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) 333-9433




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 takes advantage of emerging data and technologies, such as geographic information systems (GIS), to understand 1) the local geography and context of political action as well as 2) how state actors transform humanitarian/development assistance into foreign policy cooperation and 3) what effects economic statecraft has on localized patterns of violence. To date, his research has appeared in International Interactions, Foreign Policy Analysis, Public Choice, International Studies Review, and he is a co-author on the Militarized Interstate Dispute Location (MIDLOC) dataset. 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

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. 



 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).