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Martha Crenshaw

Martha Crenshaw, PhD

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science

Stanford University
Encina Hall, C221
Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 723-0126 (voice)

Research Interests

political terrorism


Martha Crenshaw is a senior fellow at CISAC and FSI and a professor of political science by courtesy at Stanford. She was the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor of Global Issues and Democratic Thought and professor of government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where she taught from 1974 to 2007. She has written extensively on the issue of political terrorism; her first article, "The Concept of Revolutionary Terrorism," was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1972. Her recent work includes “Will Threats Deter Nuclear Terrorism?” in Deterring Terrorism: Theory and Practice, ed. Andreas Wenger and Alex Wilner (Stanford University Press, 2012) “Dealing with Terrorism,” in Managing Conflict in a World Adrift, ed. Chester Crocker, Fen Hampson, and Pamela Aall (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2014), and “Terrorism Research: The Record,” in the journal International Interactions (2014). She is also the editor of The Consequences of Counterterrorism (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010). In 2011 Routledge published Explaining Terrorism, a collection of her previously published work.  She is currently writing a book with Gary LaFree titled Rethinking Counterterrorism:  A Sensible Approach to Policy

She served on the Executive Board of Women in International Security and is a former President and Councilor of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP). She coordinated the working group on political explanations of terrorism for the 2005 Club de Madrid International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security. In 2005-2006 she was a Guggenheim Fellow. Since 2005 she has been a lead investigator with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. In 2009 she was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation/Department of Defense Minerva Initiative for a project on "mapping terrorist organizations" (see  She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Understanding Terrorists in order to Deter Terrorism (which produced the 2002 report Discouraging Terrorism: Some Implications of 9/11), the Committee on Determining Basic Research Needs to Interrupt the Improvised Explosive Device Delivery Chain, 2005-2008, and the Committee on Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, 2012-2013.  She serves on the editorial boards of the journals International Security, Political Psychology, Security Studies, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, and Terrorism and Political Violence


Updated June 10, 2015