Stephen D. Krasner

Senior Fellow, Emeritus
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Stephen Krasner is an emeritus senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

He was also a member of the political science department at Stanford University, where he held the Graham H. Stuart Chair in International Relations and was a senior fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute. From 2005 to 2007 he served under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the director of policy planning at the State Department where he worked on foreign assistance reform and other projects. Krasner also spent a year in Washington at the beginning of the Bush administration, first on policy planning at the State Department and then with Rice at the National Security Council. He helped formulate the Millennium Challenge Account, a new approach to development assistance that ties increased aid to improving governance, such as curbing corruption.

At Stanford, Krasner has served as deputy director of the Freeman Spogli Institute and as director of the institute’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. In 2003 and 2004 he served as a member of the board of the United States Institute of Peace.

He came to Stanford in 1981 from Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles. At Stanford, he was chairman of the political-science department from 1984 to 1991. He is widely known in academic circles for his work on international political economy and sovereignty.

His major publications include Defending the National Interest: Raw Materials Investment and American Foreign Policy (1978), Structural Conflict: The Third World against Global Liberalism (1985), and Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy (1999). Publications he has edited include International Regimes (1983), Exploration and Contestation in the Study of World Politics (co-editor, 1999), and Problematic Sovereignty: Contested Rules and Political Possibilities (2001). He received a B.A. degree in history from Cornell University, an M.A. degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a Ph.D. degree in political science from Harvard. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Recent Commentary

The World as It Is

by Stephen D. Krasnervia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The United States can neither fix the world’s governance problems nor ignore them. The middle way: helping others rule well.


Dr. Stephen Krasner & Sun Vs. Virus

interview with Stephen D. Krasnervia Overnight America (KMOX)
Thursday, April 23, 2020

Stephen Krasner discusses America’s failures in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.


‘How To Make Love To A Despot’ Review: Safe—But Not For Democracy

by Josef Joffe featuring Stephen D. Krasnervia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, April 13, 2020

If the U.S. can’t transform villains into angels, it can at least encourage smaller potentates to align their interests with the West.


Learning To Live With Despots

by Stephen D. Krasner quoting Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Monday, February 10, 2020

[Subscription Required] Throughout its history, the United States has oscillated between two foreign policies. One aims to remake other countries in the American image. The other regards the rest of the world as essentially beyond repair. 

In the News

U.S. Democracy And Foreign Policy Since 1919

mentioning Condoleezza Rice, Niall Ferguson, Stephen D. Krasnervia CSPAN
Monday, April 15, 2019

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins Hoover Institution senior fellows Stephen Krasner and Niall Ferguson in a conversation analyzing the changing role of U.S. democracy in foreign policy over the past hundred years.

In the News

Stanford Think Tank Marks Centennial By Exploring 'A Century Of Ideas'

featuring Niall Ferguson, Stephen D. Krasner, Condoleezza Rice, Hoover Institutionvia Palo Alto Online
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In honor of its centennial anniversary, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University on Tuesday launched a yearlong speaker series that will look at how history from the past 100 years can help inform current public policies.

A Century of Ideas: One Hundred Years of Democracy and Foreign Policy

interview with Condoleezza Rice, Stephen D. Krasner, Niall Ferguson, Michael McFaul
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The United States was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and for decades, support for democracy around the world has been a central tenet of American foreign policy. The past century provides many examples of growth in successful democracies balanced with the instability of authoritarian and repressive regimes. This panel discussion will address the changing role of democratic governance in America’s foreign policy over the past century.

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The Outlines of a Deal

by Stephen D. Krasnervia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 23, 2017

What does China want? If we could figure that out, we might find a way to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

World Puzzle
Analysis and Commentary

Civil Wars & Global Disorder: Threats & Opportunities

by Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, Stephen D. Krasnervia Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Civil wars run deep through our historical narratives, shaping the political and social consciousness of people in developed countries around the world: Japan, Russia, Spain, China, Mexico, and the United States, to mention only a few. But intrastate conflicts are not merely features of the past. Today, there are some thirty active civil wars, ranging from Afghanistan and Syria to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the average duration of conflict increasing over the past twenty years. 

Analysis and Commentary

A Least Worst Option On North Korea

by Stephen D. Krasnervia Lawfare
Monday, May 15, 2017

Kim Jong-un’s quest for nuclear weapons and inter-continental missiles is rational. The ability to strike American allies, South Korea and Japan, and even the United States itself with nuclear weapons is the most obvious deterrent against any effort to end his regime.