Dr Richard Johnson



Personal statement

I joined the School of Government and Public Policy in 2013, after completing a PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Davis.  I also hold a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles along with an awesome AA in Liberal Arts from Long Beach Community College. 

My broad interests revolve around the arms trade, international conflict processes (and their effect on domestic politcal processes), and international conflict management.


A full CV can be downloaded from my webpage at: www.richard-johnson.net


Decision-making in the arms of a dependent relationship : explaining shifts in importer acquisition patterns of major weapon systems, 1955-2007
Johnson Richard AI
Defence and Peace Economics (2019)
Human rights and democratic arms transfers : rhetoric versus reality with different types of major weapon systems
Johnson Richard A I, Willardson Spencer L
International Studies Quarterly Vol 62, pp. 453-464 (2018)
The role and capabilities of major weapon systems transferred between 1950 and 2010 : empirical examinations of an arms transfer data set
Johnson Richard AI
Defence and Peace Economics Vol 28, pp. 272-297 (2017)
Arms trade
Johnson Richard AI
Trigger-happy? Military regimes and the timing of conflict
Siverson Randolph M, Johnson Richard AI
Conflict Management and Peace Science, pp. 1-32 (2016)
The effect of corruption on public health : the exceptional case of Sub-Saharan Africa
Siverson Randolph M, Johnson Richard AI

more publications


I teach/have taught:

  • L2201 - International Relations and Global Politics
  • L2312 - War, Terrorism, and Conflict
  • L2314 - US National Security Policy
  • L2426 - International Security: Concepts and Issues
  • L2941 - Principles of Research Design
  • L2963 - Contemporary Security Challenges and Responses

Research interests

My main research interests are in the following ares:

  • Arms trade; broadly defined and policy versus practice of individual states
  • Military aid allocation
  • Effects of arms transfers on international processes
  • Scientific study of conflict

The primary focus of my research revolves around arms transfers between states.  My doctoral thesis focused on how arms diffuse throughout the international system, how exporters and importers choose their arms transfer partners and why importers change their behaviour by diversifying their arms networks.

I am currently engaged in two main projects.  The first examines why the major powers choose to intervene (or not to intervene) in international conflict by supplying major weapon systems to the states directly involved.  The second examines the decision-making process of the United States’ arms sales policies in comparison to military aid policies to determine if similar factors are at work.  Both projects use extensive statistical analyses to test the hypotheses proposed.

Future work includes examining British arms transfers in comparison to the policies stated by the government in power since the end of World War II.  I am also interested in how deaths of British soldiers involved in conflict affects voter behaviour.

Professional activities

Boys and Their Toys: Leaders Prestige and the Import of Major Weapon Systems
European Journal of Political Economy (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Foreign Policy Analysis (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Human Rights and Democratic Arms Transfers: A Research Agenda
Conflict Management and Peace Science (Journal)
Peer reviewer
US Presidential Eelcetion for Scottish North America Business Council

more professional activities


Policy versus Practice in United Kingdom Arms Transfers
Johnson, Richard (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2017

more projects