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Risa Brooks
Risa Brooks, Ph.D.Marquette University

Wehr Physics Hall, 407

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3445
Curriculum Vitae

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Political Science

Allis Chalmers Associate Professor

Dr. Brooks is the Allis Chalmers Associate Professor of Political Science and a non-resident senior associate in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Dr. Brooks' research focuses on issues related to American and comparative civil-military relations, military effectiveness, and militant & terrorist organizations; she also has a regional interest in the Middle East. She is the author of Shaping Strategy: The Civil-Military Politics of Strategic Assessment (Princeton University Press, 2008) and editor (with Elizabeth Stanley) of Creating Military Power: The Sources of Military Effectiveness(Stanford University Press, 2007), as well as many articles in the field of international security. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego and her professional experiences include positions as Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London, U.K.), Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), and a predoctoral affiliation with the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. For the 2017-2019 academic years she is also an adjunct scholar at the Modern War Institute at West Point. She is currently an associate editor of International Security

Dr. Brooks' current research includes a book project (with Peter White) that evaluates the nature and implications of “political control of the military” in authoritarian regimes. It includes a new theory of variation in political control, which is evaluated with large-n quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis in cases selected from around the world, including several from the Middle East and North Africa. Her research on the United States focuses on issues of military professionalism, military advice and civilian control of the military. An additional current project explores the implications for territorial safe havens for the incidence of complex terror attacks in Europe and the United States and includes data collection of terrorist attacks in both regions. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Brooks remains engaged with policy debates related to her areas of expertise, and national security more broadly.


Ph.D., UC-San Diego, 2000

Courses Taught

  • POSC 4376 National Security Policy
  • POSC 4631 World Conflict & Security | Syllabus
  • POSC 4931 Terrorism | Syllabus



  • Shaping Strategy: The Civil-Military Politics of Strategic Assessment (Princeton University Press, 2008)
  • Creating Military Power: The Sources of Military Effectiveness (Stanford University Press, 2007) (co-edited with Elizabeth Stanley). 

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Integrating the Civil-Military Relations Sub-Field" Annual Review of Political Science (forthcoming 2019).
  • "Improving Strategic Assessment in the Executive Branch: Lessons from the Scholarly Literature" in Heidi B. Demarest and Erica D. Borghard, eds. U.S. National Security Reform: Reassessing the National Security Act of 1947 (Routledge, 2019).
  • "Territorial Havens and the Risk of Complex Attacks in the United States," in Feisal al-Istrabadi and Sumit Ganguly, eds. The Future of ISIS: Regional and International Implications. (Brookings Institution Press, 2018).



Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Political Science
Wehr Physics Building, Room 468
1420 W. Clybourn St. 
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-6842

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