Rachel Sweet is an assistant professor of politics and global affairs at the Keough School of Global Affairs, a core faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and a concurrent faculty member with the Department of Political Science.

Sweet’s research focuses on armed conflict, governance, and state capacity in fragile environments, and the methodology and data of studying civil wars and armed violence. Her work bridges academic rigor with practical engagement to improve conflict policy. Sweet’s broader research on state-rebel relations examines how parallel networks in national militaries collude with armed groups, and the implications this has for international intervention. She also studies rebels’ strategic use of misattribution in civil war violence, and property rights enforcement in informal settings. She is currently examining global health security and how prior experiences of violence shape community resistance to international and government intervention during public health emergencies.

Sweet is currently working on a book that examines the varied relationships that form between armed groups and low-level state administrators during war.

She has worked with the United Nations Office of the Secretary General-Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes as an armed group expert, as a conflict expert with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission, and as a lead conflict investigator with the Congo Research Group and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Sweet is an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies at Harvard University. She earned an MA and a PhD in political science from Northwestern University.