Tanisha Fazal earned a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2001. Her research focuses on questions of sovereignty and international law. She teaches courses on civil wars, international humanitarian law, and research methods, among other subjects.

Prior to joining the Kroc Institute, Fazal taught at Columbia University and was a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and at the John M. Olin Institute for Security Studies at Harvard University.

Fazal’s book, State Death: The Politics and Geography of Conquest, Occupation, and Annexation (Princeton University Press, 2007), examines the conditions under which some states die, or disappear from the map of the world, while others survive. State Death was the 2008 winner of the Best Book Award from the Conflict Processes section of the American Political Science Association. It is based on Fazal’s doctoral dissertation, which won the 2002 Helen Dwight Reid Award from the American Political Science Association.  

Fazal’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Security, International Studies Review, and Security Studies. She also has been the recipient of major grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Science Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Fazal is co-director (with Page Fortna of Columbia University) of the Civil War Initiation and Termination project, a major ongoing effort to collect data on civil wars from 1816 to the present.