Bio


Harold Trinkunas is the Deputy Director of and a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Prior to arriving at Stanford, Dr. Trinkunas served as the Charles W. Robinson Chair and senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on issues related to foreign policy, governance, and security, particularly in Latin America. Trinkunas has written on emerging powers and the international order, ungoverned spaces, terrorism financing, borders, energy security, drug policy and Internet governance.

Trinkunas co-authored Militants, Criminals and Warlords: The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder (Brookings Institution Press, 2017), Aspirational Power: Brazil’s Long Road to Global Influence (Brookings Institution Press, 2016) and authored Crafting Civilian Control of the Military in Venezuela (University of North Carolina Press, 2005). He co-edited and contributed to American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty (Stanford University Press, 2010), Global Politics of Defense Reform (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), and Terrorism Financing and State Responses (Stanford University Press, 2007).

Dr. Trinkunas has also previously served as an associate professor and chair of the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He received his doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 1999. He was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Academic Appointments


  • Sr Research Scholar, Center for International Security and Cooperation

Administrative Appointments


  • Deputy DIrector, Center for International Security and Cooperation (2016 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution (2016 - Present)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Political Science (1999)
  • M.A., Stanford University, Political Science (1993)
  • B.S., University of Pennsylvanica, Economics (1991)
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Political Science (1991)

2019-20 Courses


All Publications


  • Conditions of military contestation in populist Latin America DEMOCRATIZATION Kuehn, D., Trinkunas, H. 2017; 24 (5): 859–80
  • UNGASS 2016 in Comparative Perspective: Improving the Prospects for Success Journal for Drug Policy Analysis Felbab-Brown, V., Trinkunas, H. 2017; 10 (1)

    View details for DOI 10.1515/jdpa-2015-0014

  • Militants, Criminals and Warlords: The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder Felbab-Brown, V., Trinkunas, H., Hamid, S. Brookings Institution Press. 2017
  • Aspirational Power: Brazil on the Long Road to Global Influence Trinkunas, H., Mares, D. Brookings Press. 2016
  • American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere edited by Jaskoski, M., Sotomayor, A., Trinkunas, H. John Hopkins University Press. 2015
  • Re-examining Rivalry, Trade, and Conflict in Latin America: The Colombia-Venezuela Case American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere Trinkunas, H. A. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2015
  • Alternative Governance in Latin America Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security Trinkunas, H. A., Clunan, A. Routledge. 2015
  • Better Than You Think: Reframing Inter-American Relations Pensamiento Propio Feinberg, R., Miller, E., Trinkunas, H. 2014: 263-296
  • Reordering Regional Security in Latin America Journal of International Affairs Trinkunas, H. 2013; 66 (2)
  • LATIN AMERICA'S GROWING SECURITY GAP JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY Pion-Berlin, D., Trinkunas, H. 2011; 22 (1): 39–53
  • The Logic of Venezuelan Foreign Policy during the Chávez Period Venezuela’s Petro Diplomacy: Hugo Chávez’s Foreign Policy Trinkunas, H. edited by Clem, R., Maingot, A. University Press of Florida. 2011: 16–31
  • Civilian Praetorianism and Military Shirking During Constitutional Crises in Latin America COMPARATIVE POLITICS Pion-Berlin, D., Trinkunas, H. 2010; 42 (4): 395-+
  • Conceptualizing Ungoverned Spaces: Territorial Statehood, Contested Authority, and Softened Sovereignty Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Governance in an Era of Softened Sovereignty Clunan, A., Trinkunas, H. Stanford University Press. 2010: 17–33
  • Alternative Governance and Security Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Governance in an Era of Softened Sovereignty Clunan, A., Trinkunas, H. Stanford University Press. 2010: 275–293
  • Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty edited by Clunan, A., Trinkunas, H. Stanford University Press. 2010
  • Las Fuerzas Armadas Bolivarianas en los Tiempos de Chávez: ¿desde el papel protagónico a la subordinación revolucionaria? Influencias y resistencias: militares y poder en América Latina Trinkunas, H. edited by Aguero, F., Fuentes, C. FLACSO-Ed. Catalonia. 2009: 81–106
  • INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRACY PROMOTION AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS GLOBAL POLITICS OF DEFENSE REFORM Bruneau, T., Trinkunas, H., Bruneau, T., Trinkunas, H. 2008: 49–67
  • The Militarization of Energy Security: the Case of Venezuela Energy Security and Global Politics: the Militarization of Resource Management Trinkunas, H. edited by Moran, D., Russell, J. Palgrave Macmillan. 2008: 175–187
  • Global Politics of Defense Reform GLOBAL POLITICS OF DEFENSE REFORM Bruneau, T., Trinkunas, H. 2008: 1–298
  • GLOBAL TRENDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS GLOBAL POLITICS OF DEFENSE REFORM Bruneau, T., Trinkunas, H., Bruneau, T., Trinkunas, H. 2008: 3–19
  • Attention deficits - Why politicians ignore defense policy in Latin America LATIN AMERICAN RESEARCH REVIEW Pion-Berlin, D., Trinkunas, H. 2007; 42 (3): 76–100
  • The Political Economy of Terrorism Financing Terrorism Financing and State Responses: A Comparative Perspective Giraldo, J., Trinkunas, H. Stanford University Press. 2007: 7–20
  • Terrorism Financing and State Responses: A Comparative Perspective edited by Giraldo, J., Trinkunas, H. Stanford University Press. 2007
  • Terrorist Financing: Explaining Government Responses Terrorism Financing and State Responses: A Comparative Perspective Giraldo, J., Trinkunas, H. Stanford University Press. 2007: 282–296
  • Democratization as a Global Phenomenon and its Impact on Civil-Military Relations Democratization Bruneau, T., Trinkunas, H. 2006; 13 (5): 776-790
  • Assessing Potential Proliferation Networks in Latin America: 2006-2016 Nonproliferation Review Trinkunas, H. 2006; 13 (3): 617-625
  • Democratization, social crisis and the impact of military domestic roles in Latin America JOURNAL OF POLITICAL & MILITARY SOCIOLOGY Pion-Berlin, D., Trinkunas, H. 2005; 33 (1): 5–24
  • Crafting Civilian Control of the Military in Venezuela: A Comparative Perspective Trinkunas, H. University of North Carolina Press. 2005
  • Remilitarization of Venezuelan Politics Armed Actors: Organised Violence and State Actors in Latin America Trinkunas, H. edited by Koonings, K., Krujit, D. Zed Books. 2004: 106–126
  • The Military: From Marginalization to Center Stage The Unraveling of Representative Democracy in Venezuela Trinkunas, H., Myers, D. edited by McCoy, J. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2004: 50–70
  • Regime Type and Regional Security in Latin America: Towards a Balance of Identity Theory Balance of Power: Theory and Practice in the 21st Century Barletta, M., Trinkunas, H. edited by Paul, T., Wirtz, J., Formann, M. Stnaford University Press. 2004: 334–356
  • The Re-emergence of the Venezuelan Armed Forces as a Political Actor Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies Trinkunas, H. 2002; 8 (2): 165-172
  • The crisis in Venezuelan civilmilitary relations: From Punto Fijo to the fifth republic LATIN AMERICAN RESEARCH REVIEW Trinkunas, H. A. 2002; 37 (1): 41–76
  • Crafting Civilian Control of the Armed Forces Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs Trinkunas, H. 2000; 43 (3): 77-109