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Brett V. Benson

Associate Professor
Affiliated Faculty, Asian Studies Program

Brett V. Benson is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University.  His research interests lie in the areas of international relations and Chinese politics and East Asian relations. He has worked on military alliances and interstate conflict and is the author of Constructing International Security: Alliances, Deterrence, and Moral Hazard (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His current research focuses on the role of weapons systems in international politics.  In particular, he is studying nuclear weapons and strategies countries use to reduce proliferation, the relationship between the sale of conventional weapons and military alliances, and the effects of small arms markets on intrastate conflicts.  In addition to his work on international relations topics, he is also involved in a project that examines the effect of religious bias on voters’ decisions in the US presidential election.

Representative publications

  • Benson, Brett V., Adam Meirowitz and Kristopher W. Ramsay. "Changing Capabilities, Uncertainty, and the Risk of War in Crisis Bargaining." Research and Politics, July-Sep (2016 ): 1-6. 
  • Benson, Brett V., and Joshua D. Clinton. "Assessing the Variation of Formal Military Alliances." Journal of Conflict Resolution, 60,5 (2016): 866-898.
  • Benson, Brett V., Adam Meirowitz and Kristopher Ramsay. “Inducing Deterrence Through Moral Hazard in Alliance Contracts.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 58, 2 (2014): 307-335.      
  • Benson, Brett V., Patrick Bentley and Jim Ray. “Ally Provocateur: Why Allies Do Not Always Behave.” Journal of Peace Research, 50, 1 (2013): 47-58.
  • Benson, Brett V. Constructing International Security: Alliances, Deterrence, and Moral Hazard. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Benson, Brett V. “Unpacking Alliances:  Deterrent and Compellent Alliances and Their Relationship with Conflict, 1816-2000.” Journal of Politics 73, 4 (2011): 1111-1127.
  • View Curriculum Vitae