Dr. James Meernik is a regent's professor of political science and the director of the Castleberry Peace Institute at the University of North Texas. He has taught at the University of North Texas since 1991 and specializes in research on post-conflict peacebuilding, reintegration of former combatants, reconciliation, political violence and language endangerment, and international tribunals.
Currently, Meernik is working on projects related to ex-combatants and victims, social entrepreneurship, and transitional justice with organizations and universities in Colombia. He teaches introductory American government courses, peace studies, transitional justice, international crisis prediction, and international criminal law courses.
From 2003-2008 Meernik was the associate editor of the flagship journal of the International Studies Association, International Studies Quarterly. He co-led a UNT Study Abroad Program to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia that won the 2007 American Political Science Association award for the most innovative course in the United States.
Meernik has conducted research in Colombia, The Netherlands, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Arusha, Tanzania on transitional justice issues. He won a Fulbright Specialist grant to the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) in 2009 to teach a course on post-conflict peacebuilding, and another Fulbright Specialist award in 2013 to lecture and develop a curriculum with Soochow University in Taiwan. He has authored over eighty articles and book chapters and has authored or co-edited ten books on transitional justice, international courts, and US foreign policy.
Over the course of his career, he has served as the chair of the department of political science, (2002 - 2008); associate dean of the college of arts and sciences (2009); American Council on Education Fellow (2009-2010); acting dean of the Toulouse Graduate School (2010-2012); coordinator for the social sciences division, CLASS (2015-2020); chair of the department of technical communication (2020-2022); coordinator for the division of communication, media and performance (2020 - 2022).
His most recent publications include International Tribunals and Human Security (Rowman & Littlefield 2016); Judgment Day (Cambridge University Press 2017 with Rosa Aloisi); The Witness Experience (Cambridge University Press 2017 with Kimi King); Judging Justice (University of Michigan Press 2019 with Kimi King); and As War Ends: What Colombia Can Tell Us about the Sustainability of Peace and Transitional Justice. (Cambridge University Press co-edited with Mauricio Uribe and Jacqueline Demeritt).
Meernik earned his Ph.D. and Masters degrees, from Michigan State University ('92 and '88), followed by his Bachelor of Arts in political science and psychology from Grand Valley State University (1985).
Meernik began his interim duties Monday, August 1, 2022.