My primary research interest lies in the problems of foreign policy. I am interested in the ways that foreign policy is made, how it is implemented, and what effects those policies have on the relationships between states. My main research is on the dynamics of major conventional arms transfers both at the micro (state) and macro (international system) levels. I am interested in the macro-level question of long-term policy implications of the transfer of coercive capabilities between states, but also the micro-level decision-making that leads to it. I am also interested in the security of individuals and groups within states, and ways that security can be restored in conflict situations.

Published Papers

  • Johnson, Richard A.I. and Spencer L Willardson. 2018. “Human Rights and Democratic Arms Transfers: Rhetoric Versus Reality with Different Types of Major Weapon Systems,” International Studies Quarterly. Link
  • Willardson, Spencer L. 2016. “Detention as a Peacemaking Strategy: The 2007-08 Iraq Surge and US Detention.” Foreign Policy Analysis 12(3):275-294. Link
  • Solt, Frederick, Donkyu Kim, Kyu Young Lee, Spencer Willardson, and Seokdong Kim. 2014. Neoliberal Reform and Protest in Latin American Democracies: A Replication and Correction. Research and Politics, July-September 2014:1-13. Link
  • Willardson, Spencer L. 2013. Strategic Intelligence During COIN Operations: Relational Data and Understanding Latent Terror Networks. Defense and Security Analysis 29(1):42-53. Link

Working Papers

Data Sets