Arzan Tarapore

Arzan Tarapore

Arzan Tarapore, PhD

  • Research Scholar at APARC
Shorenstein APARC Stanford University Encina Hall Stanford, CA 94305-6055


Arzan Tarapore is a Research Scholar at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, where he is charged with restarting APARC's research effort on South Asia. He is also a senior nonresident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Tarapore’s research focuses on security issues in South Asia and the rapidly evolving strategic landscape of the wider Indo-Pacific. Prior to his scholarly career, he served for 13 years in the Australian Defence Department in various analytic, management, and liaison positions, including operational deployments and a diplomatic posting to the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC.

His academic work has been published in the Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, Asia Policy, and Joint Force Quarterly, among others, and his policy commentary frequently appears on platforms such as the Hindu, the Indian Express, The National Interest, the Lowy Institute's Interpreter, the Brookings Institution’s Lawfare, and War on the Rocks.

Tarapore joined APARC in September 2020. He previously held research positions at Georgetown University, the East-West Center in Washington, the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, and the RAND Corporation.

He earned a PhD in war studies from King's College London, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA (Hons) from the University of New South Wales. Follow his commentary on Twitter @arzandc and his website at

Current research

In The News

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rides in a tank at Longewala in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 14 November 2020.

India, China, and the Quad’s Defining Test

The Ladakh crisis between China and India seems to have settled into a stalemate, but its trajectory could again turn suddenly. If it flares into a limited conventional war, one of its incidental victims could be the Quad.
Two destroyer navy ships sail alongside each other

India Should Prioritize a Denial Strategy in the Indian Ocean

The stand-off with China in the Himalayas has raised a broader debate about India’s strategic outlook.
U.S. Navy and Indian Navy ships steam in formation in the Indian Ocean.

How to Mitigate the Risks of Chinese Military Expansion in the Indian Ocean Region

China’s expanding military capacity in the Indian Ocean region poses risks for the United States and its partners, writes South Asia Research Scholar Arzan Tarapore in 'The Washington Quarterly,' offering a framework by which the Quad and others can build strategic leverage to curtail China’s capacity to coerce small states or posture for war.