Jonathan Wilkenfeld is the Founding Director of the ICONS Project, and professor emeritus and prior chair of the Department of Government and Politics. Wilkenfeld has also served as Associate Provost and Associate Vice President, International Programs at the University of Maryland.
He is a specialist in foreign policy decision-making, crisis behavior, and mediation, as well as in the use of simulation in political science. From 1977 to 2014, Wilkenfeld served as co-Director (with Michael Brecher) of the International Crisis Behavior Project, a cross-national study of international crises in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The project has served as the basis for systematic research into a range of crucial foreign-policy issues, including state motivations during times of crisis, conflict management practices, and protracted conflict trajectories.
The development of the International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS) Project grew out of Wilkenfeld's long-term interest in integrating technology and simulation techniques into the teaching of negotiation and international politics. Under his direction, the ICONS Project won numerous awards for innovation and excellence, including in 1994, the Distinguished Program Award presented by the Maryland Association for Higher Education for the ICONS instructional model, and in 2001 the University of Maryland Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology.
His most recent books include A Study of Crisis (1997 and 2000, with Michael Brecher); Negotiating a Complex World (1999, 2005, 2010, 2016 with Brigid Starkey and Mark Boyer); Mediating International Crises (2005, with Victor Asal, David Quinn, and Kathleen Young); Peace and Conflict (2008, 2010, 2012 with Joseph Hewitt and Ted Gurr); and Myth and Reality in International Politics: Addressing Global Challenges through Collective Action (Routledge 2016). Wilkenfeld's current work focuses on mediation processes in intrastate conflicts and crises.