Jennifer L. Erickson

Jennifer L. Erickson is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Boston College. In the fall 2017 semester, she is also a Visiting Professor at MIT's Security Studies Program. Her current projects deal with global security governance and arms control, in the realms of humanitarian arms export controls; sanctions and arms embargoes; and new defense technologies and the creation of laws and norms of war. She has published or forthcoming articles and book chapters on humanitarian arms control, the US and  European arms trade, compliance with arms embargoes, and the UN Arms Trade Treaty process.

Erickson's book, Dangerous Trade: Conventional Arms Exports, Human Rights, and International Reputation, was published by Columbia University Press (2015) and was awarded the 2017 Best Book Award by the Foreign Policy Section of APSA. Dangerous Trade explains why major arms exporting democracies have come to support new humanitarian arms trade norms, articulated in the new UN Arms Trade Treaty and related multilateral initiatives, intended to restrict small and major conventional arms exports to human rights violators and conflict zones. Yet it also shows that states' compliance with new norms in practice has so far been limited. Dangerous Trade uses a multi-method approach with original statistical and interview data to make important and timely contributions to the study of international security and arms control, international reputation, norm diffusion and socialization, international law and regimes, and government transparency and accountability.

Erickson has conducted extensive fieldwork in the United States and Europe, where she was a research fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and the Wissenchaftszentrum (WZB) in Berlin. She has also been a Nuclear Security Faculty Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University (2016-17), a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Dartmouth College's Dickey Center for International Understanding (2009-10), and a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. She has a B.A. in Political Science from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University.