• Erica De Bruin

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    I am an Associate Professor of Government at Hamilton College. In the 2023-2024 academic year, I am on sabbatical in Washington, D.C., where I am a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at The George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs.


    My research and teaching focus on civil-military relations, civil war, and policing. My book, How to Prevent Coups d’état: Counterbalancing and Regime Survival (Cornell University Press), examines the ways which rulers attempt to 'coup-proof' their regimes. It shows that how rulers design their police and security forces affects their political survival.


    My research has been published or is forthcoming in journals including the American Political Science Review, Armed Forces & Society, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, and PS: Political Science & Politics. It has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Stanton Foundation, and elsewhere. I have also written for more public-facing outlets such as Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, and Political Violence at a Glance. My work and expert commentary have been featured in media venues including Bloomberg, MSNBC, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Slate, The Washington Post, and Vox. 


    I am currently working on projects on public support for anti-democratic behavior in the United States, the causes and consequences of global police militarization, and how civilians respond to competitive armed group governance.


    At Hamilton College, I direct the Policing Lab at the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center, and teach courses in international security. I received a PhD from the Department of Political Science at Yale University, and a BA from Columbia University. I have previously been a Research Associate in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Law at the Council on Foreign Relations, Non-Resident Fellow at the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Fellow with the Civil War Paths project at the Centre for the Comparative Study of Civil War at the University of York.


    In case you are interested, here is a recent podcast discussion of How to Prevent Coups.