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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Meet our Faculty!

Jacob Lewis.Jacob Lewis

Assistant Professor

Office: Johnson Tower 808
Phone: 335-5225
Curriculum vitae


Jacob S. Lewis (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University. His research centers on African politics and focuses on issues of corruption, conflict, and political psychology. He also studies issues of antisemitism in a comparative perspective, focusing on mechanisms of blame and the role of conspiracy theories and populism. His work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, Political Geography, Social Movement Studies, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Politics, Nations and Nationalism, and Political Studies Review. His work has been supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Anti-Defamation League, and more.

Professor Lewis current oversees two large post-conflict peacebuilding projects in Zimbabwe and Ghana and maintains an active connection with the world of public policy and international development. One of his core goals is to help prepare undergraduate and graduate students for meaningful and fulfilling careers in applied politics and policy, and he integrates this into his teaching and broader pedagogy. Before beginning his life as an academic, he managed democratization and post-conflict stabilization programs across Africa as well as in Afghanistan. He loves alpine skiing, coffee, and cats.

Research Interests
African politics, social movements, conflict processes, political psychology, social trust, antisemitism, conspiracy theories.

Recent publications

“Antisemitic Hate Crime Exposure and Foreign Policy Preferences.” (2023) Contemporary Jewry. With Ayal Feinberg.

“Repression, backlash, and the duration of protests in Africa.” (2023) Journal of Peace Research. With Brandon Ives

“What determines support for separatism? Evidence from Biafra, Nigeria.” (2022) Nations and Nationalism.

“Proximate exposure to conflict and the spatiotemporal correlates of social trust in Africa.” (2022) Political Psychology. With Sedef Topal.

“Repression and bystander mobilization in Africa” (2022) Social Movement Studies.

“Territorial origins of center-seeking and self-determination claims in Africa.” (2021) Political Geography, 94. With Mike Widmeier.

“Signals, strongholds, and support: political party protests in South Africa.” (2021) Politics, 41(2): 189-206.

“Corruption Perceptions and Contentious Politics in Africa: How Different Types of Corruption Have Shaped Africa’s Third Wave of Protest.” (2021) Political Studies Review, 19(2): 227-244. WINNER: Political Studies Review’s best article of 2021.

“From Rallies to Riots: Why Some Protests Become Violent.” (2020) Journal of Conflict Resolution, 64(5), 958–986. With Brandon Ives.

“The role of trust in mobilization and nonviolent discipline: evidence from civil resistance in Africa”. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. (2021) Available online: