Joseph Morrison Skelly, PhD

Joseph Morrison Skelly, PhD

Joseph SkellyProfessor of History
PhD, University College Dublin
MA, University College Dublin
BA, University of Notre Dame

Areas of Interest

  • International Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Military Affairs
  • International Diplomacy
  • The Middle East
  • Contemporary Europe
  • Ireland and Northern Ireland

Courses Taught

  • International Terrorism
  • Ethics of Peace and War
  • Modern Middle East
  • Contemporary Middle East
  • Islam and Politics: From Theocracy to Democracy
  • Divided Societies: Israel/Palestine and Northern Ireland
  • World War I and World War II
  • European Genocides, 1914-45
  • Post-War Europe, 1945-95
  • European Union or Disunion?
  • Irish Politics: North and South
  • U.S. Role in Vietnam, 1940-1975
  • Contemporary Asia
  • The United Nations and International Affairs
  • The Elections of 2020
  • Natural Rights, Civil Rights, Human Rights
  • Senior Research Seminar

Honors and Awards
Excellence in Teaching, College of Mount Saint Vincent | 2002, 2010, 2023
Irish Voice Irish Education 100 | 2015, 2016
Faculty Research Sabbatical, College of Mount Saint Vincent | 2008, 2019

Scholarly Appointments
Treasurer, Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa | 2007-23
Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum | 2010-23
Academic Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies | 2003-07

Department of History
Director, Minor in Political Science
Coordinator, Internships and Careers

Military Service

United States Army Reserve, 2001-21
United States Army National Guard, 1996-2000

Major Awards
Bronze Star
Combat Action Badge
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award


Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Detractors, Definitions, ed. Santa Barbara: Praeger Security International, 2010.

Irish Foreign Policy, 1919-66: From Independence to Internationalism, ed. with Michael Kennedy. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000.

Ideas Matter: Essays in Honour of Conor Cruise O’Brien, ed. with Richard English. Dublin: Poolbeg Press, 1998; Lanham: University Press of America, 2000.

Irish Diplomacy at the United Nations, 1945-65: National Interests and the International Order. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1997.

Scholarly Articles
“Into the Labyrinth: Terrorism, History and Diplomacy.” In The Cambridge History of Terrorism, ed. by Richard English, 594-622. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

“Afghanistan: Not Another Vietnam,” World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO, January 2012.

“Muslim-West Relations: The Importance of Moderate Muslims,” World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO. September, 2010.

“Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad,” In Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Detractors, and Definitions, ed. by Joseph Morrison Skelly, 3-12. Santa Barbara: Praeger Security International, 2010.

“Celtic Tiger, American Eagle: Irish Lessons for a Regional Economy in the U.S.” In What Did We Do Right? Global Perspectives on Ireland’s ‘Miracle,’ ed. by Rory Miller and Michael O’Sullivan, 23-33. Dublin: Blackhall Publishers, 2010.

“In Mesopotamia a Safe Game Must Be Played,” Introduction to The First Iraq War, 1914 – 1918: Britain’s Mesopotamian Campaign, A.J. Barker, ix-xx. New York, Enigma Books; First published as The Bastard War: The Mesopotamian Campaign of 1914-1918 in 1968 by Dial Press, 2009.

“Kennedy, John F., Visit,” “Neutrality,” “United Nations,” The Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture, ed. by James S. Donnelly, i, 341, i, 462-64, ii, 733-35. 2 vols. New York: Thomson-Gale, 2004.

“National Interests and International Mediation: Ireland’s South Tyrol Initiative in the United Nations, 1960-61,” In Irish Foreign Policy, 1919-66: From Independence to Internationalism, ed. by Michael Kennedy and Joseph Morrison Skelly, 286-307. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000.

“The Study of Irish Foreign Policy from Independence to Internationalism,” with Michael Kennedy. In Irish Foreign Policy, 1919-66: From Independence to Internationalism, ed. by Michael Kennedy and Joseph Morrison Skelly, 13-24. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000.

“Appeasement in Our Time: Conor Cruise O’Brien’s Analysis of the Irish Peace Process.” Irish Studies in International Affairs 10, 221-36, 1999.

“Ideas Matter,” with Richard English. In Ideas Matter: Essays in Honour of Conor Cruise O’Brien, ed. by Richard English and Joseph Morrison Skelly, 9-38. Dublin: Poolbeg Press, 1998.

“Ireland, the Department of External Affairs, and the United Nations, 1945-55: a New Look.” Irish Studies in International Affairs 7, 63-80, 1996.

Select Book Reviews
Henry Kopel, War on Hate: How to Stop Genocide, Fight Terrorism, and Defend Freedom. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2021. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 16, no. 2 (2022), 271-75.

Ido Levy, Soldiers of End-Times: Assessing the Military Effectiveness of the Islamic State. Washington, DC: The Washington Institute for Near-East Policy, 2021. Journal of Military History 86, no. 4 (October 2022), 1070-71.

Michael F. Cairo, The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East. Lexington, University Press of Kentucky, 2012. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 8, no. 3, 121-26, 2014.

Jonathan Spyer, The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict. New York: Continuum, 2011. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 6, no. 2, 151-54, 2012.

Ofira Seliktar, The Politics of Intelligence and American Wars with Iraq. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 and Ofira Seliktar, Doomed to Failure? The Politics and Intelligence of the Oslo Peace Process, Santa Barbara: Praeger Security International, 2009. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 23, no. 3, 567-72, Fall 2010.

Rashid Khalidi, Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, Boston: Beacon Press, 2009. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 3, no. 3, 109-11, 2009.

Wayne H. Bowen, Undoing Saddam: From Occupation to Sovereignty in Northern Iraq, Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2007. Website of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa: Book Review Section, July 2009.

Philip Carl Salzman and Donna Robinson Divine, eds. Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, New York: Routledge, 2008. Jewish Political Studies Review 21, nos. 3-4, 181-84, Fall 2009.

Melanie Phillips, Londonistan, New York: Encounter Books, 2006; Website of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa: Book Review Section, January 2008.

Andrew McCarthy, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, New York: Encounter Books, 2008; Website of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa: Book Review Section, April 2008.

Michael Smith, Killer Elite, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 2, 418-27, Summer 2008.

Sean Patrick Donlan, ed., Edmund Burke’s Irish Identities, Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2007. The Recorder 20, no. 2 and 21, no. 1, 170-4, Spring and Fall 2008.

Rory Miller, ed., Ireland and the Middle East: Trade, Society and Peace, Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2007. Middle East Quarterly 15, no. 1, 88, Winter 2008.

Efraim Halevy, Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 4, 742-50, Winter 2007.

General Publications
“Foreword,” In Drawing a Line in the Sea: The Gaza Flotilla Incident and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, ed. by Thomas E. Copeland, ix-x. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011.

“Riding Out the Storm: Israel, the United States, and Barack Obama’s Post-American Foreign Policy,” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 4, no. 2, 31-35, 2010.

“Civil Affairs Soldiers: Force Multipliers in Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Victor Davis Hanson: Private Papers, December 17, 2004.

“Challenging the Irish American Consensus,” Historically Speaking: The Newsletter of the Historical Society, ii, no. 2, 9-11, January 2001.

“What Now for Ulster, Mr. Blair?” with Robert McCartney, Belfast Telegraph, September 20, 2001.

“The Dark Side of Peace,” with Conor Cruise O’Brien, Washington Times, July 27, 2000.

National Review Online

  • “The Speech and its Problems,” September 1, 2010.
  • “Obama’s Bookshelf: A Symposium,” August 14, 2009.
  • “Outrider of the Enlightenment: The Legacy of Conor Cruise O’Brien,” March 17, 2009.
  • “Be Not Afraid: Christian Resistance and the Meaning of Christmas,” December 22, 2008.
  • “Radical Secularism, Militant Islamism,” November 7, 2008.
  • “Unearthing the Weather Underground,” October 17, 2008.
  • “Sidestepping the Sandstorm? Reforming Middle Eastern Studies,” September 11, 2008.
  • “A Conservative Summer: A Symposium,” July 3, 2008.
  • “To Live with Honor,” May 23, 2008.
  • “Number 12, Arran Quay: Edmund Burke and Ireland,” March 14, 2008.
  • “Turning Point? A Symposium,” July 31, 2007.
  • “Why We Fight,” July 4, 2007.
  • “The Democratic Fallen,” May 18, 2007.
  • “Can this Washington Be Saved? Can this War? A Symposium,” May 2, 2007.
  • “National Interests and National Honor,” April 26, 2007.
  • “Surge Scoring: A Symposium,” January 11, 2007.
  • “Bastogne!” December 21, 2006.
  • “The Reckoning of the Dead,” November 6, 2006.
  • “Echoes of Ireland’s Struggle in Iraq,” Irish Independent, February 13, 2005.

United Press International

  • “Is the ‘Road Map’ a U.S. Setback?” with Joel Fishman July, 2003 (co-author).
  • “The IRA: Next on the List,” August, 2002.
  • “An Intellectual Famine in Irish America,” April, 2001.

Select Presentations
“Toward a Renewed Foreign Policy and a Limited but More Lethal Military Strategy: Lessons Learned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.” Panel Discussion, with Mark Clark, Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, Washington, DC, January, 2023.

“America and the World After Afghanistan.” Panel Discussion, Israel Council on Foreign Relations, Jerusalem, Israel, September, 2021.

“Who Lost Iraq?” Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, Annual Conference, “Searching for Balance in the Middle East and Africa,” Washington, DC, October 2014.

“Resolving Legal Conflicts in Counterterrorism: Drone Strikes, Military Tribunals, Guantanamo Bay,” Center for International Studies, College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York, NY, March 2011.

“Middle East and African Studies in the Academy: An Assessment,” New York State Chapter, National Association of Scholars, New York, NY, March 2010.

“‘We Win, They Lose’: A Strategy for Victory in the War on Islamist Terrorism,” Global War on Terrorism Lecture Series, High Point University, High Point, NC, February 2010.

“Defining – and Achieving – Victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Yale University, New Haven, CT, April 2006.

“Education in Iraq: Lessons Learned in Defense, Diplomacy and Development,” United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Conference, “Education in Conflict Environments,” Washington, DC, August 2005.

“The Peace Process in Northern Ireland: The End of the Road?” Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, March 2004.