Lindsey Pruett

Graduate Student


I'm a doctoral candidate in comparative politics with research interests in West Africa. I study state-building, security sector development, and legacies of colonialism. My work is supported by the National Security Education Program and the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Research Focus

I'm working on two long-term projects. First, I'm conducting extensive archival research to better understand the intersection of local authorities, state-capacity, extractive policies such as military recruitment and census enumeration, and the dynamics of resistance in colonial era Francophone West Africa, primarily in Senegal and Guinea-Conakry. Second, I'm exploring how and why post-colonial armies engage in civic action missions, including projects that are ostensibly oriented towards poverty alleviation and economic development. I'm specifically interested in how these projects and the nation-building discourse around them impacts public opinion and citizen views of the security sector and the military's role in politics.