Sharad Joshi

Assistant Professor, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Dr. Sharad Joshi holds a PhD from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the Institute in September 2006 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. At MIIS he has been a research associate at CNS and the Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP). His current research focuses on various facets of terrorism in South Asia, as well as nonproliferation issues in the region. Dr. Joshi teaches several courses at GSIPM, including courses on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction in South Asia and South-East Asia, and Policy Analysis.

He is a graduate of the Summer Workshop on the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy (SWAMOS), and holds a certificate in Asian Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a visiting fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi (2005), and an adjunct instructor at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh (2006). He briefly worked as a journalist for India Abroad newspaper.

Dr. Joshi is also an associate fellow in the international security program at Chatham House, London, UK.


International Security
South Asia
Nuclear Proliferation
Southeast Asia

Dr. Joshi interviewed by NATO Review


PhD, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, 2006; M.A. (Politics), School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2000; B.A. (Honors-Economics), University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, 1997.


"Will killing of Taliban Chief Make a Difference in Pakistan?," Chatham House, November 7, 2013

Woolwich Attack and the Changing Nature of Terrorism,” Chatham House, May 24, 2013

The China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal: A Realpolitique Fait Accompli,” Issue Brief, Nuclear Threat Initiative, December 11, 2011.

"Playing Politics:How the Regional Context Impedes Confronting Myanmar's Alleged Nuclear Program," Issue Brief, Nuclear Threat Initiative, February 4, 2011

"AfPak: Negotiate from Strength,” Foreign Policy in Focus, April 15, 2009.

"Deconstructing the Pakistani Response to the Mumbai Attack," International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel, January 7, 2009.

"Cooperative Threat Reduction and Pakistan," (co-authored with Togzhan Kassenova) Issue Brief, Nuclear Threat Initiative, August 4, 2008.

"A Pause in the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Agreement," Issue Brief, Nuclear Threat Initiative, May 2, 2008.

"Is Pakistan Appeasing the Taliban?" Foreign Policy in Focus, June 13, 2008.

"A Ridge Too Far," Foreign Policy in Focus, November 6, 2007.

“Unilateralism and Multilateralism: Analyzing American Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy,” World Affairs (Washington, DC), Spring 2005, Vol. 167, No. 4, pp. 147-161.

“Israel’s Nuclear Policy: A Cost-Benefit Analysis,” Strategic Analysis, March 2000, Vol. XXIII, No. 12, pp. 2089-2110.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

PSCI 1039 - Security Issues in South Asia      

Security Issues in South Asia
In this course we will examine various security matters in South Asia, including interstate conflict, terrorism, and issues related to weapons of mass destruction. South Asia refers to the region encompassing Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives. However, given that security matters in Afghanistan are linked closely to Pakistan, this course will include Afghanistan as part of the broader southern Asian region. We will look at topics from the historical, political-economic, and foreign policy perspective. We will discuss various conflicts between countries, including the India-Pakistan dyad, and the reasons behind the wars between them. Cases studies will include Islamist terrorism in the region, and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. This course will also consider nontraditional security matters such as environmental degradation and refugee movements. (International Relations)/


Winter 2014

More Information »

IPSG 8501 - Policy Analysis      

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of policy analysis. Students will be introduced to the stages of the public policy process, including agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Students will also develop basic policy analysis skills, including problem structuring, stakeholder identification, summarization of current policy, development of policy options, elaboration of criteria for selection, and recommendation of course of action. These concepts are illustrated by examples policies that fall within students' range of interests. This course also introduces students to scientific methods that are used as a means for structuring policy inquiry. A series of research approaches and techniques are presented in the context of forecasting, monitoring, and evaluation for the analysis of domestic and international policies.

Fall 2013 - MIIS

More Information »

NPTG 8584 - Introduction to Terrorism      

This course is designed to provide a critical introduction to the subject of terrorism, an often misunderstood phenomenon that has assumed a particular salience in the wake of 9/11. Its aim is to clarify fundamental definitional and conceptual problems, introduce students to the burgeoning literature on the subject, describe basic terrorist organizational and operational methods, survey a wide range of terrorist groups and ideologies, examine certain high-profile terrorism themes, and tentatively assess the nature of the threat posed by terrorists to global security in the future.

Fall 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

NPTG 8624 - Sem:Countrinsurgency in S.Asia      

Insurgency and Terrorism: According to Alex Schmid, an insurgency is: “an armed uprising, revolt, or rebellion by a political group or party against a domestic or foreign ruling in order to subvert it, overthrow it, expel it, and break away from it, or simply to enhance the group’s bargaining position for subsequent political compromise. Acts of terrorism are a frequent occurrence in many insurgencies.” According to Jeffrey Bale, terrorism refers to: “the use or threatened use of violence, usually directed against victims selected for their symbolic or representative value, as a means of instilling anxiety in, transmitting one or more messages to, and thereby manipulating the perceptions and behavior of wider target audiences.”

This course examines various insurgent movements that have persisted in South Asia for several decades and the different strategies that have been employed by governments to roll back these insurgencies. Geographically, South Asia includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives. For the purpose of this course, South Asia will also include Afghanistan, which is closely enmeshed in security dynamics related to other parts of the subcontinent, especially Pakistan. In the course of the semester, several case studies of insurgent movements will be examined, such as the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Maoist insurgencies in Nepal and India. Other case studies will include the three-decade long campaign by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, and several cases of insurgencies in northeastern India, involving groups such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN).

Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

NPTG 8668 - Sem:Terrorism in South Asia      

Terrorist violence has persisted in various parts of South Asia for several decades. A variety of interconnected reasons can be assigned to this phenomenon – state sponsorship, separatist tendencies, religious and sectarian divides, and political meddling. Terrorism in South Asia is also a crucial concern because of its broader connections to extra-regional terrorist networks. The two dominant states in South Asia possess nuclear weapons and have a long history of military conflict and have periodically experienced crises situations provoked by terrorist attacks. Additionally, the history of proliferation networks and concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear security further exacerbate the threat perception from terrorist networks.

The object of this course is to understand the causes and dimensions of terrorism in South Asia and to analyze positions adopted by the involved parties, state and non-state. From the policy perspective, this is essential toward formulating responses to terrorism in the region. South Asia is conventionally defined as the region comprising the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives. But for the purposes of this seminar we will also look at developments in Afghanistan (generally considered as South-West Asia), given its crucial links to terrorism issues in South Asia.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

NPTG 8674 - Sem:Terrorism in SouthEastAsia      

Various parts of South-East Asia have been plagued by terrorist violence in recent decades. South-East Asia refers to the region eastward from Burma/Myanmar till the Philippines. This course studies the phenomenon of terrorism in countries of the region such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Some of the groups that this course examines include – Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, Moro Islamic Liberation Front – their objectives, characteristics, composition, ideologies, tactics and fund-raising. Apart from these cases, the course also examines thematic issues such as the prospect of WMD terrorism and proliferation of WMD materials, maritime terrorism and piracy, and U.S. policy on counter-terrorism in South-East Asia. We also discuss connections between groups in South-East Asia and regional and global terrorist groups elsewhere, such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In order to have a comprehensive picture of non-state security threats in the region, the course also examines the various insurgent movements in Myanmar. Finally, given the close security dynamics between Australia and South-East Asia, this course also looks at terrorism-related issues in Australia.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

More Information »

NPTG 8683 - Sem:South Asia & WMD      

In the realm of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), South Asia is one of the key regions of analysis. This course takes a comprehensive look at the role of WMD in the strategic thinking of various actors involved in the South Asian security framework. It is important to note that South Asian nuclear issues cannot be studied in isolation from other regional and global dynamics. States such as the U.S., China, and Russia are crucial players in the South Asian strategic framework. The course examines various reasons behind WMD acquisition by India and Pakistan, concentrating especially on nuclear weapons. These factors include threat perceptions, domestic imperatives and nationalistic attitudes. A key element of nuclear weapons programs is the development of effective delivery systems such as missiles and aircraft. Analysis of such programs provides an indicator of current and future strategy. In this context, both India and Pakistan have made major strides in their cruise and ballistic missile programs to make their nuclear strategy more credible. At the same time, neither side has a clearly enunciated nuclear doctrine, although attempts have been made in this direction. This is crucial in context of a reliable command and control system and for crisis stability. Another major issue covered in this course is the proliferation of WMD materials to non-state actors or aspiring nuclear states by proliferation networks connected to South Asia. Relatedly, policymakers in the region and elsewhere are also concerned with the danger of nuclear terrorism. These are some of the prominent issues concerning weapons of mass destruction in South Asia. The two sides have periodically taken steps to prevent nuclear crises situations. Apart from nuclear weapons, this seminar also examines chemical and biological weapons policy in the two countries.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

More Information »

Faculty Program Tags