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Rebel Group Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa [Research Assistant]

Professor: Janet Lewis

Department: Political Science

Title: Rebel Group Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Description: How does armed rebellion start? Answering this question is
critical to understanding how the costly, more violent stages of conflict may
be averted. However, existing evidence about the earliest phases is highly
incomplete, especially for weak states in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rebel groups
that fail early, before committing substantial violence, are usually omitted
since they end before gaining substantial attention in news media. This
project aims to advance knowledge about rebel group formation by building a
dataset of nearly all rebel groups that formed, even minimally so, in
Sub-Saharan Africa since the late 1990s.

Duties: The Research Assistant(s) will work under the supervision of the PI
to build the dataset. This will involve digging for tough-to-find
information, careful reading and analyzing African and international news
sources (mostly newspapers), as well as occasionally identifying and speaking
(via Skype) with African scholars and journalists. The RA will learn a great
deal about political violence, Africa, and the craft of thinking carefully
about how best to analyze complex political issues in remote contexts.
Desired Skills and Qualifications:
•       Outstanding research, verbal communication and writing skills
•       Detail-oriented and able to work independently
•       Ability to read and speak in French is desirable (not required)
•       Prior experience living/studying/working in Africa is desirable (not
•       Experience building and using quantitative datasets is desirable (not

Please note: there are two openings for this role!

Time commitment: 10 or more hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 3

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: janetilewis@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna Crayton at bcrayton@gwu.edu whether they intend to pursue credit or not.