Janet I. Lewis

Professor Janet I. Lewis
Associate Professor of Political Science
Monroe Hall 419
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Political violence; intergroup conflict; ethnic politics; state formation; Africa

Current Research

Professor Lewis's book, "How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond," was published in 2020 (Cambridge University Press, Studies in Comparative Politics Series). It examines why and how rebel groups form, with a focus on why many groups fail in the early stages, and what ethnicity has to do with it. The book was honored with three Book of Year Awards: from the International Studies Association, from the Conflict Research Society, and from the African Politics section of the American Political Science Association (APSA). It also received the Honorable Mention for the Giovanni Sartori Award from the Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research section of APSA, and was recommended as a top book of 2020 at the online magazine Political Violence @ A Glance.

Along with continuing research on armed conflict, her current research seeks to understand the social processes of prejudice reduction, especially how information, attitudes, and beliefs travel through word-of-mouth networks in rural communities.


Ph.D., M.A. in Government, Harvard University

M.A. in International Policy Studies; B.A. (with honors) in Political Science, Stanford University



"From Chatter to Action: How Social Networks Inform and Motivate in Rural Uganda" 2021. (with Jennifer M. Larson and Pedro Rodríguez). British Journal of Political Science.

"How Insurgency Begins." 2020. Cambridge University Press, Studies in Comparative Politics Series.

“Measuring Networks in the Field.” 2019. (with Jennifer M. Larson). Political Science Research and Methods.

“Rumors, Kinship Networks, and Rebel Group Formation” (with Jennifer M. Larson). 2018. International Organization. 72(Fall): 871–903.

“How Does Ethnic Rebellion Start?” 2017. Comparative Political Studies. 50(10): 1420-1450.

“Ethnic Networks” (w/ Jennifer M. Larson). 2017. American Journal of Political Science. 61(2): 350–364.

“When Decentralization Leads to Recentralization: Subnational State Transformation in Uganda.” 2014. Regional & Federal Studies. 24(5): 571-588.

“Administrative Unit Proliferation” (with Guy Grossman). 2014. American Political Science Review. 108(1): 196-207.

Office Hours

On leave AY 2022-2023

Classes Taught

PSC 2381 - Comparative Politics of Africa

PSC 3192W - Political Violence

PSC 8288 - Political Violence