Portrait of Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher

PhD, University of Connecticut
  • Assoc. Professor, Political Science & Public Adm
    • International Relations, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation, Political Science, Civil War and Intrastate Conflicts, Intelligence Studies

Contact Info

Office Address

Gamble Hall Room 265F
293 Centennial Drive Stop 8379
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8379

Office Hours

Professor Urlacher can be found most mornings at Archives coffee shop.   

Curriculum Vitae


Brian Urlacher received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2007. He also earned a M.P.A. from the University of South Dakota and worked with the NGO Transparency International. He came to the University of North Dakota in 2007 and teaches courses in International Relations. His research focuses on cooperation under difficult circumstances. He has published on topics as diverse as conflict resolution in civil wars, negotiation analysis, and public goods provision.

Prof. Urlacher regularly teach POLS 220 International Politics, POLS 300 Research Methods, and POLS 500 Research Methods. He additionally teaches POLS 320 US Foreign Policy when scheduling permits. At UND Professor Urlacher has taught a number of special topics classes including classes on Modern Civil Wars, Politics and Security in South Asia, and Globalization and Human Rights.

Professor Urlacher regularly updates classes to keep content current with changes in the field of international relations and seeks to create opportunities for hands on learning. This comes in the form of research projects, simulations, class presentations or discussions, and case study analysis. 

Civil Wars and Conflict Resolution

General Focus

Over the last five years, my research focus has moved from negotiation and cooperation to conflict resolution particularly in the area of civil wars. I focus on civil war intervention, diplomatic pressure and civil wars, peacekeeping, and the impact of domestic level factors in explaining the intractability of civil wars.

Publications and Current Projects

Urlacher, Brian R. (2016) "Peace and Justice? Re-Thinking the Trade off through Decision Analysis." St Antony's International Review, Special Issue: Negotiation in Contemporary Global Politics. 11(2): 69-94.

Urlacher, Brian R. (2014) "Game Theory: Explaining Ethnic Violence" in Making Sense of IR Theory: Iraq. Jennifer Sterling-Folker ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner

Urlacher, Brian R. (2013) "Negotiating with Insurgents: Changing Perceptions or Changing Politics?" International Negotiation. 18(2): 177-194.

Urlacher, Brian R. (2011) "Political Constraints and Civil War Conflict Resolution." Civil Wars, 13(2): 81-98.

Urlacher, Brian R. (2009) The "Wolfowitz Conjecture: a research note on civil wars and news coverage." International Studies Perspective,10(2): 186-197.

Urlacher, Brian R. (2008) "A Bottom-up Approach to Peacebuilding." International Studies Review, 10(3): 619-621.

International Cooperation

General Focus

I have worked on a number of projects related to international cooperation both in general and in relation to the provision of public goods. This strain of research was sparked in 2006 by a collaborative project undertaken with Joseph K. Young, now at American University, to develop a simulation of the prisoner's dilemma to study how group decision making structure affects the ability of groups to cooperate in a two-group prisoner's dilemma. The most recent version of the simulation is written in visual basic and is available for replication purposes.

Publications and Current Projects

Urlacher, Brian R. (2015) International Relations as Negotiation. Routledge Press.

Urlacher, Brian R. (2014) "Groups, Decision Rules, and Negotiation Outcomes: Simulating the Negotiator's Dilemma." Negotiation Journal, 30(1): 5-22.

Urlacher, Brian. R. (2011) "Pubic Goods and International Relations." Compendium Project published on behalf of the International Studies Association

Urlacher, Brian R. (2008) "Walking out of Two-Level Social Traps (With a Little Help From my Friends)" Simulation and Gaming, 39(4): 453-464.

Young, Joseph K. and Brian R. Urlacher. (2007) "Cantankerous Cooperation: Democracies, Authoritarian Regimes, and the Prisoner's Dilemma." International Interactions, 33(1): 51-73.

GlobalEd at the University of Connecticut

About Global Ed:

GlobalEd is a research project started at the University of Connecticut by Mark A. Boyer and Scott W. Brown. The GlobalEd project conducts on-line simulations of international negotiations using middle and high school students. The simulations are coded for negotiation styles. The project seeks to understand the gender and the socialization process as it relates to negotiation behavior. The project has produced dozens of conference presentations and a number of scholarly publications.


Anat Niv-Solomon, Laura Janik, Mark A. Boyer, Natalie Florea-Hudson, Brian R. Urlacher and Scott D. Brown (2009) "Evolving Beyond Self-Interest? Some Experimental Findings from Simulated International Negotiations" Simulation & Gaming, 42(6): 711-732.

Boyer, Mark A., Brian R. Urlacher, Anat Niv-Solomon, Natalie Florea Hudson, Laura Janik, Scott W. Brown, Clarisse O. Lima, and Andri Ioannou. (2009) "Gender and Negotiation: Some Experimental Findings from an International Negotiation Simulation." International Studies Quarterly, 53(1): 23-47.

Boyer, Mark A. , Scott W. Brown, Michael J. Butler, Anat Niv-Solomon, Brian Urlacher, Natalie F. Hudson, Paula Johnson and Clarisse O. Lima. (2007) "Experimenting with Global Governance: Understanding the Potential for Generational Change." Globalization, Societies, and Education, 5(2): 153-180.

The Case Selector is a web-based tool for identifying pairs of cases for comparative method research designs.  The Case Selector is a collaboration between Brian Urlacher and Tim Prescott, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Dakota.