United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Paul Bezerra

Assistant Professor of Military & Strategic Studies

Department of Military & Strategic Studies

Paul Bezerra
Contact Information

(719) 333-3974




Paul Bezerra joined the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2019 after working as the National Security Affairs Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College (2018) and earning a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona (2017). His research focuses on economic statecraft and corresponding political resistance and cooperation. His research has appeared in International Interactions, Foreign Policy Analysis, Public Choice, and International Studies Review. He is a co-principal investigator on the Correlates of War Project’s Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data set and the Militarized Interstate Dispute Location (MIDLOC) data set. Before pursuing his Ph.D., Paul worked in nonprofits and city government in Dallas and New York, served as an AmeriCorps national service volunteer in Fresno County, California, and helped develop and deliver a management training program for nongovernmental organizations in Duhok, Iraq.


Ph.D., Government & Public Policy (Dr. Thomas J. Volgy, advisor), School of Government & Public Policy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (2017)

Master of Art., Diplomacy & International Relations, John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy & International Relations, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey (2012)

Master of Public Administration, Public Administration, Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey (2012)

Bachelor of Art, Psychology, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California (2008)

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Department of Military & Strategic Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, Colorado (2019 – Present)

National Security Affairs Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, National Security Affairs Department, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island (2018 – 2019)

Instructor, School of Government & Public Policy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (2017 – 2018)

Honors & Awards

Aspen Strategy Group Rising Leader, 2021.

Outstanding Academy Educator Award for Excellence in Education, 2021.

Dr. Dorri Karolick Award for Excellence in Educational Technology, 2021.

Michael P. Sullivan Graduate Research Award in International Relations, University of Arizona, 2016. 

Research and Scholarly Interests

International Relations; Economic Statecraft; Status-Seeking Behaviors; Spatial/Localized Patterns of Political Unrest. 



Bezerra, Paul & Erik Jacobs. 2022. “CTRL + ALT + DELETE: Resetting U.S. China Policy.” In On the Rise: Perspectives on Policy. Washington, D.C.: Aspen Strategy Group.

Volgy, Thomas J., Paul Bezerra, Jacob Cramer, & J. Patrick Rhamey, Jr. 2017. “The Case for Comparative Regional Analysis in International Politics.” International Studies Review 19 (3): 452 – 480. 

Bezerra, Paul, & Alex Braithwaite. 2016. “Locating Foreign Aid Commitments in Response to Political Violence.” Public Choice 169 (3-4): 333 – 355. 

Miller, Jennifer L., Jacob Cramer, Thomas J. Volgy, Paul Bezerra, Megan Hauser, & Christina Sciabarra2015. “Norms, Behavioral Compliance, & Status Attribution in International Politics.” International Interactions 41 (5): 779 – 804. 

Bezerra, Paul, Jacob Cramer, Megan Hauser, Jennifer Miller, & Thomas J. Volgy. 2015. “Going for the Gold versus Distributing the Green: Foreign Policy Substitutability & Complementarity in Status Enhancement Strategies.” Foreign Policy Analysis 11 (3): 253 – 272. 


Volgy, Thomas J., Kelly Marie Gordell, & Paul Bezerra. 2020. “Crucial Fault Lines in the Middle East: Inter-State Rivalries in Comparative Perspective.” In Imad Mansour & William R. Thompson (eds.), Shocks & Rivalry: Whatever Happened to Interstate Antagonisms in the Middle East. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 

Volgy, Thomas J., Kelly Marie Gordell, Paul Bezerra, & J. Patrick RhameyJr. 2017. “Conflict, Regions, & Regional Hierarchies.” In William R. Thompson (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory. New York: Oxford University Press. 


“Militarized Interstate Dispute Location Dataset (MIDLOC-A/I), v2.1,” (with Alex Braithwaite). Available at: http://correlatesofwar.org/data-sets/MIDLOC. 

“Cross Domain Deterrence: Basing Strategy & Power Projection,” (with Clara Suong, Erik Gartzke, & Alex Braithwaite).