Charles Mahoney

Charles Mahoney

Charles MahoneyOffice: SSPA 229

Phone: (562) 985-8203



I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Long Beach. I received my B.A. in History from Williams College and my M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA.

My primary field of focus is international relations, and I specialize in international security. My research examines three topics: 1) violent extremist organizations; 2) defense contractors and private military companies; 3) US foreign policy.

My work on extremist organizations assesses the strategies groups use in an effort to advance their organizational and political objectives. My research on the United States defense industry examines the markets for security services and the interaction between defense contractors, Wall Street, and private equity firms. My work on U.S. foreign policy examines the motivations for U.S. arms sales as well as U.S. counterterrorism strategy. 

Scholarly Publications:

Leveraging National Security: Private Equity and Bankruptcy in the United States Defense Industry.” Business and Politics (2024)

“Defense Contractors, Private Equity Firms, and US National Security.”  Journal of Global Security Studies (2022)

“Corporate Hackers: Outsourcing US Cyber Capabilities.” Strategic Studies Quarterly (2021)

“United States Defense Contractors and the Future of Military Operations.” Defense & Security Analysis (2020)

“Acquire or Expire: Publicly Traded Defense Contractors, Financial Markets, and Consolidation in the U.S. Defense Industry.” Defense and Peace Economics (2019)

“End of the Cycle: Assessing ETA’s Strategies of Terrorism,Small Wars and Insurgencies (2018)

“Empty Threats: How Extremist Organizations Bluff in Terrorist Campaigns.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (2018).

“More Data, New Problems: Audiences, Ahistoricity, and Selection Bias in Terrorism and Insurgency Research.” International Studies Review (2017).

“Splinters and Schisms: Rebel Group Fragmentation and the Durability of Insurgencies.” Terrorism and Political Violence (2017).

“Buyer Beware: How Market Structure Affects Contracting and Company Performance in the Private Military Industry.” Security Studies (2016). 

Policy Articles and Other Writing:

Review of Force of Words: The Logic of Terrorist Threats by Joseph M. Brown. Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

Review of Rebel Power: Why National Groups Compete, Fight, and Win by Peter Krause. Terrorism and Political Violence

“Lessons the U.S. Can Learn from Taiwan—Public Health is a Matter of National Security.” Taiwan News

“Private Defense Companies are Here to Stay—What Does that Mean for National Security?” The Conversation