William Stanley

    Professor, Political Science
    Associate Provost for Faculty Success, UNM Academic Affairs

Departmental Website

Photo: William  Stanley

Dr. William Stanley has taught Political Science at The University of New Mexico since 1990. 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. 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. 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

  • Counterinsurgency
  • Climate Adaptations
  • Military Policies
  • Police and Justice Institutions
  • Political Violence Prevention

Country Specialization(s)

  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua

Latin American Studies Courses

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

  • POLS 541 Research Seminar in International Relations: Civil Wars and Peacekeeping
  • POLS 442 International Peacekeeping
  • POLS 496/541 001 Seminar: Civil Wars & Peacekeeping
  • POLS 521 Research Seminar in Central American Politics
  • LING 402 Quechua IV
  • LING 402 Quichua IV
  • LING 402 Quechua VI