Rachel Sweet is assistant professor of global affairs at the University of Notre Dame. Her 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 book manuscript Violent Institutions: Rebellion, Bureaucracy, and State Capture in the Congo examines the varied relationships that form between armed groups and low-level state administrators during war. It probes how rebels’ use of pre-existing bureaucratic offices for taxation and surveillance reshape state institutions, embed violence networks within the state, and provide rebels legitimation to international audiences. Sweet’s broader work 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.
Sweet holds a PhD from Northwestern University.