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Lecturer in International Relations
Contact Information
Office Hours: 
Class hours by appointment; F 1-4 / Advising hours by appointment; F 9-12
Email Address: 


Brief Biography: 

Thomas Cavanna, Ph.D. (Sciences Po, 2012), is a lecturer at the International Relations Program, where he teaches the Senior Thesis Seminar. During his study in France, he earned the equivalent of a BA in Modern Literature at Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, a MA in Management from Audencia Business School, and a MA in History of International Relations from L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

During his doctoral study, Dr. Cavanna was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University. He also interned at the “Centre de Sciences Humaines (CNRS)”, a French research center located in New Delhi. As an “Agrégé d’Histoire”, he also taught in History (Europe, the 20th century) and Political Science (Obama’s foreign policy) at Sciences Po.

His dissertation is about “U.S. foreign policy towards India and Pakistan in the 1970s”. Identifying what can be considered as the four turning points of USFP in the subcontinent during the decade, Dr. Cavanna analyzes the impact of the U.S., India and Pakistan on one another, but also the influence of the other main powers involved in the region. He also describes the way the American policy in South Asia was affected by Washington’s triangular relations with the USSR and China, by its fear of decline in the wake of the Vietnam war and the Watergate scandal, and also by transnational phenomena like the rise of Islamism in the Middle East in the late 1970s.

Dr. Cavanna’s other areas of interest include U.S. grand strategy (especially in the greater Middle East), the rise of China, and the “Af-Pak” conundrum. 


Selected Publications: 

“Nixon, Kissinger et les affres du ‘tilt to Pakistan’” (Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique, forthcoming, January 2013)

“Smiling Buddha revisited : the international impact of the 1974 Indian nuclear test” (to be submitted)

US Foreign Policy towards Pakistan in the 1970s (2012)

  • Winner of Prix Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, a French prize conferred to doctoral candidates from native institutions for exceptional works in diplomatic history.
  • Dr. Cavanna is also currently working on the future publication of his dissertation.
  • He has given talks related to parts of his doctoral study at Yale (Fox Fellows seminar, International Security Studies seminar) and Sciences Po (History of International Relations seminar).

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