James D. Fearon

All CISAC People Institute Faculty and Researchers
Fearon James

James D. Fearon, PhD

  • Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
  • Professor of Political Science
  • Affiliated faculty at the Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Affiliated faculty at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
CISAC Stanford University Encina Hall Stanford, CA 94305-6165
(650) 725-1314 (voice)


James Fearon is the Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor of political science. He is a Senior Fellow at FSI, affiliated with CISAC and CDDRL. His research interests include civil and interstate war, ethnic conflict, the international spread of democracy and the evaluation of foreign aid projects promoting improved governance. Fearon was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. Some of his current research projects include work on the costs of collective and interpersonal violence, democratization and conflict in Myanmar, nuclear weapons and U.S. foreign policy, and the long-run persistence of armed conflict.

In The News

Encina Hall and its front lawn

CDDRL honors student wins Rhodes Scholarship

Julie Veroff, a senior in the CDDRL Honors Program, has been named a Rhodes Scholar. She is one of 32 American men and women selected each year for this prestigious award, the oldest and best known for international study, which provides for two to three years of graduate study at the University of Oxford in England. Veroff plans to begin a M.Phil. program in development studies at Oxford next fall.
civil war in iraq

Civil war definition transcends politics

Is the conflict in Iraq a civil war or not? Debate over this question is largely political. In this Washington Post op-ed, CISAC's James D. Fearon sets aside politics to explain the meaning of civil war and how it applies to Iraq.
Encina Hall and its front lawn

Iraq now - headed for civil war or already there?

Is civil war likely to break out in Iraq? It already has, according to CISAC faculty member James D. Fearon, a political science professor who studies recent civil wars. "By any reasonable definition," Fearon said, "there has been a civil war in progress in Iraq at least since the Coalition Provisional Authority formally handed over authority to the Iraqis in 2004." Fearon is among four experts Time asked to comment on what's going on in Iraq.