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Faculty Leaders

Martha Crenshaw

Martha Crenshaw joined the Stanford faculty in 2007. She is a senior fellow emerita at two of Stanford’s prestigious international-focused institutions: the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. She is also a professor emerita of Political Science by courtesy, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University and a professor emerita at Wesleyan University’s Department of Government, where she taught from 1974 to 2007. Much sought after to speak at universities, governmental agencies and political forums on her primary areas of research—international conflict and, in particular, political violence—Dr. Crenshaw was a lead investigator, from 2005 to 2017, with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism, which is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and based at the University of Maryland. She has also been a speaker for the U.S. State Department in Algeria and Morocco. Reflecting upon the use of terrorism by revolutionary non-state participants and how governments deal with that threat, she states, “I’ve always been puzzled by the question of why groups and individuals turn to violence to get what they want—especially when other alternatives are available. I hope that my research can lead to recommendations for policymakers that make it possible to resolve conflicts before they become violent.”

"Martha was well-prepared for the journey and her lectures were first rate. She offered a valuable historical background to the places we visited and she helped us understand the context of what we saw. She was also available for questions on an ongoing basis and made adjustments in her final presentation, responding to travelers' interests."

Wake Wheeler, '73, Along the Mekong, 2017


  • Senior fellow emerita, Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, 2007-2019; Emerita, 2019- 
  • Professor of political science by courtesy, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, 2007-2019
  • At Wesleyan University: professor of government, 1987–2007; chair, department of government, 1985–1986, 1994–1995, 1996–1997; director, international studies, 1993–1994; chair, Wesleyan University faculty, 1990–1991, 2003–2004
  • Pew Faculty Fellowship, 1992–1993; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2005
  • Member, Network of Global Agenda Councils, World Economic Forum, 2010–2012


  • Author of Revolutionary Terrorism: The FLN in Algeria, 1954–1962 (Hoover Institution Press, 1978) and Explaining Terrorism: Causes, Processes, and Consequences (Routledge, 2011)
  • Editor, The Consequences of Counterterrorism (The Russell Sage Foundation, 2010)
  • Author of numerous papers, articles, monographs and reports on political conflict and counterterrorism


  • Recipient, Wesleyan University Award for Teaching Excellence, 1995
  • From the International Society of Political Psychology, recipient, the Nevitt Sanford Award for
    Distinguished Scientific Contribution, 2004, and the Jeanne Knutson Award in Recognition of Long-Standing Service to the Society, 2005
  • National Science Foundation Award, NSCC/SA “Mapping Terrorist Organizations,” 2009–2012 (Department of Defense Minerva Initiative)
  • Corresponding Fellow, British Academy 
  • From the International Studies Association, International Security Studies Section Distinguished Scholar Award 2016   

Academic History:

  • BA, Political Science, 1967, Newcomb College of Tulane University
  • PhD, Government and Foreign Affairs, 1973, University of Virginia

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