Aaron Hoffman

Political Science

Areas of interest

Research and Supervision Fields:


-International Relations
-Terrorism and Counterterrorism
-Political Communication
-U.S. Foreign Policy

Teaching Streams:

-Diplomacy, Defence and Development
-Public Policy and Democratic Governance
-Research Methods and Analysis


  • BA, Columbia University
  • MA, University of Pittsburgh
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh


My current research focuses on the coverage of terrorism and counterterrorism in the mass media. Specifically, I am interested in how news reports about terrorism and counterterrorism are developed and framed and how that coverage influences the people who either watch or read it. This interest in the political effects of mass mediated messages is part of my larger interest in the political psychology of political messages, a theme I have explored in studies of attitudes about US foreign policy and trust in international rivalries. I am also interested in the use of experiments to understand political phenomena.

In the classroom, I focus on encouraging student interest in politics through discussion while developing their research and writing skills. In 2017, when I was on the faculty at Purdue University, I won the Kenneth T. Kofmehl Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (2017). In 2016, I was a nominee for Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts Graduate Teaching Award (2016). I am excited to continue my work with the students and faculty at Simon Fraser University.


2018. “Deadly Foreign Terrorism and the Rank-ordered Tournament for Foreign Press Attention: Implications for Counterterrorism.” International Interactions (with Crystal Shelton and Erik Cleven).

2017. “When the Laws of Fear Do Not Apply: Effective Counterterrorism and the Sense of Security from Terrorism.” Political Research Quarterly 70 (30): 618-631(with William Shelby).

2016. “Media Effects: Do Terrorist Organizations Launch Foreign Attacks in Response to Press Freedom or Press Attention?” Conflict Management and Peace Science 33 (4): 381-399 (with Asal Victor).

2015. “Norms, Diplomatic Alternatives, and the Social Psychology of War Support.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 59 (1): 3-28 (with Christopher R. Agnew, Laura Vanderdrift, and Robert Kulzick).

2013. “Press Freedom, Publicity, and the Cross-national Incidence of Transnational Terrorism.” Political Research Quarterly 66 (4): 896-909 (with Crystal Shelton and Erik Cleven).