Hensel 2011 Constitution Day photo

I am a Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. My curriculum vitae gives much more detail about my teaching and research; this current page gives some further details about my background and interests outside of work.

My Background

I was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan -- the home of Ted Nugent and his bow-hunting shop, the NFL's Tony Dungy, Michigan State Prison (now closed), Michigan International Speedway, the Michigan Space Center (now closed) and several astronauts, the "world-famous illuminated Cascades Falls," two pro golfers (Dave and Mike Hill), and more than twenty public golf courses, as well as birthplace of the Republican Party. My birthday, February 12, is the same day on which both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born in 1809 (see also the Abraham Lincoln Association, Abraham Lincoln Online and The History Place's Lincoln feature, as well as The Darwin Page).

Some might argue that being born on Lincoln's birthday predisposed me to a career in Political Science, and that being born on Darwin's birthday predisposed me to pursuing an evolutionary approach in studying international conflict and rivalry. Others, of course, might be a bit more skeptical. Along these same lines, I have ancestors from almost every territory that Germany has ever lost, including Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia), Posen [map] (now Ksiestwo Poznanskie, Poland), and Pommern/Pomerania [map] (now Pomorze, Poland), as well as both Elsass/Alsace and Lothringen/Lorraine [map] (now Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, and Moselle, France). Some might suggest that this family history predisposed me to studying territorial disputes for a living; again, others might be a bit more skeptical.


I earned my B.A. degree in 1991 at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, I studied Political Science and worked for the Correlates of War research project. I also played trombone in the Michigan Marching Band for four years.

Singer-Ray-Hensel picture
Three generations of the Correlates of War Project:
J. David Singer, James Lee Ray, and Paul Hensel
(picture taken February 1996 at Florida State University)

I then went to graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I studied Political Science, and worked at the Merriam Lab for Analytic Political Research. My main field in Political Science was International Relations, with minor fields in Methodology and Comparative Politics. I received my M.A. in 1993 and my Ph.D. in 1996.

For thirteen years I taught in the Department of Political Science at Florida State University in Tallahassee, before moving to the Department of Political Science at the University of North Texas in Denton. My research focuses on international conflict, with an emphasis on conflict over territory and on the evolution of rivalries between nation-states. I primarily teach courses in international relations theory, international conflict, and research methods. My curriculum vitae on the Web includes links to syllabi for classes I have taught, copies of my publications, and a listing of my current research projects; I also have separate web pages devoted to my teaching, research, and the ICOW Project, a research project that takes up much of my time.


Outside of work, and possibly the main reason that FSU and UNT hired me, I used to play on several (now-defunct) departmental athletic teams. At FSU I played fullback for our city league soccer team ("The Machine") for fifteen semester-long seasons (during which I only scored one goal, but I rarely gave up goals to opposing players). I also played a variety of positions for our coed and men's intramural and city league softball teams ("Standard Error," "The Outliers," and "Robots Cellmate") at both FSU and UNT (I was an average fielder and batted over .500, although with only three home runs and six triples in over 200 games). I am married and have a son, who is a much better athlete than I ever was, as well as three dogs. My hobbies include cooking (particularly Mexican, German, and Mediterranean foods) and gardening (particularly growing tomatoes, chile peppers, and plants that attract hummingbirds).


Since I grew up in southern Michigan, most of my sports loyalties are to teams from that area.


Favorite reading on the Web:


I also follow the weather pretty closely. Here are a few favorite sites:

Other Hensels

Besides my own web site, there are a number of Hensels and Hensel-related sites on the Web. As far as I can tell, none of them are related to me, but there is always some remote chance. Here are some of the most interesting:

Hensel People

Hensel Park photo

Hensel Places

Other Pauls

Royal Pauls

Religious Pauls

Hurricane Pauls

Other Pauls

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Last updated: 5 June 2020
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