Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Political Science Department

Asst. Professor Janet I. Lewis

Dr. Lewis’ teaching and research focuses on world politics – especially ethnic politics, armed conflict, and politics of Sub-Saharan Africa.  She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University and her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University.

Dr. Lewis' current book project examines the initial stages of rebel group formation, including why only some nascent groups become viable challengers to central governments.  Data collection for the project involved fieldwork throughout Uganda, including extensive interviews with former aspiring insurgents and counterinsurgents, as well as villagers who lived among them, in regions bordering DRC, Kenya, and South Sudan. This project builds on her dissertation, which was honored with the Harvard Government Department’s Edward Sumner prize as well as political science’s top African Politics dissertation award. 

Her article “How Does Ethnic Rebellion Start?” won Best Article published in Comparative Political Studies in 2017, and her article “Ethnic Networks” (co-authored with Jennifer Larson) was awarded Best Article appearing in American Journal of Political Science in 2017. Her research is also published at the American Political Science Review and International Organization, among others. Her work has benefited from the support of NSF, the Minerva Research Initiative, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation, and others.

She has also conducted research on U.S. stability operations, fragile states, and terrorist financing, respectively, for the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

 Personal website


  • FP 471D: Ethnic Politics and Conflict in Developing Countries
  • FP 366: Politics in Africa
  • FP 230: Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • FP 220: Political Science Methods
  • FP 210: Introduction to International Relations


go to Top