United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Steven Radil

Assistant Professor of Geosciences

Department of Economics and Geosciences

Dr. Radil
Contact Information

(719) 333-3549




Dr. Radil is an Assistant Professor of Geospatial Science and a political geographer whose research examines the geographical dimensions of political violence. He's currently researching the spatial dynamics of insurgency and civil war and related armed conflicts. He has previously research the militarization of law enforcement in the U.S. and the issues involved in using geospatial technologies to explore political topics. Dr. Radil has regional expertise in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia and has published on a diverse set of political issues in those and other settings. He has written about topics including terrorism, interstate war, civil war, urban violence, participatory governance, and policing. He also has methodological expertise in spatial analysis, social network analysis, and Geographic Information Science and routinely use these tools in his work.

Geographical research often cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries and Dr. Radil frequently collaborates with a diverse set of scholars in geography, political science, criminology, sociology, and urban studies. His research has been published in Progress in Human Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, The Professional Geographer, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Space and Polity, and Territory, Politics, Governance among others. Dr. Radil has also co-authored a series of major reports on political violence in West Africa, including the recently published Borders and Conflicts in North and West Africa (OECD, 2022).

At USAFA, Dr. Radil teaches courses in human geography, including an upper-division courses in Military Geography (Geo 370) and Geography of International Conflicts (Geo 375) and an introductory course in Human Geography (Geo 250). He has previously taught courses in political geography, geopolitics, and urban geography as well as methods-focused courses in GIS, spatial analysis, and geovisualization.


PhD, Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011)

MA, Applied Geography, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (2007)

BA, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (2005)

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Geosciences (2020-present)

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Idaho (2014-2020)

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Ball State University (2011-2014)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Political Geography and Geopolitics

Geographies of Political Violence and International Conflict

Military Geography and Geographies of Militarism


2021. S. RADIL, I. Irmischer, and O. Walther. (2021). Contextualizing the Relationship Between Borderlands and Political Violence: A Dynamic Space-Time Analysis in North and West Africa. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 1-19. doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2021.1968926

2021. O. Walther, S. RADIL, D. Russell, and M. Trémolières. (2021). Introducing the Spatial Conflict Dynamics indicator of political violence. Terrorism and Political Violence, 1-20. doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2021.1957846

2021. R. Witinok-Huber, and S. RADIL. (2021). Introducing the Local Agricultural Potential Index: An approach to understand local agricultural extension impact for farmer adaptive capacity and gender equity. World Development Perspectives, 23, 100345. doi.org/10.1016/j.wdp.2021.100345

2021. R. Witinok-Huber, S. RADIL, D. Sarathchandra, and C. Nyaplue-Daywhea. Gender, place, and agricultural extension: A mixed-methods approach to understand farmer needs in Liberia. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension 27(4): 553-572. doi.org/10.1080/1389224X.2021.1880453

2021. C. Thompson, R. Dezzani, and S. RADIL. Modeling multiscalar influences on natural hazards vulnerability: a case study of coastal hazards in Sarasota County, Florida. GeoJournal 86: 507-528. doi/10.1007/s10708-019-10070-w

2020. S. RADIL, J. Castan Pinos, and T. Ptak. Borders resurgent: towards a post-Covid-19 global border regime? Space and Polity 25(1): 132-140. doi/10.1080/13562576.2020.1773254

2020. M. Anderson and S. RADIL. A Hard Binary to Shake: The Limitations and Possibilities of Teaching GIS Critically. The Canadian Geographer 64(6): 471-483. doi/10.1111/cag.12526

2019. S. RADIL and J. Castan Pinos. Reexamining the four waves of modern terrorism: a territorial interpretation. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 45(4): 311-330. doi/10.1080/1057610X.2019.1657310

2019. S. RADIL. A network approach to the production of geographic context using Exponential Random Graph Models. International Journal of Geographic Information Science 33(6): 1270-1288. doi/10.1080/13658816.2018.1563299

2019. S. RADIL and M. Anderson. Rethinking PGIS: Participatory or (Post)Political GIS? Progress in Human Geography 43(2): 195-213. doi/10.1177/0309132517750774

2022. M. Trémolières, O. Walther, and S. RADIL (eds.). Borders and Conflict in North and West Africa. West African Studies, OECD, Paris.

2021. M. Trémolières, O. Walther, and S. RADIL (eds.). Conflict Networks in North and West Africa. West African Studies, OECD, Paris. doi.org/10.1787/896e3eca-en

2020. M. Trémolières, O. Walther, and S. RADIL (eds). The Geography of Conflict in North and West Africa. West African Studies, OECD, Paris. doi.org/10.1787/2074353x

2020. S. RADIL and J-S Lee. Peace for prosperity? The geopolitics of the Korean peace process. In B. Warf (ed.), The Political Landscapes of Donald Trump, 265-279. Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Political-Landscapes-of-Donald-Trump/Warf/p/book/9780367197001.