Dr. Charles Rowling

Professor and Chair

Office: COPH 220A   |    Phone: (308) 865-8171   |    Email: rowlingcm@unk.edu

Dr. Charles Rowling


B.A., University of Nebraska at Kearney
Ph.D., University of Washington
Hometown: Kearney, NE
Joined UNK Faculty: 2012

International Relations

The study of international relations focuses on the interactions among nation-states, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, transnational corporations and other actors within the international system. Important questions include:

  • Why do states behave the way that they do? What are the key motivations, processes and constraints that guide their behavior within the international system?
  • How do culture, ideas and identity shape international relations?
  • What are the primary causes of war and conflict? How and why has the nature and frequency of war and conflict within the international system changed over time?
  • What are the causes of and obstacles to international peace and cooperation?
  • How and in what ways do (and should) international law, human rights and international organizations shape how actors interact within the international system?

On working with undergraduate students:

Working with students is the highlight of what I do at UNK. Witnessing students mature and progress as students and citizens during their undergraduate education -- and being involved in that process -- is such a gratifying and rewarding experienceI benefited so much from the mentorship and guidance I received during my time as an undergraduate student at UNK and I only hope to provide the same for students during their time here. It really is a privilege to work here and to be a part of the UNK community.

Favorite quasi-political quote(s):

"Chamberlain. You could hold his head in the toilet and he'd still give you half of Europe." - Seinfeld



  • Introduction to International Relations (PSCI 168)
  • The Institutions and Processes of the United Nations (PSCI 269)
  • The Politics and Law of International Human Rights (PSCI 320)
  • International Law and Organizations (PSCI 368)
  • American Foreign Policy (PSCI 370)
  • U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East (PSCI 434)
  • War in World Politics (PSCI 468)

Recent Publications

Penelope Sheets, Charles M. Rowling, Jason Gilmore, and Niklas Melcher. (in press). “Us and Them: Social identity, framing effects and public opinion in response to military atrocities.” Mass Communication and Society.

James M. Scott, Charles M. Rowling, and Timothy Jones. (in press) “Interests and visibility: The conditional effects of donor interests, media attention, and democratic change on US democracy aid, 1975-2010.” Al Azimuth.

Charles M. Rowling and Joan M. Blauwkamp. (in press). “Hear no evil, see no evil: Motivated reasoning and the effects of message framing on US public opinion of drone warfare.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

Charles M. Rowling, Jason Gilmore and Patrick McCue. (in press). "Against the grain: The Israel Lobby, elite consensus and press independence in the wake of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War." Journalism Studies.

Jason Gilmore and Charles M. Rowling. (2021) Exceptional me: How Donald Trump exploited the discourse of American exceptionalism. London: I.B. Taurus/Bloomsbury Publishing.

Jason Gilmore, Charles M. Rowling, Jason Edwards and Nicole Allen. (2020). “Exceptional ‘we’ or exceptional ‘me’? Donald Trump, American exceptionalism, and the remaking of the modern jeremiad.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, 50(3), 539-567.

James M. Scott, Charles M. Rowling and Timothy Jones. (2020). “Democratic openings and country visibility: Media attention and the allocation of US democracy aid, 1975-2010.”Foreign Policy Analysis, 16(3), 373-396.

Charles M. Rowling. (2019). “Social Identity Theory and Communication.” In P. Moy (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.

Jason Gilmore and Charles M. Rowling. (2019). “Partisan patriotism in the American presidency: American exceptionalism, issue ownership, and the Age of Trump.” Mass Communication and Society, 22(3), 389-416.

Joan Blauwkamp, Charles M. Rowling, and William Pettit. (2018). “Are Americans really okay with torture? The effects of message framing on public opinion.” Media, War and Conflict, 11(4), 446-475.

Jason Gilmore and Charles M. Rowling. (2018). “Lighting the beacon: Presidential discourse, American exceptionalism, and public diplomacy in global contexts.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, 48(2), 271-291.

Charles M. Rowling, Penelope Sheets, William Pettit, and Jason Gilmore. (2018). “Consensus at home, opposition abroad: Officials, foreign sources and U.S. news coverage of drone warfare.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 95(4), 886-908.

Jason Gilmore and Charles M. Rowling. (2017). “A Post-American World? Assessing the Cognitive and Attitudinal Impacts of Challenges to American Exceptionalism.” The Communication Review, 21(1), 46-65.

Jason Gilmore and Charles M. Rowling. (2017) “America in decline? Assessing the impact of international challenges to American exceptionalism.” International Journal of Communication, 11, 137-157.

Jason Gilmore, Penelope Sheets, and Charles M. Rowling (2016). “Make no exception, save one: American exceptionalism, the American presidency, and the Age of Obama.” Communication Monographs, 83 (4), 505-520.

Penelope Sheets, Charles M. Rowling, and Timothy M. Jones. (2015). “The view from above (and below): A comparison of American, British, and Arab news coverage of U.S. drones.” Media, War and Conflict, 8(3), 289-311.

Penelope Sheets and Charles M. Rowling. (2015). “When journalists say what a candidate doesn’t: Race, nation and the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.” International Journal of Communication, 9, 3621-3643.

Charles M. Rowling, Jason Gilmore, and Penelope Sheets (2015). “When threats come from within: Cultural resonance, frame contestation, and the U.S. war in Afghanistan.” International Journal of Press/Politics, 20(4), 478-497.

Charles M. Rowling, Penelope Sheets, and Timothy M. Jones. (2015). “American atrocity revisited: National identity, cascading frames, and the My Lai Massacre.” Political Communication, 32, 310-30.

Charles M. Rowling, Penelope Sheets, and Timothy M. Jones. (2013). “Frame contestation in the news: National identity, cultural resonance, and U.S. drone policy.” International Journal of Communication, 7, 2231-2253.

Charles M. Rowling, Timothy M. Jones, and Penelope Sheets. (2011). “Some dared call it torture: Cultural resonance, Abu Ghraib, and a selectively echoing press.” Journal of Communication, 61, 1043-1061.

Research Interests

  • Media and U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Strategic Political Communication
  • U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • National Identity and International Conflict
  • Framing and Public Opinion