Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Tanisha Fazal ─ Military Medicine and Military Effectiveness

Monday, October 3, 2022

4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

Reception to follow.


Are militaries with better medicine more effective on the battlefield? The relationship between military medicine and military effectiveness has been largely overlooked by scholars of military effectiveness. We aim to draw out this relationship in several ways. First, we outline a set of mechanisms linking military medicine to military effectiveness. Second, we report on the results of an early data collection effort on military medicine. And third, we examine the relationship between the introduction of penicillin and military effectiveness during a series of battles in World War II. Our preliminary conclusion is that investments in military medicine can significantly improve military effectiveness.

Watson Institute Research Seminar Series

Tanisha Fazal is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarship focuses on sovereignty, international law, and armed conflict.  Fazal’s current research analyzes the effect of improvements in medical care in conflict zones on the long-term costs of war.  She is the author of State Death: The Politics and Geography of Conquest, Occupation, and Annexation (Princeton University Press, 2007), which won the 2008 Best Book Award of the American Political Science Association’s Conflict Processes Section, and Wars of Law: Unintended Consequences in the Regulation of Armed Conflict (Cornell University Press, 2018), winner of the 2019 Best Book Award of the International Studies Association’s International Law Section and the 2019 Best Book Award of the American Political Science Association’s International Collaboration Section. Her work has also appeared in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, Daedalus, Foreign Affairs, International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, Journal of Global Security Studies, The Lancet, and Security Studies.  She has been a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, and the Carnegie Council on International Ethics. From 2021- 2023, she is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.