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The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Stanford University's premier research institute for the study of international affairs

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What we Do


FSI is a hub for Stanford scholars who want to work across disciplines on research that has international impact. Our topics include governance, security, global health, energy and international development.


Our faculty teach more than 65 classes a year, and mentor students through guided research. FSI is also home to the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies, a two-year master's degree.


Our work provides context for decision-making in Washington, Geneva, Beijing and beyond. FSI's Policy Implementation Lab helps ensure that our faculty's research has real-world impact.

Happening at FSI

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With over 150 scholars from across campus and around the world, FSI is home to a diverse group of research centers and programs that address critical global issues. Our areas of focus include security, governance and democracy, international development, energy, and global health.

    Research at FSI
  • Research at FSI
  • Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
  • Center on Food Security and the Environment
  • Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • The Europe Center
  • Stanford Health Policy
  • Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Stanford Center at Peking University
  • Program on Energy & Sustainable Development
  • Rural Education Action Program
  • Educational Research Programs

Research at FSI

Our interdisciplinary research centers and programs serve as the foundation for all the scholarly work that FSI produces. They enable faculty from a broad variety of backgrounds to take "deep dives" into complex challenges, producing the rigorous research that FSI is known for. 

Our Research Topics:

Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law

The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law bridges the worlds of scholarship, policy and practice to understand and advance the conditions for just, democratic, and sustainable development around the world.

Center on Food Security and the Environment

The Center on Food Security and the Environment addresses critical global issues of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation.

Center for International Security and Cooperation

The Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) is Stanford University’s hub for researchers tackling some of the world's most pressing security and international cooperation issues.

The Europe Center

The Europe Center at Stanford University provides an interdisciplinary platform for scholarship on the histories, cultures, institutions, and people of Europe.

Stanford Health Policy

Stanford Health Policy studies critical global health problems with the goal of understanding how policies, programs and interventions can improve health.

Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

Shorenstein APARC is focused on the interdisciplinary study of contemporary Asia. Our research spans the realms of scholarship, business, and government.

Stanford Center at Peking University

SCPKU is Stanford's headquarters for faculty and students engaged in research, teaching, training and outreach activities in China.

Program on Energy & Sustainable Development

PESD is an international, interdisciplinary program that draws on the fields of economics, political science, law, and management to investigate how real energy markets work.

Rural Education Action Program

REAP is dedicated to discovering the causes of poverty in rural China, and creating simple, yet effective solutions in education, health and nutrition policy.

Educational Research Programs

FSI's research units include programs with an instructional component. The Stanford Program on Cross-cultural and Internation Education (SPICE) develops K-12 curricula based on our research; the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies is the only program in the world that focuses exclusively on advanced Japanese language training.

Featured Scholars

FSI is home to approximately 150 researchers, including 44 appointed faculty. Our scholars include world-renowned political theorists, physicians, former ambassadors and Cabinet members, nuclear physicists, economists and generals.

Michael McFaul

Director and Senior Fellow, FSI
Professor of Political Science

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia; specializes in American foreign policy. Latest publication: Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can

Marshall Burke

Center Fellow, FSE
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science

Studies impact of environmental conditions on social and economic outcomes. Latest publication: Combining satellite imagery and machine learning to predict poverty

Francis Fukuyama

Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow, FSI
Mosbacher Director, CDDRL

World-renowned author of "The End of History." Latest publication: Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy

Anna Grzymala-Busse

Senior Fellow, FSI
Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies

FSI's newest senior fellow; researches political parties and institutions. Latest publication: Nations under God: How Churches Use Moral Authority to Influence Policy

Herbert Lin

Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security, CISAC

Cybersecurity policy expert, focusing on cyberattacks by state actors. Latest publication: Attribution of Malicious Cyber Incidents: From Soup to Nuts

Beatriz Magaloni

Senior Fellow, FSI
Associate Professor of Political Science

Founder, Program on Poverty and Governance within FSI's Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. Latest publication: Mexico in the Grip of Violence

FSI By the Numbers

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