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 the Constructing International Security: Alliances, Deterrence, and Moral Hazard from 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 and racial bias on voters’ decisions in the US presidential election.
Benson teaches courses on international relations, international political strategy, Chinese politics, East Asian crises, and formal methods.
Benson received a Ph.D. (Political Science) and a a M.A. (Economics) from Duke University. He was a POSCO Visiting Fellow in residence at the East-West Center in Honolulu, HI in 2011 to work on counter-proliferation strategies directed toward North Korea’s nuclear program. Benson was also a Formal-Quantitative Research Fellow in residence at Princeton University in 2011-2012 where he began working on understanding the global market for arms.