Joshua W. Busby, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Public Affairs


Joshua Busby is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs and a fellow with the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service as well as the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He originally joined the LBJ School faculty in fall 2006 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer. Prior to coming to UT, Dr. Busby was a research fellow at the Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School (2005-2006), the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's JFK School (2004-2005), and the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution (2003-2004). He defended his dissertation with distinction in summer 2004 from Georgetown University, where he also earned his M.A. in 2002.

In his most recent book, Moral Movements and Foreign Policy, Busby seeks to explain why some countries are willing to take on new international commitments championed by principled advocacy groups and others are not. Substantively, he explores the politics of climate change, developing country debt relief, HIV/AIDS, and the International Criminal Court in selected country cases in the advanced industrialized world. He has also written extensively on transatlantic relations, both in international security and the climate change arena. In 2004, Busby and co-author Heiko Borchert won the Foreign Policy Association's Transatlantic Essay Competition. His research interests also include U.S. grand strategy, energy security, and the foreign policy of advanced industrialized countries.

Busby is a Term Member in the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. His works have appeared in International Studies QuarterlyCurrent History, andProblems of Post-Communism, among other publications.

Busby also has a regional interest in Latin America, having served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador (1997-1999), worked in Nicaragua (Summer 1994, Spring 1996), and consulted for the Inter-American Development Bank (2000). Prior to working with the Peace Corps, he was a Marshall Scholar at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, England), where he completed a second B.A. (with Honors) in Development Studies (1993-1995). He completed his first B.A. (with Highest Distinction) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Political Science and Biology.

Busby Publications:

AIDS Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations

Moral Movements and Foreign Policy

Mapping Climate Change and Security in North Africa

China and Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Engagement

Making Markets for Merit Goods: The Political Economy of Anti-Retrovirals, Global Policy, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Ethan Kapstein & Josh Busby

Confronting Poverty: Weak States and U.S. National Security, Brookings Institution Press

Making Markets for Merit Goods: The Political Economy of Antiretrovirals, Working Paper 179, 08/19/2009

Global AIDS Policy in the Age of Obama, Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, Volume 8 Issue 2, 120

The Climate Security Connection: What it Means for the Poor, Brookings Institution Press 2009

"Climate Change and National Security," Council on Foreign Relations, Council Special Report

Review of Amy Patterson, The Politics of AIDS in Africa, Political Science Quarterly, Fall 2007.

"Climate Change and Security: A Credible Connection?" Disarmament Times, Fall 2007

In the News

The Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog - 06/01/2017 Trump says goodbye to Paris climate agreement. Here's what that means.

Dr. Joshua Busby delves into the certain and potential impacts–environmental, diplomatic, and economic–from the President's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.  Read article.

The Monkey Cage (The Washington Post) - 08/17/2016 What could make Americans — and Congress — care about Zika?

Dr. Joshua Busby turns to findings from his 2014 survey experiment testing the efficacy of various persuasive messaging techniques regarding the Ebola virus to understand what may cause Americans to organize around efforts to combat the Zika virus. Read blog post.

The Monkey Cage (The Washington Post) - 12/02/2015 People think that the Copenhagen climate talks failed. Here’s why they’re so wrong

Dr. Joshua Busby challenges the perception that the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations were a failure. Read blog post.

The Monkey Cage (The Washington Post) - 04/08/2015 Persuading Americans to act on climate change

In this article, RGK Center Associate Professor Joshua Busby and co-author Bethany Albertson draw attention to the appeals that best persuade the U.S. public on climate change. Using an experimental design, Drs. Busby and Albertson assessed a diverse sample of 330 participants on their responses to four different appeals. The experiment yielded some surprising results particularly with regard to the impact that varying degrees of climate change knowledge had on participant response to the persuasive messaging.

Council on Foreign Relations Blog - 12/09/2010 A View from Kenya on Cancun

Josh Busby discusses the Cancun negotiations from a Kenya perspective

Resources for the Future - 11/16/2010 China and Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Engagement

A new report from Joshua Busby aims to provide strategic guidance to U.S. policymakers on engaging China on climate change.

Strauss Center News - 10/25/2010 Strauss Distinguished Scholar Releases New Book Moral Movements and Foreign Policy

Joshua Busby’s Moral Movements and Foreign Policy analyzes how factors converge to create successful (or unsuccessful) advocacy campaigns and whether governments are ready to support transnational moral causes.

The Page 99 Test - 10/05/2010 Joshua W. Busby's "Moral Movements and Foreign Policy"

Joshua Busby applies the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Moral Movements and Foreign Policy.

The Daily Texan - 04/23/2009 Student event seeks to curb world poverty

The RGK Center welcomed David Lane as part of the Global Civil Society Lecture Series.

The Daily Texan - 04/25/2007 Forum held to inspire action against AIDS

Josh Busby discusses impact of HIV in Africa.


12/12/2007 - Austin, TX

UT Austin - Rapoport Center for Human Rights - "The Politics of Donor Responses to HIV/AIDS"

11/27/2007 - Seattle, WA

Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington - "From Benign Neglect to Moral Awakening: Donor Responses to HIV/AIDS"

11/11/2007 - Boston, MA

UT Austin - Rapoport Center for Human Rights - "The Politics of Donor Responses to HIV/AIDS"

09/09/2007 - Lund University of Sweden

Conference on Energy Security in Europe - "Who Cares About the Weather? Climate Change and U.S. National Security"

04/24/2007 - Austin, TX

Face AIDS Panel Discussion at the University of Texas.

04/14/2007 - Washington, DC

National Intelligence Council

03/30/2007 - Chapel Hill, NC

Triangle Institute for Security Studies - National Security Implications of Climate Change.

03/01/2007 - Chicago, IL

International Studies Association Conference - "Who Cares about the Weather? Climate Change and U.S. National Security."

02/19/2007 - Austin, TX

Strauss Center, LBJ School of Public Affairs - "From Benign Neglect to Moral Awakening: Donor Responses to HIV/AIDS"

01/31/2007 - Austin, TX

Strauss Center Slater Event - Introductory remarks on Global Climate Change.

10/10/2006 - Austin, TX

LBJ School of Public Affairs - "Who Cares about the Weather? Climate Change and U.S. National Security."