Posted 03/03/2023 | Back
Stop by to check out Dr. Spero's Faculty Spotlight display, as well as our Fitchburg State Faculty Publication bookshelf located on the Library first floor near the entrance.
Josh Spero, Ph.D., born in Washington, DC, when his father worked with Robert F. Kennedy to create the domestic peace corps (AmeriCorps today), grew up determined to work as a public servant in the government, particularly with a mother whose public teaching career spans 60 years; note: his mom still trains teachers at 85 years old! After studying in Leningrad, USSR (summer 1985) after graduating from college and getting an M.A. in Soviet/East European Studies from the University of Michigan (1987), Josh served for 13 years in policy related research and planning positions: Library of Congress; Secretary of Defense’s policy offices; National Defense University’s research institute; Joint Chiefs of Staff’s NATO/European Office. From 1991-2000, Josh concurrently started and received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in International Relations/Central-East European Politics.
After moving with his wife and growing family back to MA in 2000, where they met in college in 1984, Josh transitioned to academia, becoming a Professor of Political Science with the Fitchburg State University Economics, History and Political Science Department, where he started teaching in 2002. He’s taught many different courses, always teaching his baseline introductory requirement – Introductory International Relations – and greatly enjoys teaching the numerous courses he’s designed: every fall, the Capstone Political Science Seminar, and, every two years, his Study Abroad Course in Political Science/History, Europe Today, when he takes his students to The Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. In Germany and Poland, Europe Today’s “Heart of Europe” trip gives his FSU students the opportunities to hold student-to-student discussions with FSU’s partners, Rhine-Waal University (Germany) and the University of Warsaw (Poland). He also welcomes any opportunity to teach his rotating electives: International Terrorism, American Foreign Policy, Government Decision-making, and International Law and Organizations. His favorite part of educating his students: helping them develop and advance career-building skills through simulation crisis management decision-making (SCMD) to serve publicly communities larger than themselves.
Through his SCMD methodology and teaching/research process, Josh collaborates with colleagues and mentors students, particularly research assistants, in analyzing foreign policy focused assessments. His case studies and simulation models particularly center on NATO and European Union challenges, especially affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on Europe’s security and U.S.-European ties. During his time at Fitchburg State, he’s published two books, the latest (2019) on Middle Powers and Regional Influence: Foreign Policy Junctures for Poland, South Korea, Bolivia (London: Rowman & Littlefield International) and numerous book chapters, articles, op-eds, and presentations, with his latest piece on “Ukraine’s Integration and Euro-Atlantic Security’s Transformation” (April 2022). This latter piece evolved from significant research trip to Poland (March 2022) with his Research Assistant and top Political Science student, Oscar Burgos-Pimentel, just two weeks after Russia’s expanded invasion of Ukraine, during which Mr. Burgos-Pimentel teamed-up with Josh and presented views with Polish students and faculty on “European Security and Transatlantic Relations.”
Josh lives in Massachusetts with his wife, a Unitarian Universalist Minister, and they have two sons, one a former U.S. Army Infantry Combat Platoon Leader, now transitioning toward international analysis for a top computer company, and the younger, an FSU sophomore majoring in Psychology. They cherish their dogs and seeing the life’s journeys unfold for their sons.
- “Partnerships for Peace,” chapter in Research Handbook on NATO (Edward Elgar Publishers), 2023.
- “Transatlantic Ties That Bind Europe” / The Hill (August 28, 2021)
- “Bridging the Transatlantic Divide Strengthens the US” / The Hill (January 12, 2021)
- “The U.S.-Iran Confrontation and Iraq’s Uncertain Fate – Yet Again,” Lowell Sun/Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise (January 2020); Republished as: “Faculty Perspective” Fitchburg State University (January 16, 2020)
- “Security Issues: NATO and Beyond” (revised chapter) in eds. Sharon Wolchik & Jane Curry. Central and East European Politics, 4th Edition (Rowman & Littlefield), 2018
- Middle Powers and Regional Influence: Critical Foreign Policy Junctures for Poland, South Korea, and Bolivia (Rowman & Littlefield International), 2018
- Bridging the European Divide: Middle Power Politics and Regional Security Dilemmas. (Rowman & Littlefield), 2004