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Peter Lewis

Peter M. Lewis

Warren Weinstein Associate Professor


Peter Lewis is the Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Lewis, who served as SAIS Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs from 2015 to 2018, has directed the school's Africa Studies program since joining Johns Hopkins SAIS in 2006, and currently oversees the school’s Middle East program.

Lewis’ research and teaching focus on economic reform and political transition in developing countries, with particular emphasis on governance and development in sub-Saharan Africa. He has written extensively on economic adjustment, democratization, and civil society in Africa; democratic reform and political economy in Nigeria; public attitudes toward reform and democracy in West Africa; and the comparative politics of economic change in Africa and Southeast Asia. His most recent book, Coping with Crisis in African States, examines sources of resilience and fragility across African countries and presents a series of critical cases. His previous book, Growing Apart: Politics and Economic Change in Indonesia and Nigeria is concerned with the institutional basis of economic development. Lewis has published several other co-authored and edited books, numerous book chapters, and articles in World Politics, World Development, the Journal of Democracy, the Journal of Modern African Studies, African Affairs, and others.

Lewis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy. He has consulted for the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Carter Center, the Council on Foreign Relations, Freedom House, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and masters and doctorate degrees from Princeton University.

Lewis, P.M., and J.W. Harbeson, Coping with Crisis in African States, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2016.
Selected Articles
Lewis, P.M., Aspirations and Realities in Africa: Five Reflections, Journal of Democracy, Volume 30, Number 3, July 2019.

Lewis, P.M., Economic Growth and Development, in Gabrielle Lynch and Peter VonDoepp, eds., Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa, Routledge, 2019.

Lewis, P.M., Responses to Economic Crisis in Africa, in Nic Cheeseman, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, Oxford University Press, 2019.
Lewis, P.M., Nigeria’s Oil Booms: A Changing Political Economy, in Carl LeVan and Patrick Ukata, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics, Oxford University Press, 2018.
Lewis, P.M., Africa’s Political Economy in the Contemporary Era, in Carol Lancaster and Nicolas van de Walle, eds, The Oxford Handbook of the Politics of Development, Oxford University Press, 2018.
Lewis, P.M., and D. Kew, Nigeria’s Hopeful Election, Journal of Democracy, Volume 26, Number 3, July 2015.
Lewis, P.M., N.D.F. Allen, and H. Matfess, Down, Not Out: How to Fight Back Against Boko Haram’s Newest Strategy, Foreign Affairs, June 18, 2015.

Lewis, P.M., and C. Logan, Nigerians Go to the Polls in a Tight Race Amid Concerns about Election Safety, Credibility, Washington Post, Monkey Cage, January 30, 2015. 

Lewis, P.M., N.D.F. Allen, and H. Matfess, The Boko Haram Insurgency, by the Numbers, Washington Post, Monkey Cage, October 6, 2014.  

Lewis, P.M., D. Henley and J.K. van Donge, Tracking Development in South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa: The Primacy of Policy, Development Policy Review, Special Issue, Volume 30, Issue Supplement s1, pages s5–s24, February 2012.
Lewis, P.M., Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy: Growth Without Prosperity in Africa, Journal of Democracy, Volume 19, Number 4, October 2008.
Lewis, P.M., Growing Apart: Oil, Politics and Economic Change in Indonesia and Nigeria, University of Michigan Press, 2007.




  • Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Corruption and Transnational Crime
  • Developing Nations
  • Economic Development
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Governance
  • International Debt
  • International Political Economy
  • Nation-building and Democratization
  • Oil Politics
  • Political Economy & Development

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