Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science


Michael Noonan

I currently work as the Director of Research and as Director for the Program on National Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Working at a think tank is a pretty unique experience. Basically we operate like a university department without students—although we do work with interns—focusing on research, publication, and education. Different think tanks operate in different manners. Some places operate strictly on conducting studies while others hold events. As FPRI is located outside of Washington, DC, we operate on more of a hybrid model where we conduct research and also hold events for the public. In an age of hyper-partisanship it is nice to be involved in an organization with scholars holding myriad views and perspectives. FPRI is somewhat unique in that we are focused on a geopolitical outlook that analyzes world affairs through the lenses of history, geography, and culture. In terms of research, I have a few projects going at the moment but I am most excited about a book manuscript that I am working on, Irregular Soldiers and Rebellious States: Small-Scale U.S. Interventions Abroad, that deals with the topics of how the United States works with foreign partners on defending their sovereignty against subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to their security (i.e., foreign internal defense) or in supporting a foreign insurgency or resistance movement against its government or an occupying power (i.e., unconventional warfare).  If any students in the department, or in the broader university, are interested in learning more about think tanks they are more than welcome to contact me at mnoonan@fpri.org