• Erica De Bruin

    I am an Assistant Professor of Government at Hamilton College, where I study international security and civil-military relations. I am particularly interested in understanding the dynamics of military coups, connections between different forms of political violence, and determinants of civilian support for armed groups.


    I received a PhD from the Department of Political Science at Yale University in 2014, and a BA in Political Science from Columbia University. I worked previously as a Research Associate in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Law at the Council on Foreign Relations and as a Research Associate in the Fellows Program at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.


    At Hamilton, I teach courses in international relations, including international security, civil-military relations, civil war, and U.S. foreign policy.

  • Research


    Peer reviewed

    • "Preventing Coups d’état: How Counterbalancing Works." (Forthcoming, Journal of Conflict Resolution)

    Other publications

    Work in progress

    • "Will There Be Blood? The Determinants of Violence During Coups d’état." (Under review)
    • “Would a Democratic Middle East Have Been More Peaceful? A Counterfactual Exercise.” With Bruce Russett. (Under review)
    • "War and Coercive Institutions in Developing States.” (Working paper)
    • "Measuring Counterbalancing." (Working paper)
  • State Security Forces Dataset

    A dataset of militarized police, republican guards, interior troops, and state-run militia


    The State Security Forces Data Set includes information on the command, composition, deployment, and strength of over 250 security forces in developing states. It was collected to test arguments about the effectiveness of "counterbalancing" the military with militarized police, national guards, militias, or other independent security forces as a coup-prevention strategy, but may also be of use in studies of civil war, military effectiveness, repression, and state-building.


    Thus far, I have drawn upon over 1,200 primary and secondary sources to conduct an initial wave of data collection in 65 countries. The sources include academic works on military institutions and civil-military relations in each state, historical news sources, annual defense publications, government websites, and reports from non-governmental organizations. A selected bibliography can be found here.


    A second round of data collection will begin this fall with the support of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Foundation. For more information, please email me at edebruin@hamilton.edu.

  • Teaching

    Courses taught at Hamilton

    Senior Seminar: Conflict and Violence, Spring 2017

    International Relations, Fall 2014, Spring 2019

    Honors Thesis, Fall 2016

    Civil War, Fall 2015

    U.S. Foreign Policy, Fall 2015

    International Security, Spring 2015

    Civil-Military Relations, Spring 2015

  • Contact

    Erica De Bruin

    Assistant Professor of Government

    Hamilton College

    198 College Hill Road

    Clinton, NY 13323


    Office: Kirner-Johnson Room 120

    (315) 859-4526 (office)