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Dr. Thomas C. Bruneau

Professor Thomas Buneau (center) at the Nepal Army Command and Staff College. Status
Professor Emeritus


Research Interests

Latin American and Iberian Security, Civil-Military Relations and Democratic Consolidation, Politics in Portugal, Democratic Control of Intelligence Organizations

Thomas Bruneau is a Distinguished Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. He joined the NSA Department in 1987 after having taught in the Department of Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada since 1969. Dr. Bruneau became Chairman of the Department in 1989, and continued in that position until 1995. He became Director of the Center for Civil Military Relations in November 2000, a position he held until December 2004. He continues to serves as the Regional Director for Latin America for the center. He has researched and written extensively on Latin America, especially Brazil, and Portugal. Dr. Bruneau has published more than a dozen books in English and Portuguese as well as articles in journals including Latin American Research Review, Comparative Politics, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Journal of Latin American Studies, Encyclopedia of Democracy, and South European Society and Politics.

A native of California, Professor Bruneau received his B.A. from California State University at San Jose and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a Fulbright scholar to India (1962-63) and to Brazil (1985-86), and has been awarded fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the International Development Research Centre, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Luso-American Development Foundation . He has traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe, and Africa with shorter trips to Asia. He has been leading seminars for CCMR for several years in Latin America and Southern Africa.

In addition to his position as Professor in the NSA Department, Professor Bruneau was the Academic Associate for the curriculum in International Security and Civil-Military Relations from its founding in 1996 until 2002. Between 1998 and 2001 he served as rapporteur of the Defense Policy Board which provides the Secretary of Defense and his staff with independent and informed advice on questions of national security and defense policy.

Teaching Interests

  • Comparative Politics
  • Civil-Military Relations
  • Intelligence Reform
  • Latin American Security
  • Democratic Consolidation


  • Department of the Navy, Superior Civilian Service award, November 2004
  • Distinguished Professor of National Security Affairs award, September 2005
  • President of Mongolia award on 800 Anniversary of Great Mongolian State, July 2006


Recent Books:

  • Co-editor, with Scott Tollefson, of Who Guards the Guardians and How: Democratic Civil – Military Relations (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006). Also published in Chinese. 
  • Also published by University of Texas Press, with CDR Steve Boraz, Reforming Intelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness
  • Co-edited with Harold Trinkunas, Global Politics of Defense Reform, was published by Palgrave – Macmillan in February 2008. 
  • Forthcoming co-edited with Lucia Dammert and Jeanne Giraldo, is on the Central American street gangs, or maras, will be published by the University of Texas Press in 2011. 
  • Single-authored, book written while on sabbatical leave at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation in 2008-09, is on U.S. Civil-Military Relations and the Implications of Private Security Contractors, and will be published by Stanford University Press in 2011.

Other Publications:

  • "Portugal," in Encyclopedia of Democracy, 1995
  • "The Role of the Provisional Governments in the Democratic Transition," in Juan J. Linz and Yossi Shain, Between States: Interim Governments in Transitions to Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)- (with Mario Bacalhau)
  • Attitudes, Opiniones e Comportamentos Politicos dos Portugueses: 1973-1993 (Lisbon: Edicoes Heptagono, 1995)- and (with Mario Bacalhau),
  • "Political Crisis and Unemployment: Popular Perceptions in Post-Revolution Portugal," in Nancy Bermeo, ed., Unemployment in Southern Europe: Coping with the Consequences (London: Frank Cass, 2000).
  • Political Parties and Democracy in Portugal (Boulder: Westview Press, 1997).
  • "Intelligence and Democratization: The Challenge of Control in New Democracies," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Fall 2001
  • "Democracy, Southern European Style?" With P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, Richard Gunther, Arend Lijphart, Leonardo Morlino, and Risa Brooks in P. Nikiforos Diamandouros and Richard Gunther (eds), Politics in the New Southern Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001)
  • Edited, with Harold Trinkunas, Global Politics of Defense Reform (NY: Palgrave-Macmillan Publishers, February 2008)


  • Keywords: Civil-Military Relations, Democratic Consolidation, International Security, Democratic Control of Intelligence Services

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