Thompson, the Donald A. Rogers Professor of Political Science at IU Bloomington, is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most important and productive scholars in the field of international politics. He is the author or co-author of 24 books and more than 150 articles and has published in the top journals of political science, international relations and comparative politics.
Much of his research involves the use of quantitative methods to study long-term patterns of change in the global system. He is a pioneer and a major proponent of a school of thought called the "long waves" or "long cycles" approach. One of the world's leading experts on the importance of sea power, he has focused particularly on theories about the importance of technological change and the rise of new industries as a major factor in international and domestic politics.
Thompson (B.A., '68, M.A., '69, Ph.D., '72, University of Washington) has been on the faculty at IU Bloomington since 1991. His books include Coping with Terrorism: Origins, Escalation, Counterstrategies, and Responses, The Comparative Analysis of Politics, Seapower in Global Politics, 1494-1993, On Global War: Historical-Structural Approaches to World Politics, and War and State Making: The Shaping of the Global Powers.
Thompson received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2020 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to Indiana University.