Naval Academy. Jesse is an expert on the ethics of peace and security, the study of emerging military technologies, counterinsurgency, asymmetric warfare, and biosecurity. His work has appeared in numerous journals including, Ethics; Journal of Military Ethics; Journal of Human Rights. Jesse's work has also appeared in Special Warfare Magazine, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and Slate. His current book, Drones, Robots, and Super Soldiers: Emerging Technologies and Military Virtue, is under contract by Harvard University Press. 

Jesse is currently the Principal Investigator for two sponsored research projects. In collaboration with Dr. Gregory Koblentz, director of GMU's biodefense graduate program, and researchers from Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, Jesse is studying the risks, benefits, and governance options of new genome editing technologies. This study is supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation. 


In partnership with Dr. Edward Barrett of the US Naval Academy, Jesse co-directs the Coming Home project, which engages veterans in dialogues on the moral, psychological, and spiritual impacts of war. The National Endowment for the Humanities has supported Coming Home for three consecutive years. 


Kirkpatrick, J. Drones, Robots, and Super Soldiers: Emerging Technologies and Military Virtue (under contract, Harvard University Press)


Kirkpatrick, J. Pinczuk,Guillermo, Mike Deane, and Jesse Kirkpatrick. Case Studies in Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare—Sri Lanka (1976-2009), The United States Army Special Operations Command and the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, (2015).

Kirkpatrick, J. “Super Soldiers and Virtue” in Developing the super soldier: enhancing military performance, G. Braun III W., von Hlatky, Stéfanie., and Richard Nossal, Kim. (eds.) The Kingston Conference on International Security series, 2018.

Kirkpatrick, J. “A Global Human Rights Court?” in Gordon DiGiacomo & Susan Kang (eds.) The Institutions of Human Rights: Development and Practices. University of Toronto Press. (forthcoming)

Kirkpatrick, J. and Ryan Jenkins. “What the Fatal Uber Crash Doesn’t Tell Us About Self-Driving Cars,” Slate Magazine, March 2018.

Kirkpatrick, J. and Sarah Welch Denton. “The Future of War and Terrorism” in Michael Bess and Diana Walsh Pasulka (eds.) Posthumanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens. Macmillan Reference USA (2018).

Kirkpatrick, J., Hanh, Erin and Amy Haufler. “Trust in Human-Robot Interactions,” in Patrick Lin, George Bekey, Keith Abney, and Ryan Jenkins (eds.) Robot Ethics 2.0. Oxford University Press. 2017.

Kirkpatrick, J. and Andrew Light. “Gene editing’s great potential, and great risks,” Washington Post. Sunday Opinion, December 13, 2015.


Kirkpatrick, J.“Syrian Civil War Heightens Polio Risk,” op-ed, Baltimore Sun, December 9, 2013.

Kirkpatrick, J. “Drones and the Martial Virtue Courage,” Journal of Military Ethics, 14(3).

Kirkpatrick, J.“Kirkpatrick’s Reply to Sparrow,” Journal of Military Ethics, 14(3).

Kirkpatrick, J.“A Retrospective Essay: John MacCunn’s ‘Cosmopolitan Duties,’” Ethics, 125(1).

Kirkpatrick, J.“A Modest Proposal: A Global Court for Human Rights,” Journal of Human Rights, 13(2).


Kirkpatrick, J. “Drones and State Responsibility,” in Di Nucci, Ezio and Filippo Santoni de Sio (eds.) Drones and Responsibility: Legal, Philosophical and Socio-Technical Perspectives on the Use of Remotely Controlled Weapons. Ashgate Publishing (2016).

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