hero image
Jeremy Pressman, Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Jeremy Pressman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of Middle East Studies | University of Connecticut


Dr. Pressman specializes in the Arab-Israeli peace process, US foreign policy, and the scope of political protests in the United States.



Jeremy Pressman (MIT, PhD) studies international relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East politics, and U.S. foreign policy. He is writing a book on force and diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Pressman has held fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut. Pressman previously worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Political Protests

Middle East Peace Process

Arab-Israeli Conflict

Education (2)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Political Science 2002

Brandeis University: B.A., Politics and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies 1991

Accomplishments (1)

Alan Bennett Award (professional)

Awarded by the Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut.


Media Appearances (32)

Israel/Palestine & the Myths and Realities of the 2000 Camp David Summit

Parallax Views Podcast  online


On this edition of Parallax Views, the University of Connecticut's Prof. Jeremy Pressman, Director of Middle East Studies at UConn and author of The Sword is Not Enough: Arabs, Israelis, and the Limits of Military Force, joins the show to discuss the myths of the 2000 Camp David Summit and Taba talks. During recent appearances in media programs such as Morning Joe w/ Joe Scarborough, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought up the old trope that "the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" that is often invoked when discussing PLO leader Yasser Arafat and the 2000 Camp David Summit. This is used to say that Arafat failed the Palestinian people and "rejected an offer". It's also a talking point used to justify use of military force rather than pursuing a political solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. It forecloses on the possibility of a diplomatic solution or peace being achieved by saying the Palestinians are "not ready" for peace. Prof. Jeremy Pressman wrote a researched, footnoted piece entitled "Visions in Collision: What Happened at Camp David and Taba?" that pushes back on this oversimplified narrative of the Clinton-era diplomatic negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.

view more

As campus protests linger, parents anxiously watch from afar

The Boston Globe  print


Opposition to the Israel-Hamas war, of course, goes beyond college students. About 75 percent of protests in the United States against it occurred away from academic institutions, said Jeremy Pressman, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut. But since April 15, more than half of the protests have been tied to colleges and universities, according to a project jointly run by Harvard Kennedy School and UConn.

view more

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Calls on Israel to Hold New Elections

Voice of America  online


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Israel to hold new elections and for Israel must make "significant course corrections" to achieve lasting peace with the Palestinians, criticizing the actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. International Edition host Steve Miller speaks with Jeremy Pressman, political science professor and director of Middle East Studies at the University of Connecticut about the remarks, possible implications for US-Israeli ties, and the war.

view more

Why the Gaza Strip is at the centre of the Israel-Hamas war

CBC Kids News  online


At the centre of the war between Israel and Hamas is a place called the Gaza Strip. Hamas runs the government in Gaza. They also operate a militant wing. Militants are groups of people who often use aggressive or violent actions in support of a cause. Hamas militants launched a brutal attack from Gaza on Oct. 7. That attack killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, according to the Israeli government.

view more

EXPLAINER: Why Israel Is Facing a Democratic Crisis

U.S. News and World Report  online


But while the situation has calmed – for now – some predict the people of Israel are likely to stay on edge due to broader concerns about the state of the country’s democracy. “There’s an overwhelming amount of pressure in Israeli society,” says Jeremy Pressman, a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut and expert on subjects including protests and Middle East politics.

view more

Sen. Chris Murphy makes bipartisan plea for a ceasefire in the Middle East as others, including President Biden, join call to stop bloodshed

Hartford Courant  print


The increasingly vocal advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians reflects a growing schism within the Democratic Party over Israel, said Jeremy Pressman, an associate professor of political science and director of Middle East studies at the University of Connecticut. “Some people in the Democratic Party are much more open to the Palestinian position and focusing on Palestinian rights than was true maybe 10 years ago ... but definitely going back 20-30 years,” Pressman said.

view more

Tucker Carlson Says Derek Chauvin Verdict Taught BLM That 'Violence Works'

Newsweek  print


A Washington Post study examined 7,305 racial justice protests that occurred across the U.S. from May to June of 2020. It found low levels of violence and property destruction across all the protests. "Most of the violence that did take place was, in fact, directed against the BLM protesters [by police and counter-protesters]," the study's authors, Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman wrote. "Our data suggest that 96.3 percent of events involved no property damage or police injuries, and in 97.7 percent of events, no injuries were reported among participants, bystanders or police."

view more

Debate rages over whether race had role in police response to Capitol riot

ABC News Radio  online


Critics contend the stark contrast between the massive law enforcement response to recent BLM protests in Washington, D.C., and its weak performance during the Capitol riots is evidence of the double standard they allege can be found not just in the nation's capital but in police agencies across the country. "To see the police response against Black Lives Matter protesters over the late spring and summer with a very different response on January 6, was quite striking," Jeremy Pressman, an associate professor of political science and director of Middle East Studies at the University of Connecticut, told ABC News. "And certainly one of the explanations for that was the different racial composition of the crowds at those two protests and the different particular aims and grievances of those crowds."

view more

Foreign Policy Gets Little Attention but Still Looms Over the Election

Courthouse News Service  online


It’s not solely Afghanistan and Iran, vestiges of America’s War on Terror, which has receded into the background, according to foreign policy experts. “In some of the recent elections, foreign policy was so central to the debates because ongoing wars were so central at the time,” said Jeremy Pressman, a foreign policy expert at the University of Connecticut.

view more

Black Lives Matter beyond America’s big cities

Washington Post  online


The demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd have seen millions of Americans take to the streets on bicycles, horses, surfboards and boats, skateboards, in cars or on foot. It is the largest sustained mobilization in the United States in our lifetimes. Data from the Crowd Counting Consortium gives a sense of the scale of these protests. So far, we’ve counted 5,000 individual anti-racism/anti-police-brutality protests nationwide since the end of May, involving millions of participants. In fact, data from Pennsylvania (which we have studied most intensively) suggest that our national count still underestimates the number of protests in small cities and towns. The real national total may be as high as 8,000. Here are some key findings so far.

view more

Tracking Protests: UConn Professor Analyzing Data on Nationwide Protests

NBC Connecticut  tv


"We are seeing something unusual in U.S. protests, which is the combination of sustained protests with large protests," explained Jeremy Pressman, co-director of the Crowd Counting Consortium and an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. Pressman, along with his colleagues, have been tracking the nationwide protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after pleading for air as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for several minutes.

view more

Researchers asked hundreds of George Floyd protesters about the 2020 election. All said they'd vote for Biden over Trump or anyone else.

Business Insider  online


University of Connecticut political scientist Jeremy Pressman and his colleague Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard, have been tracking protests in the Trump era and documenting their size and scope. Pressman told Insider the US was experiencing a "watershed moment."

view more

Women’s March Connecticut to hold press conferences instead of a march this year

Hartford Courant  print


Jeremy Pressman, a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut who studies social movements and tracks crowd size, said that the massive 2017 Women’s March rallies have already had a lasting impact. The 2017 demonstrations signified “the single largest day of protests in history" and engaged tens of thousands of women who were not deeply involved in politics, he said.

view more

‘Nobody needs another pink hat’: Why the Women’s March is struggling for relevance

Washington Post  print


“Burnout is real,” said Jeremy Pressman, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut and co-creator of the Crowd Counting Consortium, which tracks attendance at large-scale protests. “Yes, there is protest fatigue, but it’s also incredibly hard for people to sustain high levels of engagement with a polarized, 24/7 news environment for years at a time. You see more and more activists who are opting to do other things: donating, volunteering, running for their local school board or city council.”

view more

CT reacts to killing of Iranian military leader

Hearst Connecticut Media  print


Pressman said it’s “too early to say” what kind of repercussions the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani will have in Iran, Iraq or in other countries like Saudi Arabia or Lebanon, in part because it’s not known yet how much planning went into the decision. “The Trump administration is an administration that, on foreign policy, has not demonstrated that it usually plans much in advance,” he said. “You want to have thought what ways Iran could respond, and how you are going to defend yourselves in those situations and respond to those situations.”

view more

After rush-hour traffic disruptions, D.C. protesters look to escalate tactics

Washington Post  print


“One thing to consider with protests is who is the intended audience? Who are the protesters trying to reach?” said Jeremy Pressman, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut and co-founder of the Crowd Counting Consortium, which tracks protests. “Under President Trump, there have been a fair number of big-issue protests where lots of people got arrested. But most of the ones we’ve seen were directed at lawmakers — people being arrested at the Capitol or inside federal buildings. And that’s a different audience than when you’re standing in traffic, messing up people’s rush hour. You’re taking your issue directly to the people.”

view more

The anti-Trump ‘Lights for Liberty’ events might be the most significant protests you’ve never heard of.

Washington Post  online


Two weeks ago, “Lights for Liberty” protests were held throughout the country. Their purpose, according to the protest organizers’ main website, was “to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants” detained by the United States at the southern border. These protests received limited national media attention, certainly less than the Women’s March. But a careful look at the data shows these protests may be more significant than one might assume.

view more

Critics Say Plan Does Not Deal With Causes of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Al Jazeera  tv


UConn's Jeremy Pressman weighs in on Jared Kushner's proposed Israel-Palestine peace plan in this segment with Al Jazeera News.

view more

Turnout at last weekend’s impeachment marches was modest. Why?

Washington Post  online


After more than two years of counting political crowds daily, we can conclude that protest mobilization in the United States remains a powerful mode of political participation. For instance, we’re still tallying events from the March 14 Climate Strike, which appears to have drawn 1 million to 2 million participants worldwide, including 40,000 to 50,000 people in the United States. But the demonstrations at the impeachment rallies, held June 14 to 16 in at least 139 locations through the United States, seemed relatively modest. We’ve found local news coverage for 20 percent of the protests and crowd size estimates for only about 40 percent. With fewer than 3,000 participants counted, it appears as though the rallies drew much smaller crowds than, say, the Women’s Marches, the Climate Strikes, the March for Our Lives or various other large demonstrations since President Trump’s inauguration.

view more

Trump’s Golan Heights tweet disregards decades of U.S. commitment to U.N. resolutions

Washington Post  online


On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that “it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights.” That U.S. move is fully in line with the Trump administration’s close embrace of Israel’s right-wing government but breaks with decades of U.S. policy and United Nations resolutions.

view more

The 2019 Women’s March was bigger than you think

Washington Post  online


After two years of counting political crowds in the United States, we find that public demonstrations remain a powerful medium for people who wish to be involved politically. A significant proportion of the country’s population continues to reject President Trump’s agenda — and to put feet to pavement to make that point visible.

view more

3 ways to look at August’s protests — and 2 charts showing all protests since January 2017

Washington Post  online


For August, we tallied 573 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins, rallies and walkouts in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. This is a modest decline in the average number of events since Donald Trump took office.

view more

Tens of thousands of people protested in April and May — on topics like gun violence, labor rights and science

Washington Post  online


For April, we tallied 3,773 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins, rallies and walkouts in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. For May, we tallied 1,030 such events. Our conservative guess is that between 342,319 and 353,403 people showed up at political gatherings in April, and between 97,738 and 102,188 showed up in May, although it is likely there were more participants in both months.

view more

Did you attend the March for Our Lives? Here’s what it looked like nationwide.

Washington Post  online


On March 24, Parkland, Fla., high school students — in coalition with people nationwide — organized massive public rallies to support gun regulation, safer schools and safer communities. By our count, the March for Our Lives event brought out 1,380,666 to 2,181,886 people at 763 locations — making it the third-largest day of demonstrations since President Trump’s inauguration launched an extraordinary period of national political mobilization. As The Washington Post reported recently, nearly 1 in 5 Americans says they have attended a rally or protest since the beginning of 2016.

view more

January’s Women’s March brought out more than a million people — and many more also protested during the month

Washington Post  online


For January 2018, we tallied 1,040 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 2,441,891 and 3,384,073 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. For 21 percent of the events we listed this month, we lacked an estimate of the size of the crowd.

view more

One year after the Women's March on Washington, people are still protesting en masse. A lot. We've counted.

Washington Post  online


The Crowd Counting Consortium is one year old. Since the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017, we have recorded more than 8,700 protests in the United States through Dec. 31, 2017. This map gives a sense of the geographic and ideological distribution of the crowds. About 74 percent of those protests were either against Trump administration policy or on issues that conflicted with the president’s viewpoint, such as protests against specific police shootings of black people.

view more

Trump’s rhetoric on Jerusalem tells us a lot about what kind of Israeli-Palestinian proposal he’ll deliver

Washington Post  print


This week, President Trump declared that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As expected, the move drew praise from Israel’s right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and condemnation from a variety of Arab and Palestinian leaders. What will this decision mean for the possibility that the United States could lead negotiations toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Three things to know about Trump’s Jerusalem gambit.

view more

Trump’s attacks on #TakeaKnee and DACA spurred hundreds of protests in October

Washington Post  online


This is the 10th installment in a monthly series reporting on political crowds in the United States by Crowd Counting's Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut.

view more

Diplomat in chief: How did Trump do on his first Middle East visit?

The Conversation  print


As an expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and on Arab-Israeli relations, I think it is clear that Trump’s hopes for regional stability or an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement – outcomes that require detailed policy – rest on shaky ground. Will he go beyond merely meeting Israeli and Saudi demands for positive public images and the exchange of kind words?

view more

The Exhausting Work of Tallying America's Largest Protest

The Atlantic  print


A pair of political science professors are combing through news stories and individual reports to estimate the number of people who demonstrated on Saturday.

view more

Women’s March On Washington Sets US Protest Record As Estimated 3.6-4.5 Million Marched

PoliticusUSA  online


"According to UConn Professor Jeremy Pressman’s Google document of crowd estimates the low-end estimate is 3.66 million marchers. The high-end estimate is 4.57 million. Whether it is the low or high estimate that is accurate the Women’s March On Washington shattered the previous record for the largest one-day protest in the United States..."

view more

More than 1 in 100 Americans marched against Donald Trump Saturday, say political scientists

Yahoo News  


"Drawing on reports of 526 different marches in towns as disparate as Wichita Falls, Texas — reported turnout: 150 people — and Washington, D.C. — reported turnout: more than 500,000 — University of Connecticut professor Jeremy Pressman, working with international relations professor Erica Chenoweth from the University of Denver, estimated that 3,341,823 to 4,611,782 people turned out to march across the nation..."

view more

Articles (6)

Throwing Stones in Social Science: Nonviolence, Unarmed Violence, and the First Intifada

Cooperation & Conflict

2017 Social scientists treat stone-throwing as a non-violent act or argue that protest movements may be primarily non-violent despite stone-throwing. However, this study of an iconic example, the first intifada (Palestinian uprising, 1987–1993), demonstrates that stone-throwing is better characterized as unarmed violence. Definitions of violence underscore that throwing rocks is a violent act. Moreover, informed observers and data collected on stone-induced injuries during four years of the intifada illustrate the bodily harm caused by stones. The throwing of stones was central to the intifada and its identity and definition. Stone-throwing was the most visible tactic Palestinians used in the first intifada. Lastly, most scholars emphasize the protestors’ perceptions when it might be that the targets’ perceptions matter more for understanding definitions of (non-)violence and subsequent policy changes. These findings challenge important social science work and the mainstream Israeli and Palestinian narratives about the first intifada.

view more

American Engagement and the Pathways to Arab–Israeli Peace

Cooperation and Conflict

2014 This close empirical study of decades of US efforts to bring peace between Arab states and Israel helps reflect on Arild Underdal and Oran R. Young’s leadership typologies. Distinguishing between coercive leadership based on the incentives and sanctions that robust capabilities make possible and instrumental leadership focused more on talking, skilled mediation, and policy innovation is useful...

view more

Explaining the Carter Administration’s Israeli–Palestinian Solution*

Diplomatic History

2013 This article challenges critics of the Camp David accords who acknowledge only limited accomplishments or contend the United States was covering for Israeli settlement expansion while seeking to thwart Palestinian self-determination. President Jimmy Carter and his administration sought to create a new pathway toward peace given the unwillingness of Israel’s right-wing government under ...

view more

Negotiating the Promised Land: The End of Innocence?

Israeli Studies Review

2010 How to address the Arab-Israeli conflict has become a central focus of every American president since Richard Nixon. As the decades pass, the direct search for a solution has been paralleled by repeated self-scrutiny by US participants and scholars. Beyond recording the flow of events, such works have themselves pored over the historical record in an effort to understand both past failings (and avoid ...

view more

Power Without Influence: The Bush Administration's Foreign Policy Failure in the Middle East

International Security

2009 The administration of President George W. Bush was deeply involved in the Middle East, but its efforts did not advance U.S. national security. In the realms of counterterrorism, democracy promotion, and nonconventional proliferation, the Bush administration failed to achieve its objectives. Although the United States did not suffer a second direct attack after September 11, 2001, the terrorism ...

view more

The Arab–Israeli Conflict and the Case of The Lemon Tree

International Studies Perspectives

2008 This article uses the The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan (2006) to demonstrate how one type of book, a literary non-fiction book written for popular audiences, can be used in a political science course such as one on the Arab–Israeli conflict. The book concisely presents multiple Arab–Israeli perspectives and enlivens the history and infuses it with both broader and deeper meaning. After a brief ...

view more