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William D. Stanley

  • Professor
  • Director of Latin American and Iberian Institute
  • Political Science

Department Website

Photo: William  Stanley

Professor William (Bill) D. Stanley received an appointment in the Department of Political Science at The University of New Mexico in 1990. In addition to his work within the department, he currently serves as Director of the Latin American and Iberian Institute. He offers courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, exploring questions related to civil wars and civil war resolution, and the role of international actors in civil war resolution, among other topics. His work focuses on civil wars, political violence, international peacekeeping, and post-conflict reforms to state institutions including police, military, and judiciaries, with a regional emphasis on Central America. Stanley’s research interests have focused on explaining patterns of political violence and its prevention, with an emphasis on Central American cases.  His first book, The Protection Racket State: Elite Politics, Military Extortion, and Civil War in El Salvador, examined the political dynamics behind the mass killings carried out by the military and police in El Salvador in the 1970s and 1980s.  His second book Enabling Peace in Guatemala: the Story of MINUGUA (International Peace Institute and Lynne Reinner, 2013) is an assessment of the strategies of the United Nations for bringing peace and post-war stability in a context of limited international political leverage and strong domestic resistance to reform.  Most recently, his book Enabling Peace in Guatemala: the Story of MINUGUA was published by Boulder: Lynne Reinner Press and New York: International Peace Institute, May 2013. Current projects include a study of the impact of international agreements on the carbon intensity of economies (emissions mitigation), climate adaptation policies in Latin America, and non-compliance with internationally-sponsored civil war peace agreements.


  • PhD in Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1991)
  • AB in International Relations, Stanford University (1981)

Research Areas

  • Politics And History
  • Institutional Reform
  • Civil War
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Political Violence
  • Socio-Economic Policy
  • Civil-Military Relations
  • Police Reform

Country Specialization(s)

  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Costa Rica
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua

Latin American Studies Courses

  • POLS 541 Research Seminar in International Relations: Civil Wars and Peacekeeping
  • POLS 442 International Peacekeeping
  • POLS 496/541 001 Seminar: Civil Wars & Peacekeeping

*Latin America-related courses offered during the past three years*