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, political economy of conflict, 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 from Cambridge University Press (2012). His current research focuses on the role of arms markets and arms trade networks in international politics. In particular, he is studying the structure of global markets for small arms and light weapons and how they relate to political violence. In addition, he is working on the politics of interstate conventional weapons transfers. Benson is also involved in a project that examines adaptive politics of threatened small states seeking to survive in the shadow of large state foes.
Benson teaches courses on international relations, politlical economy of conflict, 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 postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University in the Program for Quantitative and Analytical Political Science in 2010-2011. He was also a POSCO Visiting Fellow in residence at the East-West Center in Honolulu, HI in 2010 to work on counter-proliferation strategies directed toward North Korea’s nuclear program.