Brad Simpson teaches and researches twentieth century U.S. foreign relations and international history. His first book, Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford 2008) explores the intersection of anti-Communism and development thinking in shaping U.S. Indonesian relations.
He is also founder and director of a project at the non-profit National Security Archive to declassify U.S. government documents concerning Indonesia and East Timor during the reign of General Suharto (1966-1998). This project will be used as the basis for a major study of U.S.-Indonesian relations from 1965 to 1999, exploring how the international community's embrace of an authoritarian regime in Indonesia shaped development, civil-military relations, human rights and Islamic politics. He is also beginning preliminary research on an international history of the idea of self-determination, exploring its descent through the twentieth century in the realms of law, culture and international politics.
Recent essays and reviews are in Cold War History, Diplomatic History, Critical Asian Studies, Peace and Change, and East Asia and the United States: An Encyclopedia of Relations Since 1784 (Greenwood, 2003). He was featured in the recent Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio documentary Accomplices in Atrocity; The Indonesian Killings of 1965.